KUCHING: Regional airline MASwings is expected to operate its six new Twin Otter (DHC6) aircrafts, particularly to serve in the interiors of Sarawak and Sabah, by mid-year, its chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Nawawi Awang said yesterday.
Despite numerous appeals for its current fleet of ageing 17-seat DHC6 aircrafts to be replaced with bigger capacity ones, he said, the Twin Otters were more practical for short takeoff and landing (STOL) operations in rural airstrips, including Marudi and Bario.
“The new aircraft will be deployed in stages from the middle of this year until 2014,” he told reporters after giving a briefing on MASwings BIMP-EAGA second phase expansion of its international network here, which was attended by Sarawak Tourism Minister Datuk Abang Johari Tun Openg.
Previously, MASwings had four Twin Otters but the fleet was reduced to three following the Marudi airport incident in November last year when one of its aircrafts veered off the runway upon landing.
It was reported that MASwings’ flight operations were slightly affected by the incident but the frequencies were expected to be back to normal by this year. — Bernama