Hong Kong Airlines to suspend Kuching-Hong Kong direct flight next month

KUCHING: Hong Kong Airlines will suspend its Hong Kong – Kuching direct flight from February 25.

The chief commercial officer/director Li Dian Chun issued a notification yesterday, stating that the management had decided to suspend its Hong Kong – Kuching route.

“We regret to inform you that the decision by the management after internal discussion in the airline planning, the Hong Kong – Kuching v.v. (HX715/6) will be  suspended starting from 25 February, 2017,” said the notice undersigned by Li.

The two paragraph notice did not explain the reason for the suspension.

Hong Kong Airlines has been providing Hong Kong – Kuching direct flight services since May 28 last year after an agreement was signed between Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) and Hong Kong Airlines on Jan 21, 2016.

The inaugural flight was on May 28, 2016 and the route was served by a fleet of 174-seat Airbus A320s.

The twice-weekly flights are on Wednesdays and Saturdays and a return trip on the next day.

Tourism Assistant Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin expressed disappointment over the suspension of the flight.

“I am very disappointed because the initial plan agreed by the two parties was to give it a try for three years.”

“STB and the Tourism Ministry will liaise with the management (of Hong Kong Airlines) and look into the matter.  We will see how best to make the flights sustainable,” Lee told The Borneo Post yesterday.

He said STB would liaise with Hong Kong Airlines to find out more details with regards of the decision.

“We will inform the public of the latest development once we have the details,” said Lee.

Sarawak has been trying to promote business and tourism by providing direct flights connectivity linking Kuching to other overseas cities such as Singapore and Hong Kong.

However, the efforts had not been successful with airlines suspending its direct flights to Kuching after a trial period due to the insufficient passenger load.

Singapore budget airline Tiger Airways provided direct flight services between Singapore and Kuching in 2008 but decided to suspend the flight in July 2013.

Low-cost Jetstar Asia Airways made a similar attempt in 2009 but called off its services in March 2010.

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