KUCHING: In conjunction with the state election and in view of the high demand, MASwings will mount extra flights to Bario, Ba’kelalan and Long Seridan from today until April 16.
This is part or its continuous effort in serving the community in Sabah and Sarawak.
“We would also like to get in touch with the tour operators for Ba’kelalan to discuss as to how best we could work together with them to promote Ba’kelalan so as to bring in more tourists into the area,” said a press statement issued yesterday.
It explained that MASwings acknowledged the importance of air transport to the community in Ba’kelalan and reiterated that it has always been their main focus to provide safe, reliable and affordable services, particularly to the people of Sabah and Sarawak,
“This has been our pursuit after taking over the Rural Air Services (RAS) operations beginning Oct 1 in 2007,” the statement pointed out.
In the context of Ba’kelalan, MASwings added the fourth frequency to Ba’kelalan last year and it was reduced back to three times per week effective 26 March, 2011 after due consultation with the Ministry of Transport.
As a RAS operator, MASwings faced various operational constraints and resources including the limited number of Twin-Otter aircraft used for their operations into the Short Take Off and Landing (STOL) ports such as Ba’kelalan, Bario, Long Akah, Long Banga, Long Seridan and Long Lellang.
Their operations into the STOL ports are also subjected to weather condition and whenever the condition is not favourable, the flights would either be cancelled or delayed.
“With the current four Twin Otters, MASwings has maximised their utilisation despite the complexities of STOL ports operations and managed to provide flight services and frequencies more than the required capacity and frequency set-forth by the Ministry of Transport.
“From time to time, MASwings will review the capacity and flight frequency and make adjustment and changes whenever appropriate to ensure a fair and balanced coverage on all destinations under its RAS network.
“Rest assured that the decision to increase or reduce flight frequency is made with prior consultation and approval by Ministry of Transport,” said the statement.