Monday, August 3

MASwings eyeing to become household name


KUCHING: MASwings aspires to be a household brand for the people of Sabah and Sarawak.

The community airline had held many activities in the past five months to position MASwings as an airline that serves the need of the people in Sabah and Sarawak.

“Being a community airline, I realise the importance of MASwings to  the  people  of   Sabah  and Sarawak. Therefore, I tell MASwings employees that they really need to perform to serve the people in Sabah and Sarawak,” said the managing director of MASwing Datuk Capt Mohd Nawawi Awang during MAS and MASwings Raya open house at Hilton Hotel Kuching yesterday.

He revealed that 85 per cent of Maswings staff from Sabah and Sarawak. Out of 1,300, some 1,100 employees are from both states.

Capt Mohd Nawawi said he understood the difficulties faced by the people in rural places such as Bario and Ba Kelalan in getting from one place to another.

With MASwings as the lifeline for the people in the interior, he said the community airline looks forward to playing its role in serving the interior communities in Sabah and Sarawak, even with the limited equipment it has — 10 ATR aircrafts and four Twin Otters.

Besides serving the people of Sabah and Sarawak, Capt Mohd Nawawi said MASwings also aspires to expand beyond the shores of Sabah and Sarawak to position itself for the future.

“When I came in to lead the company five months ago, I realised I’m in the privileged  position  to  take the  airline into  the  future. When I came on board in April, my first task was to expand into BIMP-Eaga.

“Initially, our target was to start our operations in July and I thought three months down the road I could start our first operation into BIMP Eaga,” he said.

However, to his surprise, MASwings is still waiting for approval from the Ministry of Transport to launch its operation.

“I went regularly to Putrajaya to explain our strategies and told the minister that we are ready to start our operation into BIMP Eaga,” he added.

Among those who were present at the open house yesterday were Minister of Tourism and Heritage, Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg; Assistant Minister of Heritage and Tourism, Datuk Talib Zulpilip; Tourism and Heritage Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Datu Ik Pahon Joyik; Sarawak Tourism Board chief executive Datuk Rashid Khan; MAS area manager for Sarawak, Mohd Asif Abd Talib and MASwings Sarawak regional manager Zainuddin Mohammed.