Tuesday, June 25

MASwings a vital rural airliner for Sabah, Sarawak

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KOTA KINABALU: MASwings, the east Malaysia-based airline, has shown steady progress, transforming from being the operator of Fokker 50 planes to acquiring new and sophisticated aircraft such as the ATR 72-500.

WELL DONE: Wan Mohd (right) pinning an outstanding service medal on one of the fire-fighters.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said the flight frequencies have also increased several folds and hoped the airline would continue to grow.

“I was informed MASwings currently operates more than 950 flights per week, ferrying more than 1.2 million passengers each year.

“After witnessing the progress of MASwings over the past four years, I have no doubt that this airline will develop further and chart new paths in offering services that appeal to customers.

“This is necessary as airlines always need to be in tune with needs of consumers and markets,” he said at MASwings 4th anniversary dinner here last night.

The text of his speech was delivered, on his behalf, by State Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Masidi Manjun.

Musa also expressed confidence that MASwings would continue to contribute towards the development of tourism inSabahandSarawak.

“Indeed, for tourism to flourish, air travel including to smaller towns is very much needed. There are diverse tourism and heritage products in areas that are closer toSandakan, Tawau and Lahad Datu, and for travellers to access these sites, reliable air travel is vital.

“I am sure MASwings is able to continue meeting this need based on the capability of its full range of 10 ATRs 72-500 and 04 DHC-6 Twin Otters. In addition, as a community airline, it is serving its purpose and is fully committed in providing better rural air service with ample frequency to meet ever increasing demand,” he added.

Musa said the airline industry was becoming more complex and was characterised by higher operating cost and intense competition.

“Amid on-going issues and uncertainty, I hope MASwings will continue to react positively to changes and new demand. It has been proven that MASwings’ fleet range, especially the modern and high-technology turbo ATR is safe, reliable and most importantly, environmentally friendly,” he said.

Musa noted that ATR was not only fuel efficient but also emitted less carbon and complemented the state government’s effort to protect the environment against pollution. — Bernama