KOTA KINABALU: The federal government’s decision to allow MASwings to launch its first phase of operations into the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East Asia Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) is a forward looking move long awaited by the people of Sabah and Sarawak, says Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri.
He said the move by the airline, which serviced Sabah and Sarawak, would transform the Kota Kinabalu and Kuching international airports as transporation hubs and regional entry point for international destinations.
Abdul Rahim said MASwings’ foray into the growth areas would also propel tourism in the states.
“With the extension of services and business, MASwings will remain committed to provide the best service domestically especially in rural areas.
“This is in line with MASwings’s objective to provide subsidised air service in the interiors of Sabah and Sarawak which are not accessible by road,” he told Bernama yesterday.
Abdul Rahim said each year, the government spent about RM150 million to subsidise MASwings’ operations to provide travel convenience to the rural folks of Sabah and Sarawak.
On Monday, chief executive officer Datuk Capt Mohd Nawawi Awang said the foray into international destinations, would be another milestone in the airlines’ history.
He said MASwings, expected to receive the long-awaited approval to operate into the BIMP-EAGA soon, hoped to launch the first phase of its operations by early next year. — Bernama