SIBU: Having more flights would certainly strengthen the state’s air connectivity in giving the tourism industry a further boost while promoting regional integration.
As such, Assistant Tourism Minister Datuk Talib Zulpilip lauded the move by Malindo Air to serve the East Malaysian market as this would complement efforts to develop Sarawak as a preferred tourist destination.
“We have so much to offer, be it history, nature, culture and just about anything tourists are looking for. On top of that, we have nice people offering warm hospitality and mouthwatering food.
“So, what is needed is for people from outside to come in and we are not going to be able to do that unless there are more flights. No tourism destination can develop unless there are more incoming and outgoing flights.
“Hence, we appreciate Malindo Air or whichever airlines that want to come as this would definitely strengthen Sarawak’s air connectivity and boost the tourism industry,” Talib told The Borneo Post.
The media reported that the country’s second low-cost airline would launch its maiden flight on March 22.
As a start, the country’s second low-cost airline would offer an all-inclusive fare to Kuching and to Kota Kinabalu, where all flights would take off from KL International Airport.
Talib, who is Jepak assemblyman, added that MASwings had been very responsive and expressed hope that their top management and parent body would continue to support the increase in flights.
He described this as a positive development that augured well for the state’s tourism sector.
Among others, he stated that having more flights would also strengthen regional integration.
“Those from Indonesia would need connectivity to China or other destinations. In this regard, it will allow more of our friends from Indonesia to come to Sarawak and go elsewhere.
“Similarly, more of us can visit our neighbours,” he enthused.
Meanwhile, Metropolitan Travel Service manager Michael Wong Ngee Khih too felt the tourism industry would be given a boost with the coming of another low-cost carrier.
“This is because we won’t be worried about flights getting full as there would be more flights to bring tourists to the state,” Wong reasoned.
He pointed out that better air connectivity would entice tourists to make hopovers to Sarawak.
According to the media report, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha handed over the air operator certificate (AOC) to Malindo Air chief executive officer Chandran Rama Muthy in a ceremony at Marriott Putrajaya Hotel last Thursday.
Malindo is a joint venture between Malaysia’s Nadi Sdn Bhd and Indonesia’s largest domestic carrier Lion Air’s parent PT Lion Group.