MIRI: The federal government must ensure the Rural Air Service (RAS) in Sarawak and Sabah states remains untouched in any revival plan for Malaysia Airlines, said Limbang
MP Hasbi Hasbibolah.
This is because of the geographical distance, underdeveloped road infrastructure and demand for rural air services in both states, particularly in Sarawak.
Hasbi said this critical service in serving the people in central and northern Sarawak must be maintained, if not improved, to serve the rural areas of Sarawak where road infrastructure was still lacking.
“Whatever the proposal is, never forget about Sarawak, “ he said when contacted today ( June 11) while attending the current parliamentary sitting.
The RAS was set up in an effort to fulfil the social needs of communities living in the interior of Sabah and Sarawak while functioning as a national service to these communities
MASWings, a wholly owned subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines, was appointed by the Malaysian Government to undertake this task in October 2007, taking over from FlyAsianExpress (FAX) , the precursor to high-flying AirAsia.
The cost for the operation of RAS by MASwings is fully borne by the Malaysian government in the form of subsidies and aircraft rental payment.
MASwings currently operates 49 RAS routes with 19 routes being serviced by 10 ATR 72-500 aircrafts and 30 routes being serviced by the Twin Otter Viking DHC6-400 aircraft.
These routes in turn operates in 10 airports and 14 air fields within Sabah and Sarawak.