Thursday, October 24

Ministry eyes more direct regional flights to Kuching

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Abdul Karim (centre) presents a memento to one of the sponsors of RWMF. Looking on are (from left) Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) acting CEO Angelina Bateman, STB chairman Datuk Abdul Wahab Aziz, and Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee. — Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusinl

KUCHING: Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah says efforts are still being made to add more direct flights between Kuching and other countries in the region.

He said his ministry is currently negotiating with AirAsia and other airlines to provide more flights from the region.

“We have been in talks with Royal Brunei Airlines since January this year and have reintroduced packages from Bandar Seri Begawan to Kuching. It started out with two flights, and now there are four flights available.

“As such, we will be having those who will be coming to Kuching from Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Kota Kinabalu, and Singapore as well as with the addition of those coming in from Bandar Seri Begawan,” he told a press conference yesterday at Sarawak Cultural Village where the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) is currently being held.

According to Abdul Karim, Indonesian airline Malindo Air had stated that it still preferred Pontianak as its gateway to Kuching, but added the ministry is working to have a direct flight between Jakarta and Kuching which will be announced once it has been finalised.

Aside from Jakarta, he said the ministry is also looking at establishing a direct flight from Bangkok to Kuching.

“Currently, there were two direct flights daily from Penang and also flights from Kota Bharu, but not from Langkawi.

“We might also reintroduce the direct flight from Shenzhen because as of now, the flights from the region would have to go to Kuala Lumpur first before reaching Kuching,” he said.