Tuesday, October 19

Abdul Karim looking into postponing direct flights to Hainan due to Coronavirus outbreak in China

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Abdul Karim (seated second left) together with the Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg (seated fifth left) and other cabinet ministers at Dr. Sim’s (seated fourthth left) Chinese New Year Open House this morning. – Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING: The state Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah is looking into postponing the direct flights to Hainan under an memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed recently.

Abdul Karim said this came about in view of the outbreak of the 2019 novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) or better known as Wuhan Coronavirus in China that has so far claimed 56 lives, and cases have also been reported in several other countries as far away as the United States, France and Australia.

In Malaysia, the Health Ministry has confirmed that a fourth case of 2019-nCoV has been detected in the country as of yesterday..

“Yes, I am looking in postponing the MoU because of the Wuhan Coronavirus,” said Abdul Karim when met at Minister of Local Government and Housing, Datuk Dr. Sim Hui Kian’s Chinese New Year Open House here, this morning.

Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) recently signed two MoUs with Hainan Airlines and ATS Global Travel and Charter recently.

It was part of STB’s on-going effort to develop Sarawak’s tourism sector.

The MoU with Hainan Airlines will see the International SKYTRAX five-star brand launch scheduled Haikou-Kuching-Haikou flights with an inaugural flight expected in the first quarter of this year. It will operate two direct flights per week using the 164-seater B737-800 aircraft including eight first class seats.