Wednesday, March 22

Proposed Sarawak-owned boutique airline won’t be profit-motivated, says Abg Jo


Abang Johari speaking when officiating at the launching of the Malaysian Goods Carnival 2022 Borneo Edition at the Kuching Waterfront on Nov 12, 2022. – Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING (Nov 28): The proposed Sarawak-owned boutique airline would not be profit-motivated and would serve to facilitate tourist arrivals into the state, said Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“As the boutique airline is owned by Sarawak, we will have our own model to set up the airline without following those such as Malaysia Airlines or AirAsia.

“These airlines are profit-based, but not for Sarawak’s boutique airline. Our aim is to facilitate tourists to fly to Sarawak,” he said during the Dewan Usahawan Bumiputera Sarawak (DUBS) Kuching branch charity dinner at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here last night.

Abang Johari also said the airline would fly visitors from countries such as Hong Kong, Bali, Singapore, Bangkok, Japan and India to Sarawak.

“Of course, there are people who question why the need to set up an airline? For me, it is one of the infrastructures which we must build. It is just like building roads.

“For building roads, you don’t talk about the intangible returns that you will get from road construction because it provides connectivity. So, the same goes for the airline.

“So, our model in setting up the airline is economy-based and it is slightly different from others,” he explained.

On Nov 13, Abang Johari said the state’s own airline is awaiting licence approval from the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and is expected to operate within the next three months.

He said the boutique airline, being a commercial wing, will be operating under Hornbill Skyways.

“With the airline, it will allow us to bring in more tourists. So the operation is more or less finalised and we are just waiting for the licence,” he said.