Flight frequency to Kuching, Miri, Sibu, Bintulu, Limbang, Lawas and Mulu increased starting Nov 1

File photo of an airplane on the runway at the Kuching International Airport.

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KUCHING, Oct 28: The frequency of flights to Kuching, Miri, Sibu, Bintulu, Limbang, Lawas and Mulu will be increased substantially starting from Nov 1 onwards.

Sarawak Transport Minister Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin in a press statement today said the flight frequency into Sarawak will be increased to 223 flights weekly, from the current 89 flights beginning next month.

He added the flight frequency to Kuching will be increased to 114 times weekly from 44 times weekly, Miri increased to 40 times weekly from 19 times weekly, Sibu to 31 times weekly from eight times weekly, Bintulu to 24 times weekly from six times weekly, Limbang and Lawas increased to seven times weekly from five times weekly and flight frequency to Mulu to seven times a week.

“Ministry of Transport Sarawak (MOTS) strongly believes the new flight frequency as well as flight schedule will help ease the limitation of flights and reduce the cost of airfare further.

“We were informed by the airlines that for those who want to get cheaper airfare, they need to plan their travel well ahead and book their flight much earlier, not within one or two days prior to their journey,” he said.

Lee added as of today, all the airlines namely Malaysia Airlines Berhad, AirAsia Berhad, Malindo Airways Sdn Bhd, Scoot Tigerair Pte Ltd and MASWings Sdn Bhd have been notified by the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) on the new flight frequency approval into Sarawak.

He said the airlines next course of action is to confirm their flight schedule to Mavcom, as well as mobilise their manpower and aircraft to suit the new flights and schedule requirements.

Lee stressed that it is now up to the airlines to start operating according to the new flight frequency and schedule starting Nov 1.

He said the details will be uploaded on MOTS’ website once the ministry has received the information from all the airlines through Mavcom.

Lee added that currently, there are no restrictions on the frequency of domestic flights within Sarawak enforced by MOTS or the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC).

Nevertheless, he said the airlines are advised to apply directly to Mavcom if they need to increase their domestic flight frequency due to higher demand from passengers.

Lee said MOTS will always support the airlines’ requests in the interest of the public.

“With the increase in flight frequency from outside Sarawak and no flight restrictions within Sarawak as well as operating on full passenger-load capacity, there is no reason for the airlines to charge high airfares.

“We would like to remind all the airlines to exercise their social responsibility in this difficult times by not taking advantage of travellers who are already experiencing hardship,” he added.

In the meantime, Lee reminded all travellers and passengers travelling to the State to comply strictly with the standard operating procedures (SOP) which was established by the Ministry of Health (KKM), National Security Council (MKN) and SDMC.

To recap, SDMC had on Oct 1 approved the increase in flight frequency to Sarawak to 89 flights weekly from 22 flights weekly.

Lee said MOTS still received numerous feedback and complaints from the public requesting for the State government to further increase the flight frequency to Sarawak.

Following that, Lee said the ministry took a proactive measure to resolve the issue by preparing and forwarded a proposal to SDMC and Federal Transport Ministry including Mavcom on Oct 25 to increase the number of flights. — DayakDaily