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KUCHING, April 14: The Ministry of Transport has requested that Malaysia Airlines (MAB) and AirAsia reconsider their respective decisions and reopen flight services to Sabah and Sarawak.
Following the ministry’s discussion with MAB senior management, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said the airline has assured that it would continue the one flight per week for three sectors; Kuala Lumpur – Kuching – Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur – Miri – Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur – Kota Kinabalu – Kuala Lumpur.
Meanwhile MasWings will service Miri – Bintulu Miri, Kuching – Sibu – Kuching, and Sibu – Bintulu – Sibu sectors.
“In the event that demand increases, MAB will add additional flights to Kuching, Miri and Kota Kinabalu next week. Therefore Sarawak will continue to be connected to Peninsular Malaysia,” he added.
Meanwhile, MAB also assured that their cargo services carrying essential goods including food and medical supplies to Sarawak had not been suspended throughout the Movement Control Order (MCO).
Cargo flight services to Sarawak and Sabah will continue to operate three times per week for Kuala Lumpur – Kuching – Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur – Kota Kinabalu – Kuala Lumpur and Kuala Lumpur – Labuan – Kuala Lumpur.
The Ministry of Transport had stated that it had not issued any instructions to airlines such as Malaysia Airlines (MAB), Air Asia or Malindo to suspend their flights to Sarawak and Sabah.
The Ministry of Transport was responding to Sarawak’s Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah statement requesting that flights between Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak and Sabah to continue to operate.
“On March 25, AirAsia Group Bhd issued a statement announcing a temporary suspension of all international and domestic flights designated ‘AK’ from March 28 to April 28. AirAsia assured that the decision was also made in order to ensure the well-being of passengers and employees as the country grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic.
“MAB has also halted their operations following drastic drop in passenger load from 10 to 15 percent on their flights. That difficult decision was made after MAB suffered significant losses which could have led to more dire consequences if flight operations were to continue,” Wee said in a statement yesterday. —DayakDaily
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