Royal Brunei Airlines to resume Brunei-Kuching flights on May 1

Ting (seated centre) and others pose for a group photo at the STCC meeting.

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By Nancy Nais

KUCHING, April 11: Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA) will resume its Bandar Seri Begawan-Kuching flights starting May 1, this year.

Disclosing this, Deputy Minister of Tourism Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew said RBA will fly twice weekly to Sarawak’s capital city after a two-year halt following the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak.


Sarawak reopened its borders to international visitors with effect from April 1 in line with the federal government’s guidelines.

On April 3, the first international flight to the State arrived from Singapore and touched down in Kuching with a total of 157 passengers.

“At this moment, we have three flights per week from Singapore to Kuching and two flights per week from Singapore to Miri through Scoot Airlines.

“RBA will resume its flights to Kuching on a twice-weekly basis from May, while we hope that flights from Pontianak, Indonesia will resume soon.

“We strongly believe that international arrivals will greatly increase this year especially now when travel is made easier without the hassle of undergoing quarantine for travelers who have completed their vaccination,” Ting said after chairing the Sarawak Tourism Coordination Committee (STCC) meeting at a hotel here today.

As for domestic flights, he said Firefly will commence its Penang-Kuching route seven times a week with the inaugural flight arriving this afternoon.

Firefly will also ply the Penang-Miri route seven times a week.

Ting is optimistic that Sarawak will see some 1.2 million visitors and generate RM3.2 billion in tourism receipts as international tourism slowly bounces back while domestic tourism continues to drive the recovery of the State’s tourism industry.

He disclosed that from January to March this year, visitor arrivals have increased 593 per cent (229,678 people) compared to the corresponding period in 2021.

“Tourism receipts have also increased 569 per cent (RM517 million) compared to the corresponding period in 2021 and this is a very positive outlook.

“Malaysia finally allowed quarantine-free entry for fully vaccinated travelers from April 1, ending the almost two years of stringent border controls introduced to contain the Covid-19 outbreak,” he added.

He gave assurance that Sarawak is prepared to move into the endemic phase of Covid-19.

At the same time, the ministry and its agencies will continue their efforts to implement short-term measures to support the recovery of the tourism, arts and culture industry.

To encourage travel into Sarawak, the ministry through Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) launched the Sia Sitok Plus programme in partnership with Malaysia Airlines on Jan 19.

Additionally, they launched popular discounted domestic travel campaigns in the form of the Sia Sitok 3.0 Campaign and Sia Sitok Accommodation 2.0 staycation campaign on March 1.

“Both campaigns with RM2 million in subsidies from STB have received overwhelming response from the domestic market and were sold out before their end-date on April 30. STB has also concluded the State’s participation in MATTA Fair 2022 at World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur last weekend.

“Sarawak was chosen as the featured destination of the fair. During that weekend, STB with 20 of its industry partners showcased Sarawak’s attractive culture, adventure, nature, food and festival (CANFF),” Ting revealed. — DayakDaily