Thursday, August 17, 2006

Kuching to take up with KL air travel problems

KUCHING: Sarawak will take up with the Federal Government the many teething problems faced by air travellers following the recent domestic routes rationalisation exercise.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said the state government would send a second memorandum to inform the federal authorities that Sarawak had been badly affected by the exercise which took effect more than two weeks ago.

The main problem is insufficient air connectivity as the result of splitting the air routes,” he said at the Malaysian Association of Travel and Tour Agents (Matta) Sarawak Chapter’s annual dinner at Crowne Plaza Riverside Hotel here on Wednesday night.

Under the exercise, budget air carrier AirAsia took over some of the domestic routes from Malaysia Airlines. AirAsia has engaged Fly Asian Xpress (FAX) to operate all the rural air services in the northern region.

In the first memorandum sent to the federal government last month, Sarawak outlned problems that might arise due to the air route revamp.

The state has appealed for the re-instatement of the MAS flight sectors, such as Miri-Kota Kinabalu, Miri-Mulu, Kuching- Mulu, Kota Kinabalu-Mulu, Sibu-Kota Kinabalu and Kuching-Perth.

Air travellers and tourism players have complained about insufficient flights between towns, like Kuching-Bintulu which MAS has stopped operating, and poor connectivity due to lack of international links to bring in the tourists.

On extra flights into Sarawak, he urged the airlines not to operate them at odd hours, like 3am.

He said the state had good tourism products, like the Mulu National Park – a world heritage site – to attract tourists.

Source: The Star

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