Thursday, November 02, 2006

FAX promises enhanced services to rural areas

By George Francis

MIRI - Fly Asian Xpress (FAX), which has come under fire from Sarawak government for unreliable rural air services including to world heritage site Mulu Nationa Park, promises to enhance its services.

Its chief executive officer Raja Mohd Azmi Raja Razali said the airline is in the process of implementing some changes such as obtaining the relevant global distribution system (GDS) and sourcing interlining opportunities with other airlines.

In a statement, he said, beginning this month, flight frequencies will be increased to Mulu, while from Kota Kinabalu to Mulu from three to seven times a week since last Sunday.

The rural air services (RAS) operator is also offering fixed fares (excluding service charge) of RM84 from Miri to Mulu, and RM179 from Kota Kinabalu to Mulu.

Starting this month, passengers will be able to make direct bookings with Air Asia, subsequently, with other airlines via interlining-code share.

A collaboration with Galileo International for the GDS will enable agents to have access to FAX full range of fares.

The airline is still negotiating with few more GDS providers in Europe and Asia to be available by year end.

Meanwhile, FAX marketing manager Kaarthik Velu revealed the code-sharing this month with AirAsia, enable passengers to enjoy seamless connectivity whilst tapping into AirAsia's ever growing network.

He also said that FAX also introduced concession fares this month for children and senior citizens, in all rural air service routes.

Sarawak Tourism Minister Wong Soon Koh, the latest official taken the carrier to task, saying that the State government would take "very drastic measures" if the problems related to RAS not resolved.

He said the carrier should better brace fast to rectify all its shortcomings.

"We've been told repeatedly by tour operators that they'll not market Mulu and Sarawak if the air services to Mulu not improved."

Wong said it was very serious problem affecting long-haul tourists.

Although he had been reassured by FAX 's CEO on improving the services, the situation was getting from bad to worse, added Wong.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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