KOTA KINABALU: The exclusive rights of MASwings to service rural air routes in the country has been given as the reason behind the termination of AirAsia’s flights between Sibu and Kota Kinabalu.
AirAsia chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes said MASwings had protested to the government about AirAsia servicing the route.
MASwings has exclusive rights to the route and the government has no choice but to instruct AirAsia to stop servicing it, he said.
“We (AirAsia) are appealing the decision because we think it is important for our network. Many people from Sibu want to travel to Kota Kinabalu and connect to other destinations and vice versa.
“So that is the reason. We would like to continue covering the route because it is good for tourism and for the economy. We were caught by surprise by the MASWing’ protest and to learn that the airline has exclusive rights to the rural air service routes.
Tony, when explaining about the termination of the Sibu-Kota Kinabalu flights to reporters here yesterday, said AirAsia would ask the government to open up rural routes to commercial airlines.
He explained that to allow a commercial airline to service rural routes would mean that the government would spend less money on subsidy to MASWings.
“Then everyone can save more money,” he said.
Continue reading at: AirAsia wants to get back Sibu-KK route