Saturday, June 26, 2010

MASwings eyes BIMP-EAGA this year

KOTA KINABALU: MASwings is exploring the possibility of operating into the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) this year, according to managing director Datuk Mohd Salleh Ahmad Tabrani.

“With the recent completion of our fleet renewal programme, we have completely phased out all eight Fokker aircraft and replaced them with 10 new ATR72-500 aircraft.

“We are currently exploring the possibility of launching some international routes from Sabah and Sarawak into BIMP-EAGA,” he told reporters after the launch of self check-in kiosks by MAS managing director and chief executive officer Tengku Datuk Azmil Zahruddin at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport yesterday.

However, Mohd Salleh said MASwings would sought approval from the Ministry of Transport, a key stakeholder, before embarking on the new route.

“We are currently discussing the issue with them and we hope the ministry will consent to us operating in BIMP-EAGA.

“Should we secure the approval from the ministry, we hope to launch the first international BIMP-EAGA route sometime in October or November.

“We are looking at Malaysia specifically Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei, southern Philipines, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Irian Jaya, Indonesia,” he said, adding that other destinations under evaluation included Pontianak in Kalimantan, Balik Papan and Tarakan in East Kalimantan, Brunei and Davao and Cebu in the Philippines.

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