Monday, April 11, 2011

MASwings cut down flight frequency to Ba Kelalan

KUCHING: The recent decision by MASwings Sdn Bhd (MASwings) to reduce its flight frequency to Ba Kelalan was made in compliance with the operational requirements set in agreement with the government.

The company – the East Malaysian communal flight service arm of national carrier Malaysia Airlines – previously provided four flight weekly to Ba Kelalan from its Miri-Lawas-Ba Kelalan routes, but had cut the service to three times weekly effective late last month.

In a Bernama news yesterday, the newswire reported that the decision had come under fire from tourism operators and folks in Ba Kelalan where many had voiced their displeasure over the MASwings’ decision.

When contacted by The Borneo Post, MASwings’ managing director Datuk Captain Mohd Nawawi Awang said that the decision had not been made indiscriminately.

“The earlier arrangement for MASwings’ flight frequency to Ba Kelalan was actually three flights, where we increased it to four times a week later. However, due to operational requirements, we had to revert it to thrice weekly,” he explained via a telephone interview yesterday.

“Whatever exercise that MASwings make is always in coordination and approval by the government,” he added.

Mohd Nawawi’s statement came in response to the Bernama news, where one tour coordinator, Lisa Buing from Miri-based Borneo Jungle Safari Sdn Bhd (BJS) questioned the justification of MASwings’ decision. “How else do we promote the tourism potential in Ba Kelalan here if air accessibility is lacking?” the operator voiced out. If weather permits, the trip to Ba Kelalan could be about nine hours; but during rainy season it could take about 12 hours or more to reach Ba Kelalan as the logging road would be slippery and dangerous going up the mountain.”

According to BJS operations manager Rona Sultan, the tour operator had so far received four cancellations from local tourists after MASwings decided to cut down the frequency.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: MASwings cut down flight frequency to Ba Kelalan

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