Thursday, May 10, 2012

MASwings' Decision To Fly To Palawan Hailed As Gift For Kudat Folks

KOTA KINABALU -- MASwings' announcement to fly to Puerto Princesa, Palawan in the southern Philippines by the end of October this year has been hailed by BIMP-EAGA Malaysia Business Council chairman Roselan Johar Mohamed as heaven's gift to the people of Sabah, particularly in Kudat.

He said with greater connectivity, more trade can be achieved between Kudat in the northern part of Sabah and Palawan.

Roselan said the business council of BIMP-EAGA (Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-the Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area) is closely monitoring the Kudat situation and some announcement will be in the offing.

"The much awaited trade mission from Palawan is coming in June to visit Kudat," he told Bernama here today.

Yesterday, MASwings chief executive officer Datuk Captain Nawawi Awang announced that MASwings, a fully-owned subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines, would embark on its second phase of international route expansion by the end of October this year.

Nawawi was quoted as saying that the new MASwings' international air service would cover the Kuching-Balikpapan (Indonesia) and Kota Kinabalu-Puerto Princesa routes.

Roselan said further upgrading of the Customs Immigration Quarantine Security (CIQS) station in Kudat is being discussed "even though the present facility there is just enough for the moment."

On MASwings' recent success after expanding their routes to Pontianak and Tarakan, Indonesia early this year, he said the high load factor achieved had compelled the airline to increase the original three Tawau-Tarakan flights a week to one flight daily with effect from July 1 this year.

"This is very fast indeed and beyond our wildest imagination. This is a classic success story and we hope many others will emulate MASwings.

"That is the beauty about BIMP-EAGA. The successive meetings we had throughout and over the years are all designed to make travel easier and cheaper. We are talking about 70 million people within the designated Bimp-Eaga region," he added.

Roselan said travelling is very important because it provides high visibility and "our visitors come, they see and ultimately they will buy."