Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Malaysia Airlines' new Airbus A380 could boost tourism to Brunei

By Azlan Othman in London

Brunei is an important market for Malaysia Airlines (MAS) despite its small size. For Bruneians, UK is the favourite destination to travel to compared to other European countries.

The Brunei market is primarily driven by corporate businesses especially in the oil and gas sector such as Shell. But it is not one of the biggest MAS destinations in Asia.

This was stated by the Regional Senior Vice President of Malaysia Airlines for UK and Europe (Commercial), Huib Gorter, to the Borneo Bulletin representative, who is among the nine journalists (besides Malaysia and the Philippines) invited for the inaugural flight of Airbus A380 Double Daily to London starting from November 24.

"For any destinations, we always include Brunei in our pricing when we advertise. But we are not promoting an Airbus A380 trip to Brunei; instead, we are promoting a trip to Kuala Lumpur, and through the airline network, we can reach Brunei.

"But the reasonable air fare price would attract Bruneians," he said.

Meanwhile, the Sales Manager for Malaysia Airlines for UK (Southern Region), Anton Grossmann said, "We don't have any specific promotion with regards to Airbus 380 for the Brunei market. But we could add Brunei as part of the value-side trip for British visitors, just like to other Malaysian states for a minimal fee of; for instance, 50 pounds after the tourists have visited Kuala Lumpur. We can work with Royal Brunei and Brunei Tourism on this matter.

Huib Gorter added that the pristine forest, diving sites in Borneo are plus factors for British tourists.

The Malaysia Airlines Office in Bandar Seri Begawan said that through the code-sharing agreement between Malaysia Airlines and Royal Brunei, travellers can utilise the daily service provided by Airbus 380; to and from London.

Speaking to journalists in his office in London, the Malaysian High Commissioner to London, UK, Dato' Sri Zakaria Sulong said that Malaysia, along with other Asean countries are boosting businesses through the UK-Asean Business Council set up in November last year. Business volume between UK and the Asean countires is bigger as compared to China and India.

Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board's Deputy Director for UK and Ireland, Sharon Ho told the Bulletin that there is a joint effort to promote Islamic tour packages to British and European tourists highlighted during the recent annual London World Travel Mart on November 7.

It is where Islamic places of interest in the sultanate including the Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Mosque in the capital, Jame' 'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah in Kiarong and Darul Ifta gallery at the State Mufti's Office, are being promoted.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin