Wednesday, October 02, 2013

MASwings launches new aircraft in Bario


MIRI: Bario created history and earned pride when it was selected by community airline MASwings as the centre for the launching of its new aircraft – Twin Otter Viking Series 400.

Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau represented Minister of Sarawak Tourism Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tung Openg to officiate at the special ceremony held at the village’s multi-purpose hall.

The Viking Series 400 is one of the six new aircraft added to MASwings in an effort to increase flight frequencies to the rural areas in Sarawak and Sabah.

MASwings chief executive officer Datuk Captain Mohd Nawawi Awang said the company took delivery of the aircraft from Victoria, Canada on Aug 2, 2013 and began its operation on Sept 16 in conjunction with Sarawak’s 50th anniversary of independence within Malaysia.

The aircraft departed Victoria on Aug 10, heading up to Alaska, over the Bearing Sea to Eastern Russia. From there, it started to head out to South Korea, Taiwan and The Philippines before arriving in Kota Kinabalu after a journey of eight days.

“Above all, we are most proud with our pilot, Captain Stefanus Angkom, an Iban from Saratok who conducted the ferry flight all the way from Canada to Kota Kinabalu.

“To me, this is not just another new aircraft, but to be flown by our own native and delivered to our community is another historic moment that will be cherished,” Mohd Nawawi proudly announced.

According to Mohd Nawawi, the second aircraft was now on its way from Canada and was expected to arrive in a few days’ time, while the third was expected to arrive in early November.

With these new aircraft, MASwings would cease the use of the old aircraft which would have been operating for more than 20 years by the quarter of next year.

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