Sunday, May 10, 2015

Borneo Jazz festival - Settle air connectivity to get fans here

MIRI: The response from jazz music lovers in the region to attend the Borneo Jazz annual has been rising with every year’s edition but the key question remains: How to come to Miri?

“We can get more than the targeted 8,000 if we settle air connectivity. It is quite difficult for them to get here as they have to stop overnight in other countries such as Singapore and Hong Kong. That makes their travelling time much longer and costly,” Minister of Sarawak Tourism Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said at a Sunset Cocktail reception for the media covering Borneo Jazz at Miri Marriott Resort & Spa here.

This is among the reasons the minister has initiated a state bid to take over MASwings.

“Both Sarawak and Sabah have expressed our interest to take over MASwings. We want to turn it into a regional airline. If we are the owners, we put our investment there and develop the routes. We are willing to invest for long term interest,” he added.

“When we develop the routes, make them familiar and known, only then will there be a market response.

“Currently, it is quite difficult for them to sell a route as it depends on the airline which could pull out and suspend the route if it is not lucrative and not sustainable,” said Abang Johari.

Meanwhile, the government is also trying to encourage charted flights from Shenzen as southern China is quite a lucrative area to draw travellers from China. Abang Johari hopes the charted flights will become scheduled flight.