Saturday, December 19, 2015

MOU inked on direct flight between Kuching, Hong Kong

KUCHING: Sarawak will be directly connected with Hong Kong via air beginning April 2016 following the inking of an official agreement on the move.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed by Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) and Hong Kong Airlines here yesterday.

The board was represented by its chief executive officer Datu Ik Pahon Joyik, who is also permanent secretary to the Tourism Ministry, while the airline company was represented by its strategy and planning commercial department manager Andre Zhang.

For the record, Hong Kong Airlines is a subsidiary of Hainan Airlines Ltd.

Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, who witnessed the ceremony, said under the MOU, Hong Kong Airlines would fly passengers on board its 174-seat A320 flight via the Hong Kong-Kuching-Hong Kong route twice weekly.

As part of the agreement, the minister also said STB would provide incentives and support as part of the airline’s request to ensure sustainability of this route.

“On this endeavour, Tourism Malaysia and Malaysian Airports Holdings Bhs (MAHB) will also offer incentives, apart from STB. The initial agreement outlined the route to be flown between Hong Kong and Kuching on Wednesdays and Sundays, with the time slots to be determined by the airline based on market demands and also the approval by the Hong Kong government,” he said.

Abang Johari also stressed that while Hong Kong Airlines would be responsible for flight operations, aircraft maintenance, safety and security, STB would be in charge of the sustainability of the route.

On this, he said a series of market introduction on the destinations, namely Hong Kong and cities across Southern China, would be planned as part of the marketing plans associated with the route.