Thursday, January 21, 2016

Sarawak Tourism Board inks deal with airline for direct flight

The inaugural direct flight from Hong Kong to Kuching is expected to be launched on April 26.

This follows the signing of an agreement between Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) and Hong Kong Airlines for the airline to operate the Hongkong-Kuching direct route.

The agreement was signed by STB chief executive officer Datu Ik Pahon Joyik and Hong Kong Airlines Assistant Director of Commercial Michael Burke during a ceremony at Hong Kong Airlines headquarters near the Hong Kong International Airport here yesterday.

Minister of Tourism Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Abang Openg, who witnessed the signing ceremony, said Kuching will be a new market for the airline.

He pointed out that the new route would enhance business networking between Hong Kong and Kuching apart from promoting tourism.

“Eco-tourism is our major attraction. What is important about this direct route is the potential of development. Hong Kong is the hub of East Asia while Kuching which is in Borneo that has Sarawak, Sabah and Kalimantan is a new market for you.”

Abang Johari said the airline could also tap into the MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) industry while informing the airline that Sarawak would be hosting the International Congress and Convention Asia 2016 in November.

He added that his ministry looked forward to further collaboration with Hong Kong Airlines in the near future.

Meanwhile, Burke described the ceremony as a ‘positive occasion’ for the airline as he was pleased that the agreement was finally inked after rounds of deliberations since 2013.

Though there will be only two flights a week from Hong Kong to Kuching and vice versa, he said the airline aimed at building up the services first.