Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Sarawak a ‘phenomenal brand’, says AirAsia chief

KUCHING: Sarawak is a growing brand and set to achieve more in the tourism industry, given its rich culture and biodiversity.

In pointing this out, AirAsia Bhd group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes views Sarawak as ‘a phenomenal brand’, adding that more efforts should be undertaken to promote the state.

“As the Chief Minister (Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg) said earlier, Sarawak is rich in biodiversity, culture and amazing rivers.

“There is a diversity of culture from Mulu, to Kuching, to Sibu. You have to work together with the airlines, while embarking into the digital world.

“The digital world should enable Sarawak to reach (out) to a larger amount of people, and you have this Rainforest World Music Festival as well,” he said in response to a question raised during a session at ‘Sarawak Dialogue’ yesterday.

Abang Johari launched the inaugural event themed ‘Sarawak, The Bridge to New Beginnings’ focusing on four major sectors – tourism, education, health and digital economy.

On another subject Fernandes, who was the keynote speaker, described Africa as a potential continent for AirAsia to explore and expand its network to.

He added that at present, the low-cost carrier lacks the appropriate aircraft to fly to Africa.

“Africa is going to be huge for us. We’re just waiting for the right planes to be delivered to us,” he said, adding that potential African routes could ‘happen in the next two years’.

“We want to fly to all continents – I’ll probably retire when we (AirAsia) fly to Rio (de Janeiro) to play a football game there,” he quipped.

These remarks were made in response to another question posed by one of the participants.

On another question, Tony said AirAsia is looking into the feasibility of implementing dual aerobridge system at its low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT).