Kota Kinabalu: MASwings expects to begin flights to
BIMP-EAGA new destinations - from Kota Kinabalu and Kuching to Balikpapan Balikpapan in Kalimantan, Indonesia, or otherwise by Jan 18.
Its managing director Datuk Capt Mohd Nawawi Awang said MASwings has submitted a proposal to the Department of Transportation for approval.
"We are awaiting approval from the authorities (Transport
Ministry) of the two countries (Malaysia and Indonesia).
"Based on the positive response from the ministry, we are quite confident that we can operate with Services 18 is in one front, with a frequency of three times a week," he told reporters after witnessing sigining of the memorandum of understanding between the Popular Travel Express (Sabah) and Anthony Tours (Brunei) here today.
Popular Express Travel is represented by the Managing Director Dewi Chen as Managing Director Anthony Lim Tiong Woon signed on behalf of Anthony Tours.
Mohd Nawawi said MASwings also plans to introduce a three times a week flight from Kota Kinabalu to Puerto Princesa in Palawan, Philippines, in March next year.
"That's the second phase of our expansion program BIMP-EAGA and the third stage, we are looking for out of town (within two hours of flight) as Ujung (South Sulawesi), Manado (North Sulawesi) and Davao in the Philippines, perhaps with a charter flight arrangements ', "he said.
The first phase saw MASwings serves Kota Kinabalu-Kota Kinabalu, Kuching-Kota Kinabalu, Kuching-Pontianak and Tarakan Tawau-air route in February this year.
BIMP-EAGA stands for Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), a sub-regional economic cooperation initiative in Southeast Asia.
Mohd Nawawi said MASwings aware of the need to improve air connectivity in the region due to constant discussion among the leaders of the BIMP-EAGA members at the meeting that grouping.
Asked whether MASwings has plans to increase aircraft to meet the rising domestic demand and the BIMP-EAGA region, he said MASwings proposed to acquire six new aircraft for the purpose.
"If everything goes well, we expect four of the six new aircraft will be ready for operation by March next year," he said.
In the domestic passenger load, Mohd Nawawi said MASwing sure to meet the target of 1.5 million passengers this year and aims to reach 1.6 million passengers next year.
"I believe it is within our range after the recent introduction of BIMP-EAGA routes," - BERNAMA