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Monday November 30, 2009

MASwings to display short-haul aircraft

KOTA KINABALU: MASwings will showcase its ATR72-500 aircraft at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhi­bition (Lima ‘09) from Dec 1-5.

The airline is also expected to sign the acceptance of its seventh ATR72-500 worth RM80mil during the exhibition.

MASwings said in a statement that it received its seventh ATR72-500 from Toulouse on Thursday and it would arrive in Langkawi tomorrow in time for the exhibition before commencing its operations in Sabah and Sarawak.

“MASwings’ participation in the Lima exhibition is a tangible demonstration of our effort in promoting Sabah and Sarawak to the world.

“We are committed in our effort to work with various tourism bodies to increase domestic tourism in tandem with our tagline, connecting the world to Sabah and Sarawak, as well as establishing MASwings as a preferred carrier in the region,” said the statement.

MASwings is expected to receive three more ATR72-500 aircraft, making a total of 10 ATRs by April next year.

MASwings started its operations on Oct 1, 2007 and offers more than 950 weekly flights serving 22 destinations in Sarawak and Sabah as well as Labuan.

It currently has a fleet of three Fokker 50s, four Twin Otters and seven ATR72s.

In Langkawi, Defence Mini­ster Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi called on Lima participants to think of effective ways to jointly curb sea piracy that is growing in the South China Sea.

Dr Ahmad said that this problem if not contained, would lead to escalating piracy activities, similar to the one plaguing the Gulf of Aden.

The maritime boundary situation in South-East Asia is complex because four Asean countries (Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippine and Brunei) and China are claiming parts of the Spartlys’ atolls.

“This situation causes problem to the maritime patrol and enforcement activities because the pirates know that no country could impose their laws in a large area of water,” he said after addressing an international conference at a resort yesterday.

The two-day conference was attended by 150 participants from 24 countries.

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