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Friday December 16, 2011

MASwings unveils new routes to capture regional market

KOTA KINABALU: MASwings has unveiled its first three Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) routes as the community airline positions itself as a regional aviation player.

The foray into the resource-rich BIMP-EAGA region will begin on Feb 1, starting with flights from Kota Kinabalu and Kuching into Bandar Seri Begawan before starting the Kuching-Pontianak and Tawau-Tarakan sectors on Feb 6 and Feb 13 respectively.

There will be 14 flights weekly from Kota Kinabalu to Bandar Seri Begawan and three flights per week from Kuching to Brunei's capital city.

MASwings will provide seven flights a week for the Kuching-Pontianak route while the airline will serve the Tawau-Tarakan route three times a week.

It is an important and historic moment for the airline, MASwings CEO Datuk Capt Mohd Nawawi Awang said.

“It is a new era for MASwings. Like our tagline Wings of Love', we are now spreading our love across borders,” he said at the unveiling ceremony here.

He also said MASwings was looking to add two more turboprop airplanes to their fleet of 10 ATR72-500 aircraft.

“This is to cope with the BIMP-EAGA flight frequencies and also to better serve the existing domestic routes,” he added.

Nawawi said they might need to buy regional or bigger jets when they take on more destinations that were out of the turboprop planes' range.

“We want to go to Balikpapan in Kalimantan and Davao, Zamboanga and Puerto Princessa in the Philippines (among others),” he said.

He said the ATR72-500 could accommodate 72 passengers, adding there would be only economy seats for the BIMP-EAGA routes for now.

MASwings would be announcing its promotional prices for the BIMP-EAGA flights next year.

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