PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) will resume operation of flights from Peninsular Malaysia to Sabah and Sarawak this week, says Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (pic).
The flights involved the KL-Kuching-KL, KL-Miri-KL, and KL-Kota Kinabalu-KL routes. All these flights will operate once a week.
The ministry, said Dr Wee, noted the Sarawak government’s call for flights to resume between Peninsular Malaysia and the state.
He added that the ministry had requested Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and AirAsia to reconsider their decisions and to operate flight services to Sabah and Sarawak.
Dr Wee noted that the ministry had never instructed airlines such as MAS, AirAsia or Malindo Air to stop their flights to Sabah or Sarawak.
He pointed out that both MAS and AirAsia had suspended their operations on their own accord.
Dr Wee said that he had contacted MAB regarding the matter and that MAB said they would resume flights this week.
The connecting flights will be carried out by MASwings for the Miri-Bintulu-Miri, Kuching-Sibu-Kuching and Sibu-Bintulu-Sibu routes.
“If the demand increases, they will add more flights to Kuching, Miri or Kota Kinabalu from next week. Therefore, Sarawak will
still be connected to Peninsular Malaysia, ” Dr Wee said in a statement.
He added that at the same time, MAS also emphasised that their cargo service, especially for the transportation of goods such as food and medical necessities to Sarawak, has continued to operate during the movement control order period.
He said that cargo flights to Sabah and Sarawak will continue to operate three times a week.
These are the KL-Kuching–KL, KL-Kota Kinabalu–KL, and KL-Labuan–KL routes.
The interior of Sabah and Sarawak will still be connected through MASwings.
In the event of an increase in flight demand and passengers, MAS is ready to increase their flight frequencies, said Dr Wee.
On March 26, AirAsia Group Berhad said that they were forced to suspend operations for both international and domestic flights from March 28 to April 28, saying that it was for the best of passengers and staff during these trying times.
MAS said they were halting operations as the number of passengers had dropped drastically to 10%-15% and that it would have resulted in big losses that will lead to worse implications if operations were allowed to continue.