KUCHING: Sarawak will increase the frequency of flights allowed into the state from 89 to 223 flights weekly starting Nov 1.
State Transport Minister Datuk Seri Lee Kim Shin said the increased frequency would ease the limitation of flights and reduce airfares.
The new frequency will see flights into Kuching go up from 44 to 114 times weekly, Miri (19 to 40), Sibu (eight to 31), Bintulu (six to 24) and Limbang and Lawas (five to seven).
The frequency of flights to Mulu will be maintained at seven times a week.
Lee said all airlines flying into Sarawak - Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, Malindo Air, Scoot and MASwings - had been notified of the approved new flight frequency for their next course of action.
"Now it is up to the airlines to start operating the new flight frequency from Nov 1.
"With the increase in flight frequency from outside Sarawak and no flight restriction within Sarawak as well as operating on full passenger load capacity, there is no reason for the airlines to charge high airfares," he said in a statement on Thursday (Oct 28).
Lee also reminded the airlines to exercise their social responsibility in these difficult times by not taking advantage of travellers who were already experiencing hardship.
He said his ministry had received numerous complaints from the public on high airfares and limited flights, even after the frequency was previously raised from 22 to 89 flights weekly on Oct 1.
"We have studied the feedback from the public on this matter. Taking a proactive step to resolve this issue, we forwarded a proposal to further increase the existing flight frequency into Sarawak," he said.
He added that details of the new flight schedule will be uploaded on the ministry's website at mot.sarawak.gov.my once the information is received from the airlines through the Malaysia Aviation Commission (Mavcom).