Sarawak has agreed to take over MASWings, says Abang Jo

KUCHING: Sarawak has agreed in principle to take over MASwings as a way to establish its own boutique airline, says Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

The Sarawak Premier said this development came following a proposal from the Federal Government.

"Now we are negotiating on the details. We have to do our due diligence," he told reporters on Thursday (June 15) when asked for an update on the boutique airline.

Abang Johari said the state also needed to look into getting MASwings to fly routes beyond Borneo.

He said this was because the proposed boutique airline was meant to help moderate airfares, particularly within Malaysia.

"At the moment MASwings, cannot fly to Kuala Lumpur – we want to fly to Kuala Lumpur as well as Singapore.

"But in principle the state government agrees to take over MASwings," he said.

A subsidiary of Malaysia Aviation Group, MASwings was a regional airline serving Sarawak and Sabah, focusing mainly on rural air services in both states.

The Sarawak and Sabah governments had wanted to acquire equity in MASwings in 2012 but the plan was shelved a year later.

Both state governments revived their interest in the plan in 2015, announcing that they wanted to turn MASwings into a regional airline serving Asean and East Asian countries.

However, in 2017, Sarawak dropped its interest in taking over MASwings due to difficulties in negotiations with its parent company.

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