KOTA KINABALU: MASwings, a regional carrier wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines (MAS), will stop servicing Kota Kinabalu (BKI) -Tawau and KK-Sandakan routes effective Jan 1.
The announcement has surprised Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew, who said such a move will have an undesirable impact on the economy and tourism industry.
“Just when the tempo of tourism growth is gaining momentum, they (MASwings) decide to stop operating the routes,” she said in a statement,today.
Liew, who is Sabah Tourism,Culture,and Environment Minister, acknowledged the fact that MASwings has been complementing the services of major airlines like MAS and Air Asia.
She also voiced her concern over the possible suspension of the Tawau-Tarakan route.
“We urge the Ministry of Transport and the Malaysian Aviation Commission to reconsider their decision as this will adversely affect the rakyat in Sabah.
“Undoubtedly, we depend on MASwings to fly passengers to smaller towns,” she said.
Liew suggested that the authorities maintain the current operations for another year so that the Public Service Obligations (PSO) Agreement can be reviewed and re-negotiated accordingly.
“Certainly I will take up the matter and raise it in Parliament two weeks from now,” she said.
It is learnt that the PSO Agreement was entered into under the previous government.
source : news straits times