Abang Jo: Proposed Sarawak airline won’t be profit-driven

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUCHING, Nov 27 — State Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg tonight said the boutique airline that the state government proposed would not be profit-motivated and would serve to facilitate tourist arrivals in Sarawak.

He said he would be happy if the boutique airline could simply break-even.

“We have our own model to set up the airline. We are not following the models used by Malaysia Airlines (MAS) or AirAsia. We will be using our own model on how to operate an airline,” he said at a dinner hosted by the Kuching branch of Dewan Usahawan Bumiputera Sarawak (DUBS).

He said commercial carriers’ main aim was profit, but this would not be for the proposed boutique airline.

He said the airline would target to fly between the state and Kuala Lumpur, Bali, Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong, and possibly Japan or India.

“But, of course, there are people who question why we want to set up an airline. But for me, it is one of the infrastructures which we must build.

“It is the same with roads. You don’t talk about tangible returns for building the roads, but you talk about the intangible returns that you will get from road construction because it allows you to travel,” he said, adding that the same goes with the airline.

Recently, Abang Johari said the state government was waiting for a licence to be issued by the Ministry of Transport so the boutique airline could start operations.

He had said the operational aspect of the airline has been finalised for international tourists to fly directly to the state, bypassing Kuala Lumpur.

He added that the airline would operate under the state-owned Hornbill Skyways platform and would be able to boost air connectivity for an influx of tourists to the state.