KUCHING, Nov 25 — AirAsia hopes for more low-cost terminal and cheaper facilities to develop tourism in Sarawak.
Group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said if the airline gets low-cost airports, then the tourism industry will boom.
“I still think the airport tax is very high — RM50. (For instance), Kuching to China the airport tax is RM75. We think it’s too high,” he said in a media conference here, today.
Fernandes is in town to make a courtesy call on Chief Minister (CM) Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at his office in Wisma Bapa, today.
Fernandes said AirAsia is now looking for new places to promote and bring more tourists and jobs and lauded Sarawak for having done a good job in terms of domestic tourism.
“We have limited success in international. Only Singapore has been consistently going on well. In the next round of our expansion, Sarawak is very crucial.
“Read about the CM’s plan to invest in tourism infrastructure and came (here) to learn what are the plans — medical tourism, etc. We want to expand more flights (from Sarawak) into Indonesia,” he said.
Fernandes said since AirAsia started 18 years ago, the airline had carried 60 million people to Sarawak and fly-through increased by 43 per cent this year, with 73,000 people coming from different countries via Kuala Lumpur.
“We want to reinvest, we want to partner with the Sarawak government... a win-win scenario. And hope for assistance (in terms of) airport (low-cost).
“Spoke about e-commerce and logistics. We think a lot of Sarawak’s food products can be sold in Asia. We see a lot of potentials to allow entrepreneurs to sell their products to a larger audience. We need help and promotional materials,” he said. — Bernama