Sarawak cuts down Sibu, Miri flights to ease pressure on Covid-19 quarantine spots

A Malaysian health quarantine officer waits for passengers at a thermal screening point at the international arrival terminal of Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang January 21, 2020. — Reuters pic
A Malaysian health quarantine officer waits for passengers at a thermal screening point at the international arrival terminal of Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang January 21, 2020. — Reuters pic

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KUCHING, Jan 7 — Airline flights frequency from Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu and Labuan to Sibu and Miri will be reduced from January 9 until further notice, in accordance with the State Disaster Management Committee’s (SDMC) decision two days ago.

State Minister of Transport MOT) Datuk Lee Kim Shin said the decision was based on the requests for flight reduction received from the Sibu and Miri Division Disaster Management Committees.

He said this is taking into consideration the limited number of hotel rooms available for quarantine purposes and the rising number of Covid-19 cases in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah.

“Acting on SDMC’s decision, my ministry has written to MAS, AirAsia, and Maswings on January 5 on the approved flights,” he said, adding that the new schedule will take effect on Saturday, January 9.

He said MAS schedules from Kuala Lumpur to Sibu is only Wednesday, starting on January 13 while AirAsia approved flight will be Saturday, starting January 9.

Lee said he has informed AirAsia that its last flight from Johor Baru to Sibu is on Saturday, January 9.

“Thereafter, there will be no more flight from Johor to Sibu until further notice,” he added.

Lee said the approved MAS flights from Kuala Lumpur to Miri is on Sunday, starting on January 10 and Thursday, January 14.

He said the AirAsia flights from Kuala Lumpur to Miri will be on Saturday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and from Kota Kinabalu, on Tuesday and Friday.

Lee said AirAsia approved flight to Miri from Johor Baru is only on Tuesday.

He said MasWings flights from Labuan are on Monday and Thursday.

He said in planning the overall flight schedule, each airline is given a different flight timing in order to assist them to have a better passenger load for their flight.

“I would like to remind all airlines to only sell flight tickets according to the flight schedule approved by SDMC.

“This is important to provide reliable flight services to the public in the state.

“In addition, the public is advised to book or purchase flight tickets based on the SDMC latest approved flight schedule,” he said, adding that the airlines are reminded not to cancel any flight last minute that had been approved by SDMC to avoid the unnecessary problem to the public.

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