KUCHING, June 15 — Sarawak has agreed in principle to take over MASwings Sdn Bhd as proposed by the federal government instead of proceeding with its own boutique airline, state Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg said today.
He said the state government will do its due diligence first before making the final decision to take over MASwings from national carrier Malaysia Airlines.
“The second aspect that we have to look into is that MASwings must have routes beyond Borneo,” he told reporters after witnessing the signing of a contract between state-owned Hornbill Skyways Sdn Bhd and Petronas and its associated Petroleum Arrangement Contractors and the signing of technical services agreement between Hornbill Skyways and HAS International Sdn Bhd here.
He said the state government wants MASwings to operate on regional routes.
“The idea is we want to moderate the fares, particularly within Malaysia.
“At the moment, the airline is not allowed to fly to Kuala Lumpur. We want to fly to Kuala Lumpur as well as Singapore,” he said, adding that MASwings must be allowed to fly outside the domestic routes.
He also said a decision will be made later on whether to retain the name MASwings or change it, if Sarawak confirms it will take over the company.
“Just wait until the takeover is complete,” he said.
Abang Johari said the airline will switch to sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) that the Sarawak produces if it does take over MASwings.
He said the microalgae plant in Sejingkat is capable of producing 10,000 barrels of SAF per day.
MASwings is a regional airline operating the Rural Air Services in Sarawak and Sabah.