KOTA KINABALU, Oct 29 — Sabah Air Aviation Sdn Bhd (SAASB) says it still needs to develop a robust business plan before it can explore the possibility of acquiring an equity of MASwings.
Its chairman, Datuk Kenny Chua, said in a statement that while SAASB keeps a close eye on building a long-term cooperation with Sarawak’s Hornbill Skyways Sdn Bhd in the interest of the Borneo region, there are details that it still needs to iron out.
“Firstly, I congratulate the Sarawak government for making a big step toward the acquisition of equity of MASwings.
“The Sabah government certainly aims at moving toward the same direction. But at this point of time, we, the SAASB, need to ensure that we have a robust business plan first,” he said in a statement on Sunday.
SAASB is a Sabah government-linked company registered in 1975 and is one of the oldest general aviation companies in the country.
Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg had announced a few days ago that a joint committee would be set up to explore the possibility of including the Sabah government in the equity acquisition of MASwings in the interest of rural air services in Sabah.
This came after the Sarawak government, Hornbill Skyways Sdn Bhd and Malaysian Aviation Group (MAG) signed an MoU for the management of rural air services by acquiring shares of MASwings Sdn Bhd.
The MoU was a crucial step toward the takeover of MASwings, which would eventually become Sarawak’s own airline.
Abang Johari said his government was open to Sabah to come on board.
Previously, Chua had said that SAASB needed to develop a robust business plan before launching its airline operations after considering the lessons learnt from the recent suspension of MYAirline’s operations.
He had said that he could not provide a timeframe to establish Sabah’s own airline, which was previously expected to take off by next year, until SAASB has developed a well-thought-out business plan. — Borneo Post