MIRI, March 7 — Miri mayor Adam Yii yesterday urged airlines to consider direct flights from overseas to Miri in addition to the usual routes, taking into account its status as a resort city in Sarawak.

Yii said he was looking forward to this because Miri needs direct flights from abroad to help boost its tourism industry and also its economy.

“We hope it is from China, Japan or Korea. But this matter is up to and under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Tourism and also (the Ministry of) Transport,” he told reporters here.

He was asked if there was a proposal to apply for direct flights from abroad to Miri, following the move by Scoot, a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, to expand its flight destinations to South-east Asia by including Sibu and Miri.

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“If you look at what’s happening in Sabah, now they have a direct flight to Tawau (from China). That’s why I want to come to Tawau, to see what advantages there are.

“I also thought, if they could implement it (direct flights to Tawau), why not to Miri,” he said, adding that compared to Tawau, Miri is a resort city, which is also a tourist attraction.

Firefly Airlines started its first direct flight from Nanjing, China to Tawau in January this year, three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

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Earlier, in a related development, Yii expressed his happiness with Scoot’s move to include Miri in its flight destinations directly from Singapore.

Starting this May, Scoot will operate direct flights from Singapore using their new aircraft, the Embraer E190-E2, with a capacity of 112 passengers, while at the same time increasing the number of flights, from three to four times a week.

“This is better, with a capacity of 112 passengers, but four times a week and if there is more demand, I am sure Scoot will increase the number of flights.

“For me, there will be more frequent flights in and out of Miri (from Singapore), than there are now. Therefore, I am very happy with this latest development and I am very confident that in the future, Scoot will increase the number of flights to Miri directly from Singapore,” he added. — The Borneo Post