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Sarawak-owned airline to lead to lower air fares for Sarawakians returning home from Peninsula, says premier’s pol-sec

Publish date: Sun, 14 Apr 2024, 10:40 PM

KUCHING, April 14 — The Sarawak-owned airline, which is expected to begin operations in 2025, will foster competition and potentially lead to lower ticket prices for Sarawakians travelling to the Peninsula or returning home, said chief political secretary to the Premier Fazzrudin Abdul Rahman.

According to him, flight tickets are extremely expensive for festive occasions.

“Currently, when searching for air tickets for a return trip to Kuala Lumpur, the fares range from approximately RM800 to RM1,000 or more. This is a relatively high cost,” he told reporters when met after the conclusion of his Hari Raya Aidilftri open house at Hikmah Exchange here today.

When asked about potential discounts on air fares for students returning home during the upcoming Gawai celebration, the Tupong assemblyman suggested to wait for announcements by airline companies or Transport Ministry.

“For Aidilfitri, subsidies were announced. However, the Graduan Pulang Sarawak (GPS) initiative, which is conducted in partnership with Sarawak Volunteers and Sarawak Foundation, remains a constant support.

“Students can apply twice a year and the choice of using it during festive or holiday seasons is up to the students. This is an annual incentive for our Sarawakian students (in Peninsula),” he said.

When asked about the number of students who applied for this Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Fazzrudin said he had yet to receive any data.

“Nevertheless, there are students who applied for Aidilfitri, holiday breaks and different celebrations. Typically, we await the data for a (particular) year then ascertain the figures. On average, we’ve assisted some 10,000 to 12,000 Sarawakian students,” he added.

Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg had previously announced the airline was expected to commence in 2025, and the acquisition had been agreed upon in principle by the Malaysian Aviation Commission, Transport Ministry and Malaysia Aviation Group.

He had said the current focus was on discussing the technical aspects of the acquisition, and expected it to be concluded by August this year or latest by this year’s end. — The Borneo Post

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