Thursday, December 07, 2006

New MOU for ASEAN Air Travel - No limit to Tlights, Type of Aircraft

MoU a boost for air travel

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Asean partners Brunei, Indonesia and the Philippines which will see an unlimited number of flights to cities like Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Davao City and Bandar Seri Begawan.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy said Malaysia would be inking the agreement, which would further liberalise the aviation sector in the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines-East Asean Growth Area, in Cebu.

“This MoU is an important milestone for this region because it will realise the Asean aviation roadmap that was agreed upon sometime ago,” he told reporters after the Cabinet meeting here yesterday.

“Under the MoU, no limit will be put on the number of flights, type of aircraft as well as schedules of the airlines involved.

“There won’t even be a limit on the number of airlines a Government can designate to participate in this programme, and airlines are even free to pick up passengers from some cities and proceed to another destination.”

The cities involved in the MoU are Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Labuan and Miri in Malaysia; Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei; Balikpapan, Manado, Pontianak and Tarakan in Indonesia; and Davao City, General Santos, Puerto Princesa and Zamboanga in the Philippines.
For a start, Chan said Malaysia had designated Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia for the programme.

“Airlines can expect a lot of passenger movement within this region, particularly tourists, businessmen and investors. This liberal arrangement will be very good for Sabah and Sarawak,” he added.

Chan also said that KTM Komuter had registered a 15% increase in passenger ridership for the first three quarters of this year over the corresponding period last year.

“It also made 17% more in income. Last year, we had 22.58 million passengers using KTM Komuter. So far this year, we had 25.89 million passengers. At this rate, it won’t be long before we touch 33 million,'' he said.

With so many people using KTM Komuter, Chan said there had been complaints of packed trains during peak hours.

“It’s for this purpose that the Government has decided to refurbish some old coaches. We aim to reduce the waiting time for peak hours from 15 minutes to 10 minutes.''

Source : STAR
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