Monday, June 11, 2007

FAX failed Sabah, Sarawak

Sabah wants Fly Asian Xpress to take immediate measures to effectively overcome the poor domestic service for Sabah and Sarawak.

Local tourism was being jeopardised and passengers left stranded, said State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun.

He lamented that FAX did not care for the rural services especially when flights were delayed or abruptly cancelled.

“It has affected passenger confidence as well as tourism efforts in both Sabah and Sarawak,” Masidi said, commenting on the spate of flight cancellations and delays that affected travellers to and from Lahad Datu, Bintulu, Sibu and here over the last four days.

Passengers had complained of being stranded for nearly 24 hours with little help from FAX ground staff.

FAX in a statement on Friday apologised for the cancellations and blamed it on unscheduled maintenance of its Fokker 50 aircraft. The airline had said that it was trying to get service back to normal by Tuesday.

“As we see it, FAX has not been efficient and cancellations and delays are occurring nearly every day,” Masidi said.

He said Malaysia Airlines should take back the services as they had a better track record.

Masidi said domestic tourism could only grow if there is an efficient and reliable air transport service and if FAX does not improve then the objectives of Visit Malaysia 2007 might not be achieved.

According to news reports quoting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy, a new subsidiary of MAS – MAS Wings Sdn Bhd – will take over the Sabah and Sarawak rural air service in stages from Oct 1.

MAS Wings will use existing turboprop or propeller-driven aircraft currently operated by FAX.

Source : STAR
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