Thursday, October 30, 2008

South-East Asian air services to be further liberalised

Air services between capital cities in South-East Asia will be further liberalised by the end of the year.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat said his counterparts from Asean nations would meet early next month in Manila to ratify the Asean road map.

He said with the liberalisation, the frequency of flights and the number of airlines flying to and from a destination would no longer be limited by the governments.

“By 2015, this will be further extended to other cities. The final agreement will be made at the Asean Transport Ministers meeting in Manila,” he said.

Ong said besides the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur sector, they had opened up the sector between Singapore and Kota Kinabalu, Kuching and Miri.

He was speaking to reporters Sunday after welcoming passengers on Silk Air’s maiden flight from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

Silk Air, which is Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) sister company, will fly twice daily to Kuala Lumpur from Singapore from Sunday, while SIA flies five times daily. From Dec 1, both SIA and Silk Air will operate four flights daily each on that route.

Silk Air CEO Chin Yau Seng said, coupled with MAS, passengers would have a choice of 15 flights daily from the three airlines.

Malaysia Airports managing director Datuk Seri Bashir Ahmad said with Silk Air operating from KLIA, he expected air traffic to grow further.

“When we opened up the route (Singapore-KL) to Jetstar, Tiger Airways and AirAsia, in the first seven months of this year, traffic grew by 9%,” he said.

Source : STAR
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