Air rationalisation issue unsettles travel agents
Borneo Post October 6, 2011, ThursdayKUCHING: Travel agents are appealing to the state government to have a chat with the federal government to settle unnerving air connectivity issues which have sprouted up following the recent share swap between several stakeholders of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and AirAsia.
Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) Sarawak chairman Matthew Chen said the matter should not be allowed to drag on as it was affecting inbound and outbound tours.
For outbound travels, the air rationalisation exercise would create inconveniences to travellers, which include losses in terms of time and money from ticketing and refunds.
For inbound travels, travel agents would have problems planning proper itinerary for overseas tourists.
“If Sarawak wants to have more tourists coming here, and then there’s the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), the state government really need to sit down with the federal government to thrash out this issue.
“Alternatively, the state government should look into ways to boost air connectivity,” Chen told a press conference yesterday.
He pointed out that at the moment, the state depended a lot on MAS and Air Asia.
“If Firefly terminates its service by the end of this month, and if there is no other airlines coming, we will be affected on the domestic side.”
Chen, who said that the state depended a lot on tourists from North Asia and Europe, said it would be difficult to tap other markets if there was a big question mark hanging over air connectivity.
He also highlighted fears that limited airlines operating in the state could translate to mean higher fare charges.