Saturday, November 5, 2011

Flights study since August to identify impact on Sarawak’s poor

Borneo Post November 1, 2011, Tuesday
KUCHING: The Economic Bureau of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera (PBB) youth wing says a thorough study, which will conclude in a week or two, will accurately identify the impact of the stoppage of MAS, AirAsia and Firefly flights within Sarawak on low-income earners in the state.
Bureau chief Abdul Aziz Adenan said the results of the study would help the  government and Khazanah Nasional, the federal government’s investment arm, to make a decision and enact a better aviation policy for the state.
“The bureau is conducting the study to identify in detail the real impact, particularly on low-income earners, Sarawak’s tourism industry and small and medium industries,” he told Bernama yesterday.
Abdul Aziz said the study involved several bureau members as respondents who have booked, bought and flew on the three airlines in the Sarawak air routes.
He said the study would consider factors like airfare, additional costs charged, flight delays, check-in facilities, baggage limit, food and passengers’ treatment by the airlines.
Abdul Aziz hoped swirling rumours that Khazanah Nasional would stop all flights within Sabah and Sarawak were not true as it would mean victimisation of  low-income earners in the two states.
“People in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Penang enjoy the option of flying on AirAsia or Firefly while low-income earners in Sarawak are forced to swallow AirAsia’s monopoly,” he said, adding that MAS’ announcement that Firefly flights within Sarawak would be substituted with ‘full premium service’ airlines meant exorbitant airfares for low-income earners in ths states.
Abdul Aziz said his bureau supported Sarawak Tourism Federation (STF) and Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) Sarawak Chapter on their disappointment over stoppage of Firefly flights to Sarawak.
He also supported STF’s call for Sarawak to have its own aviation policy. — Bernama

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