Sunday, December 11, 2011
AirAsia monopoly on lucrative Sandakan route
AirAsia will now have monopoly on the route between Kuala Lumpur and Sandakan, as Malaysian Airlines (MAS) subsidiary airline Firefly has axed its flights between the two destinations.
Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department Datuk Edward Khoo expressed disappointment at the decision, saying the reduced number of airlines operating direct flights between Sandakan and Kuala Lumpur was not fair to the people of Sandakan.
“MAS used to have daily return direct flights between Sandakan and Kuala Lumpur, and then Firefly came in to serve this route, so MAS stopped doing it,” Mr Khoo said.
Now the decision to stop MAS fights clearly shows a monopoly of the route by a single airline, defeating State Governments recent efforts to promote the east coast as a tourism destination.
These flights may later be operated by MASwings smaller aircraft, however may not be suitable as there are many tourists as well as business people flying in and out of Sandakan stated Mr Khoo.
Not only impacting on Sandakan, air travel to other towns in Sabah will be affected as well.
Mr Khoo said he was informed that MAS would be withdrawing its two Boeing flights from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan and vice versa from 8 December.