KUCHING: Sarawak is looking forward to more new direct routes and an increase in the frequency of direct flights from Singapore, Brunei and Indonesia, said Minister for Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.
He said Sarawak hoped to achieve its target of 1.2 million arrivals this year with the help of its airline partners.
“We welcome the reinstatement of AirAsia’s flight from Singapore to Kuching. Currently, we have reinstated more than 90% of flight frequencies during the pre-pandemic stage, with new added routes such as the Penang to Kuching route and Singapore to Miri route.
“This is certainly one of many milestones to come for Sarawak’s tourism sector as we embrace the transition to endemicity,” he said during the in a press conference after welcoming AirAsia’s inaugural flight from Singapore to Kuching at Kuching International Airport here yesterday.
Karim believed that the resumption of international flights came at the right time for both tourists and locals in Sarawak, who had been excitedly anticipating and planning their travels.
“On top of that, the relaxation of standard operating procedures (SOP) starting May 1 onwards, including the lifting of requirements of Covid-19 tests for pre-departure and arrivals, mask mandates for outdoors and MySejahtera check-ins announced by the Health Ministry is another positive development for tourism activities to resume normally,” he added.
He said that Sarawak had also increased its domestic flight frequency from 562 flights to 615 flights as of April 7, 2022.
“Visitors from West Malaysia can take direct flights to Sarawak’s 3 gateways, namely Kuching (Southern Region), Miri (Northern Region) and Sibu (Central Region).
“For visitors wanting to fly directly to the southern region, they can take direct flights from Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Ipoh, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Langkawi and Kota Bahru to Kuching.
“For the northern region, visitors can fly directly from Kuala Lumpur and Johor to Miri. Meanwhile, for those who are interested to visit the central region can take direct flights from Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru and Penang to Sibu. We foresee that there will be many more to come in the near future,” he pointed out.
The Singapore flight -flight AK 1776- landed with 180 passengers at the Kuching International Airport at 3.55 pm.