1:44 pm - Saturday November 25, 2017

Gov’t ready to open Rural Air Services routes to commercial airlines: Liow

Liow Tiong Lai

MO,9/11/2017, KUALA LUMPUR: The government is ready to open the Rural Air Services (RAS) routes to more commercial flights to better service the communities in Sabah and Sarawak said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai. Liow said the application by the commercial airlines should be according to terms and conditions set by the government and that there will be no subsidy for airlines applying for the RAS routes.

“As long as the airlines are interested, they can make an official application to the Malaysian Aviation Commission. “Currently, the RAS is majorly used by MASwings, which is fully subsidised by the government as we prioritise the needs of the people, especially those in the rural areas. “The fees on MASwings are based on the ceiling price approved by the government,” Liow said during in his budget winding up speech at the Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday.

Liow also addressed the questions by Julian Tan Kok Ping (Stampin-DAP) and Alice Lau Kiong Yieng (Lanang-DAP) if commercial airlines’ flight fees will be subsided for flights on the Rural Air Services (RAS) routes. “If other commercial flights are able to fly using the RAS routes such as Kuching to Bintulu, the airlines are welcomed to apply to use the routes.

However, there will be no subsidised tickets for the flights,” he said, stressing that airlines taking on the RAS routes need to assure the government that they will put the people’s needs first. “If AirAsia plans to use the route then they should be able to come up with a mid-term plan so the routes are fully utilised.”

He added that the government has to be fair towards MASwings over the issue as the local flight carrier is offering low priced tickets according to the ceiling rate imposed by the government.

–NSTP

Filed in: Dari Bumi Kenyalang, Nasional, Negeri Di Bawah Bayu, Topik Pilihan

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