Sarawak has agreed in principle to take over MASwings, a subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines, as a means of setting up its own boutique airline and improving air connectivity with Sarawak.
The takeover was proposed by the federal government, stated Sarawak premier Abang Johari Openg, who added that negotiations are currently ongoing.
Sarawak plans to use local state-owned charter operator Hornbill Skyways (Kuching) to operate the new airline’s fleet of turboprop aircraft to connect Sarawak with Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok and several airports in Indonesia.
Earlier in April, Malaysia’s prime minister Anwar Ibrahim had agreed to the Sarawak state government’s request to form a boutique airline to fly to destinations beyond Borneo.
However, deputy transport minister Hasbi Habibollah revealed in Parliament on June 12 that Sarawak’s application in early April was incomplete and that the Ministry of Transport, through the Malaysian Aviation Commission ,will examine and consider the proposal after a completed application is submitted to the federal government for consideration.
Marketing In Asia reported that a decision on the possible rebranding of MASwings after the takeover remains uncertain – more details will be provided once the takeover procedure concludes.