KUCHING, 3 December 2021: Sarawak added another milestone to its tourism journey by welcoming Malaysia Airlines’ inaugural direct flight (MH2721) from Penang that landed at the Kuching International Airport on Thursday.
The return of direct flights between Penang and Kuching was witnessed by the Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture (MTAC) Sarawak Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Head of Sales Roslan Ismail and MAS top officials, along with the MTAC Permanent Secretary and Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) Deputy Chairman Hii Chang Kee, STB Chief Executive Officer Puan Sharzede Datu Haji Salleh Askor and Maswings Chief Operating Officer Captain Nasaruddin A. Bakar.
Commenting on the restoration of an important air route between two of Malaysia’s top tourist destinations, Abdul Karim said: “Sarawak is nestled on the beautiful island of Borneo, separated from Peninsular Malaysia by the South China Sea. One of the ways in and out of the island is by air connectivity. It is so good to see that we are also now connected via Malaysia Airlines to another beautiful island, Penang.”
“With travel restrictions easing up in Sarawak, the state is looking forward to seeing more new direct routes restored to increase the frequency of direct flights from Malaysia gateway cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Johor and Kota Kinabalu, and greater collaboration with Malaysia Airlines,” said Karim.
“Safety will always be our main priority, with stringent SOPs enforced so that travellers will have peace of mind while travelling to Sarawak. Fully vaccinated domestic travellers from all states in the country will not need to undergo quarantine upon arrival to Sarawak and no PCR or RTK Covid-19 tests are needed prior to departure. The only requirement needed is the application for ‘Enter Sarawak’ for non-Sarawakians and filling in the e-Health declaration form.”
Upon arrival, the passengers on Boeing 738 were greeted by Sarawakian cultural performances to celebrate connectivity between the two islands. Flights will operate twice weekly on the Penang-Kuching route with an average fare of MYR209 per trip. The Boeing 738 has 16 business class and 144 economy class seats.
Malaysia Aviation Group chief executive officer, Captain Izham Ismail said, “Malaysia Airlines is honoured to recommence operations between two key domestic sectors — Penang and Sarawak with a twice-weekly flight.
“As the national carrier of the country, we play a unique role in stimulating the travel and tourism industry. This move is very timely as air travel gradually picks up domestically, and we are ready to serve business and leisure travellers with the connectivity they need.
“Our sister company, MASwings is also supporting with the increase of operations from Kuching to Miri to 12 times weekly starting 1 December 2021. This signifies our commitment to providing better air connectivity within Malaysia as well as into the rural areas of Borneo,” added Captain Izham.
Sarawak Tourism Board chief executive officer Puan Sharzede Datu Haji Salleh Askor said: “We are heartened to welcome passengers from Penang to Sarawak. A unique plethora of culture, adventure, nature, food, and festivals, we are certain travellers from Penang will enjoy the many offerings of Sarawak.”
“We extend our appreciation to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak and Malaysian Airlines for the addition of the new route, and we look forward to welcoming more visitors from Penang during the upcoming holiday season.”
For more information on the Penang-Kuching flight schedule and fares, visit the Malaysia Airlines website at:
Or visit the airline’s homepage: www.malaysiaairlines.com/my/en.html
Sarawak Tourism Board
Information on travel SOPs is listed on the Sarawak Tourism Board’s website at: https://sarawaktourism.com/travel-advisory/.