10 October 2009
Kota Kinabalu: MASwings received its 6th ATR aircraft, which arrived Kota Kinabalu from Subang earlier today. This additional aircraft adding up to its current fleet will fortify MASwings commitment in enhancing its connectivity and comfort to the travelling public in Sabah and Sarawak.
MASwings Managing Director, Mohd Salleh Ahmad Tabrani said, “The delivery of the 6th ATR will enable MASwings to fulfil it’s obligation to offer daily frequencies which are required to provide air connectivity to the people of Sabah and Sarawak”.
The 6th ATR will be used to replace the Fokker 50 routing from Kota Kinabalu to Labuan, Sandakan, Tawau and Sibu-Kuching sectors effective 25 October 2009. The introduction of the ATR will increase additional overall seat capacity by 1008 passenger per week or 28% injection on the above routes and certain route will experience a massive increase by 36% without changes in the flight frequencies. The overall combined seat capacity for these three routes are 3644 per week before the introduction of the ATR and will increase to 4652 per week after 25 October 2009. MASwings will be able to cater higher seats capacity as compared to the previous operational model using the Fokker 50.
“The ATR will enable us to expand our capacity, meeting the future demand in air travel within Sabah and Sarawak, and connect more customers worldwide to the two states which are ideal destinations for business and tourism” Salleh added.
The 6th ATR which took the sky from Toulouse, France on 30 September 2009 arrived Subang on 5 October 2009 has undergone maintenance checks and was then certified airworthy by the Department of Civil Aviation in Subang on the 9 October 2009 with the registration number 9M-MWF.
Speaking during the official delivery ceremony in Toulouse France is the CEO of ATR, Mr Stephan Meyer, who mentioned that “ The ATR is clearly the right choice for MASwings operations due to its environmentally friendly engine that emits less carbon that is harmful to the tropical jungles if Sabah and Sarawak. It also enables MASwings to provide air connectivity to the interior of Sabah and Sarawak that has shorter runway such as Limbang and Mulu”.
The Managing Director of MASwings, Encik Mohd Salleh Ahmad Tabrani during the occasion said “The delivery of the 6th ATR reinforces MASwings commitment to provide air travel services that are safe, reliable, punctual and consistent to the people of Sabah and Sarawak whilst keeping the operational cost low which is the major advantages of the ATR aircraft due to it’s low fuel consumption and maintenance requirement”.
MASwings is very much on track with its fleet replacement initiative. The Fokker 50 aircraft will be replaced with ATR72-500 periodically and this entire aging fleet will be phased out by April 2010.
MASwings ATR cabin is configured to 68 seats with 31”inches pitch seats which offers wider and spacious cabin, thus providing comfort for travellers. Amongst the additional facility made available in the ATR is the in-flight entertainment screen, which showcases the destinations in Sabah and Sarawak, which ultimately provides information for the travelling public especially foreign travellers.
Meanwhile, MASwings 7th ATR is expected to be delivered on 31 December 2009. With the recent recruitment and graduation of MASwings cabin crews in Sabah, MASwings is currently working with both Sabah and Sarawak tourism bodies to enhance the knowledge of its cabin crew by providing them tourism product information which training will be conducted by both tourism bodies. This product enhancement will be extended to its existing crews by stages. With the product enrichment, our cabin crew will be more equipped with product knowledge to supply for our customers as we strive to provide excellent service in line with our vision to be a Five Star value carrier.
MASwings commenced its operations on October 1 2007, offers 700 weekly flights, which serves a network of 22 destinations in Sarawak and Sabah as well as the Federal Territory of Labuan. It currently has a fleet of 5 Fokker 50, 4 Twin Otter aircraft and 6 ATR72.