AIRASIA Bhd hopes for more lowcost terminal and cheaper facilities to develop tourism in Sarawak. Group CEO Tan Sri Dr Tony Fernandes (picture) said if the airline gets low-cost airports, then the tourism industry will boom.
“I still think the airport tax is very high — RM50. Kuching to China, the airport tax was RM75 previously. Now, it’s RM50, we still think it’s too high,” he said in a media conference in Kuching, Sarawak, yesterday.
Fernandes is in town to make a courtesy call on Chief Minister (CM) Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at his office in Wisma Bapa yesterday.
Fernandes said AirAsia is now looking for new places to promote and bring more tourists and jobs and lauded Sarawak for having done a good job in terms of domestic tourism. “We have limited success in international. Only Singapore has been consistently going on well. In the next round of our expansion, Sarawak is very crucial.
“Read about the CM’s plan to invest in tourism infrastructure and came (here) to learn what are the plans — medical tourism, etc. We want to expand more flights (from Sarawak) into Indonesia,” he said.
Fernandes said since AirAsia started 18 years ago, the airline have been carrying 60 million people to Sarawak and fly-through increased by 43% this year, with 73,000 people coming from different countries via Kuala Lumpur.
“Spoke about e-commerce and logistics. We think a lot of Sarawak’s food products can be sold in Asia. We see a lot of potentials to allow entrepreneurs to sell their products to a larger audience. We need help and promotional materials,” he said. — Bernama