Air Asia chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes hopes for more low-cost terminal and cheaper facilities to develop tourism in Sarawak and says if the airline gets low-cost airports, the tourism industry will boom.
He said that the airport tax is very high which is RM50. Kuching to China the airport tax was RM75, previously. Now, it’s RM50, he said he still thinks it’s too high.
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 had carried 60 million people to Sarawak and fly-through increased by 43% this year, with 73,000 people coming from different countries via Kuala Lumpur.
“We want to reinvest, we want to partner with the Sarawak government...a win-win scenario. And hope for assistance (in terms of) airport (low-cost).
He mentioned on Sarawak’s food products which can be sold in Asia. He said that there is a lot of potentials to allow entrepreneurs to sell their products to a larger audience. “We need help and promotional materials,” he said.
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