Saturday, June 15

Sarawak wants to emulate success of Emirates Airline – Abang Jo

Sarawak wants to emulate the success of Dubai-based carrier, Emirates Airline in its mission to establish the state owned airline.

Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said the airline which was founded in the 1980s was a form of investment by the government of Dubai that opened up economic activities in the region as a whole.

“Emirates also offers very competitive fares and if you think of it, how are they going to make money?… But it is part of their investment.

“We can see today Dubai has become a centre in the Middle East as a connectivity point. 30 years ago Dubai was just a desert with nothing there but today it is flourishing,” he said in his speech during the opening ceremony of Mercure Hotel here, today.

On Nov 23, State Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Dr Jerip Susil said the Sarawak government is currently conducting due diligence on MASWings Sdn Bhd in preparation for its acquisition.

Negotiations are also ongoing with Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) and Khazanah Nasional Bhd to acquire the shares in MASWings.

Abang Johari said when the state government first declared its intention to take over MASWings some people were sceptical about it.

“People were sceptical whether we can manage it or not… But I can tell you that this is an investment that we put in, we don’t ask what the return is.

“To measure the success of the takeover it should be based on the state GDP (Gross domestic product) because once people come in they will spend money and the economy will be flourishing that is where our measurement of success should be,” he added. – Bernama

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