BY DUWIN UDIH & SARAH HAFIZAH CHANDRA
MUKAH: The first MASWings flight into the new Mukah Aiport received a special warm welcome as the terminal building began its first day of official operations today.
MASWings Sdn Bhd stated that the Viking DHC6-400 Twin Otter flight MH3415 from Kuching arrived at Mukah safely at 10:05am and was given a water salute welcome by two Airport Fire and Rescue Service (AFRS) fire engines as special mark in giving significance of its first landing on the new airport.
“Upon arrival, the flight which carried five passengers was received by Tellian assemblyman Yussibnosh Balo and Balingian assemblyman Abdul Yakub Arbi. Both assemblymen had spent time on a walkabout of the new airport earlier.
Long-time serving and now retired old Mukah Stolport staff Clarence Anselm Mesni was also invited to the simple event.
“They eventually witnessed the first departure from the airport which was flight MH3414 bound for Kuching,” it said in a statement yesterday. The flight carried three passengers, New Sarawak Tribune noted.
In the statement, MASWings pointed out that under the Public Service Obligation (PSO) agreement signed with the government of Malaysia, it (MASWings) will operate a flight schedule into Mukah flying 28 times weekly from Kuching and vice versa, seven times weekly from Miri and vice versa, three times weekly from Sibu and vice versa as well as two times weekly from Bintulu and vice versa using its Viking Twin Otter fleet.
“However, in view of the ongoing movement control order (MCO) imposed nationwide, the return flights into Mukah are reduced to 21 times from Kuching and vice versa as well as five times from Miri and vice versa weekly.
“As the pulse of Borneo, MASWings a wholly owned subsidiary of Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) is committed to providing air connectivity within the region especially in accommodating for essential travels,” it said.
An unidentified lady, who was the last passenger to disembark the aircraft, was all smiles when arriving at the new airport.
“It is a historic moment for us to be the first group to step on the new airport here today (yesterday),” she said soon after coming out of the aircraft.
Mukah Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) manager Muhd Abd Hafiz @Talim Tepong and executive of STOLports Operations, Miri, David Cammarance Samuel Labo also attended the event.