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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sarawak offers land to AirAsia for LCCT

KUCHING: The Sarawak government has offered a piece of land next to the Kuching International Airport to AirAsia Bhd to build a dedicated low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT), said Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan.

He said the LCCT would not only draw more air travellers but also boost the state's tourism industry and double its revenue.

“The state government has offered land to AirAsia to set up an LCCT here. Now, AirAsia just need to build the terminal. They (AirAsia and the state government) are talking seriously,” Dr Chan, also the state's Tourism and Heritage Minister, told Bernama yesterday.

AirAsia has plans to turn Sarawak into a low-cost air travel hub with extensive domestic and international connections.

The plan to set up an LCCT in Sarawak was because the airport tax of RM51 imposed at the KL International Airport was considered too high by travellers.

Dr Chan urged Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) to seriously consider reducing the airport tax and charges so as to develop new traffic and to further promote the state's tourism industry.

He said the high airport tax had hindered AirAsia from increasing flight frequency and introducing new routes in the state.

“It is a chicken and egg situation. MAHB should seriously consider lowering the airport tax or charging a minimum rate. It is better than having none, especially when the Miri, Sibu and Bintulu airports are not very busy.”

By Bernama

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