Malaysia Airlines’ (MAS) new regional carrier MASWings launched services today in the eastern Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak.
MASWings was established to take back the operation of government-subsidised turboprop services between Sabah and Sarawak, as well as services within each state. Its inaugural flight was carried out this morning between Miri and Mulu.
The new airline has taken over the services of privately-owned carrier Fly Asian Xpress, which has now dropped its short-haul flying and is instead switching to long-haul operations under the AirAsia X name.
Fly Asian Xpress only took over subsidised East Malaysia turboprop operations last year but several months ago asked that the Government hand them back to MAS.
MAS says MASWings’ operations are starting with four Fokker 50s and four de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otters. Another three Fokker 50s and one more Twin Otter will be added on 28 October and by 1 December it will have eight Fokker 50s and five Twin Otters.
Plans call for the new airline to be serving 21 destinations in Sabah and Sarawak, with 451 weekly flights. MAS has also said it plans to order new ATR and Twin Otter turboprops for MASWings.