The annual event that gathers key players in the airline industry will be held in Malaysia for the fifth time since its inception in 2003, with the Ministry of Tourism Sarawak as host and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad as co-host.
Hotels owners and major tourism sector officials acknowledge the problems that Sarawak faces with airline connectivity, which the event will likely feature at the forefront of its agenda.
Sarawak welcomed around 4 million tourists in 2012 and is targeting a jump to around 6 million by 2014.
Kuala Lumpur-based low-cost carrier Malindo Air, a joint venture between Malaysia’s National Aerospace Defence Industries and Indonesia’s largest domestic carrier Lion Air, recently launched a new route to Kuching from Kuala Lumpur – targeting competitive rates with quality amenities.
Malaysia Airlines’ subsidiary MASwings, which serves regional destinations in Sarawak and Sabah, has also said it will step flight frequencies.
Other airlines serving Sarawak are AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines, Tiger Airways, SilkAir and TransAsia Airways.
Air transport to Sarawak is served by four major airports: Kuching International Airport, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri Airports.