Sarawak Cuts Incoming Flights Amid Surge In COVID-19 Cases

KUCHING: The Sarawak government has reduced the number of flights into the state starting tomorrow, partly due to a spike in COVID-19 cases, said state Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin.

He said other reasons for this move are the limited number of hotel rooms available for quarantine purposes and the imposition of the Movement Control Order (MCO) in Sibu and the Conditional CMO (CMCO) in Kuching and Miri.

Lee said this decision was made at the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) meeting yesterday.

“This was made based on various reasons such as CMCO in Kuching and Miri that have been declared as red zones from Jan 13 until 26. In addition, starting Jan 16 until 29, the Movement Control Order (MCO) will be enforced in Sibu Division,” he said in a statement today.

To help airlines weather this challenging period of the pandemic, each airline will be given a different flight timing for them to achieve better passenger loads, he added.

“The latest information on flight schedule approved by SDMC has been disseminated to the public through the social media. We trust that the public will be fully aware of the changes in flight schedule to help them to better organise their travel plan during this COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

He said acting on the SDMC decision, his ministry had informed MAS, Air Asia, Malindo and Maswings on Jan 14 on the approved flights into Sarawak.

“The public are also strongly advised to book or purchase their flight tickets based on the SDMC latest approved flight schedule published in the social media.

They can also check the latest flight schedule at the Ministry of Transport, Sarawak website at mot.sarawak.gov.my,” he added.

Lee said starting Jan 15, the approved number of weekly flights from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching is only 13 compared to 28 arrivals previously.

The approved weekly flight arrivals from Kuala Lumpur to Miri have been reduced from 19 to four; from Kuala Lumpur to Bintulu, 10 to four; while from Kuala Lumpur to Sibu from five to two.