Sibu Heritage Centre in the morning. This is where handicrafts are sold, including old banknotes, and used postal stamps. Image: Shutterstock

Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) launched its inaugural flight to Sibu yesterday via its RB Link, making it the 29th destination for the national carrier.

RB’s Senior Vice President of Sales Ai-ling Ng said that RB is delighted to introduce the Sarawakian town as RB’s latest stop, operating six times weekly using the brand new ATR 72-600 operated by Malindo Air.

“The new connection is the fourth destination in Malaysia and it is another important and exciting step towards RB’s goal to make travel easier within Borneo and beyond,” she said.

On his part, Group Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Airports Raja Azmi Raja Nazuddin trusts that the new international route will benefit Sibu by boosting its tourism offerings to potential visitors.

According to the CEO, Sibu Airport has recorded a 12.7 per cent increase in passenger movement in the last nine months, compared to the previous year.

Aerial view of Sibu city town of Sarawak. Image: Shutterstock

“(Therefore) we are pleased to welcome Royal Brunei Airlines to Sibu Airport, its fourth new destination in Malaysia after Sandakan, Bintulu and Tawau in the recent weeks,” he said

Meanwhile, CEO of Sarawak Tourism Board Sharzede Datu Hjh Salleh Askor said that with the connectivity provided by RB, Sibu can look forward to being accessible to the world through an important hub, Bandar Seri Begawan.

“Not only (will) it serves as a link for local business communities to the outside world but it (will) facilitate the growth of tourism into Sibu and the central growth,” she said.

“The connection augurs well for the central region as the Sarawak Tourism Board is currently pursuing an aggressive promotion campaign which we have recently launched in Europe and we are expecting tourist movement early next year,” the CEO added.

RB’s Senior Vice President of Sales Ai-ling Ng seen delivering her speech during the launch of the inaugural flight to Sibu. Image: Courtesy of RB.

Sharing the same sentiments was Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture, Sarawak YB Datuk Hj Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

“With the central region, high on our promotional listing especially in domestic and international markets, we hope for more collaborative efforts with our local tourism partners including those from RB,” he said.

He added: “We are highlighting Sarawak’s Central region a role model in the provision of beautiful and attractive destinations and places of interest, all fitting on our Visit Sarawak Campaign or VSC’s theme on Culture, Adventure, Nature, Food and Festival (CANFF).”

YB Datuk Hj Abdul Karim said with various tourism opportunities available, he called upon tourism partners to take the opportunity to grow their businesses.

File photo of the ATR 72-600 operated by Malindo Air. Image: Rafidah Hamit

“Equally, the local people must not miss this prospect to capitalize on the growing tourism business.”

Also present during the launching ceremony were Consulate General of Brunei Darussalam in Kuching, Mohammad Kamaluddin; Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture of Sarawak, Hii Chang Kee and Senior Manager, Route Development Malaysia Airport Holdings Berhad, Zainuddin Mohamed.

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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