|Founded||1 October 2007|
|Company slogan||Your Airline|
|Parent company||Malaysia Airlines|
|Headquarters||Kota Kinabalu International Airport
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
|Key people||Captain Ritzerwan Rashid (CEO)|
MASwings Sendirian Berhad is a regional airline operating the Rural Air Services (RAS) in East Malaysia. It took over the RAS previously operated by FlyAsianXpress. The first flight was on 1 October 2007, which is also the anniversary of the founding of Malaysia Airlines in 1972. Its headquarters are located in MAS/MASwings Administration Building, Kota Kinabalu International Airport, Sabah. Previously its head office was located in the Beautiful Jade Centre in Miri.
MASwings is a wholly owned subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines. The state government of Sabah and Sarawak are interested to takeover the airline to enhance connectivity in the two states.In July 2015, Minister of Tourism Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Abang Openg announced that negotiations between the Sabah & Sarawak government and Khazanah Nasional Berhad will be started soon.
BIMP-EAGA (first phase)
On 2 December 2009, The Star reported that MASwings planned to begin flying to the Philippines, Kalimantan and Sulawesi by the middle of 2010. However, due to certain circumstances, they could not begin flying on some these routes yet, with the exception of Pontianak, Balikpapan and Tarakan, in the Kalimantan region.
On 26 June 2010, MASwings had been exploring the possibility of serving regional routes on the Brunei Indonesia Malaysia Philippines-East Asian Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), specifically Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei, Cebu and Davao in the Philippines, Pontianak, Balikpapan and Tarakan in Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Irian Jaya, Indonesia. On 21 December 2010, MASwings' Managing Director Mohd Salleh Ahmad Tabrani confirmed these routes and was waiting for the approval of the relevant authorities.
Exactly 11 months later, on 26 May 2011, during a lunch session with the press, the new Managing Director for MASwings, Datuk Capt Mohd Nawawi Awang, said in a statement that he is confident that the first phase of the expansion plan, between Kota Kinabalu and Bandar Seri Begawan, and between Kuching and Pontianak, will take off by July 2011. He also said that if the flights were successful, they will also introduce routes from Kota Kinabalu to Tawau and Tarakan and from Kuching to Mulu and Bandar Seri Begawan.
On 22 June 2011, Brunei's national carrier Royal Brunei Airlines announced in a press release that flights between Brunei and Kuching will be suspended after the last scheduled flight in July 2011, along with suspension of services between Auckland, Brisbane, Perth and Ho Chi Minh City in October 2011. This was part of the airline's "comprehensive and sustainable plan to improve its operations, financial performance and customer service experience". Royal Brunei Airlines' Deputy Chairman Dermot Mannion said that the reduction of services is a difficult decision for the airline but also said that it was "the first step towards creating a stronger foundation that will allow the airline to enhance value customers, employees and society". The suspension of these services immediately prompted MASwings to restart routes between Brunei and Sarawak because the suspension will have adverse effect on Sarawak's tourism as Brunei International Airport is the main regional transit hub for flights between Sabah and Sarawak with international destinations.
On 15 July 2011, MASwings announced that if everything goes as planned, the airline will begin flying between Kota Kinabalu and Bandar Seri Begawan, and between Kuching and Pontianak in October 2011.
However, on 11 September 2011, it was reported that Malaysia's Ministry of Transport has yet to give approval for MASwings to begin flying on the BIMP-EAGA region, postponing the launch date for the routes. Sarawak was not being served since RBA's suspension of flights between Bandar Seri Begawan and Kuching. On 12 September 2011, in an immediate reaction to the delay, BIMP-EAGA's Malaysia Tourism Council chairman, Datuk Wee Hong Seng, said the council "cannot understand why it (the approval) is taking so long". At that time, MASwings was trying to secure the approval to operate flights between Brunei and Kuching following the cancellation of the flights originally operated by Royal Brunei Airlines. Datuk Wee also said that the slow decision has nothing to do with the policies of the three other countries, that is Brunei, Indonesia and the Philippines.
On 29 September 2011, it was reported that Sarawak wanted the federal government to turn MASwings into a regional airline for the BIMP-EAGA region.
On 20 November 2011, during MASwings' fourth anniversary dinner in Kota Kinabalu, CEO Capt Mohd Nawawi Awang announced that the first phase of MASwings' BIMP-EAGA expansion plan will begin in early 2012, with Brunei and Kalimantan as its launching destinations. He said that "the foray into international destinations, would be another milestone in the airlines' history." He also added that it will "pave the way for many more people to travel into Sabah and Sarawak while further intensifying tourist arrivals and business opportunities."
MASwings announced on 5 December 2011 that the Ministry of Transport of Malaysia had approved MASwings' application to fly in the BIMP-EAGA region and the first flights will commence on 1 February 2012.
MASwings unveiled the first four flights in the BIMP-EAGA region on 16 December 2011. The Kota Kinabalu-Bandar Seri Begawan route and the Kuching-Bandar Seri Begawan route will begin on 1 February 2012, while the Kuching-Pontianak route and the Tawau-Tarakan route will begin on 6 and 13 February 2012 respectively. MASwings will provide 14 flights weekly on the Kota Kinabalu-Bandar Seri Begawan route, 7 flights weekly on the Kuching-Pontianak route, and 3 flights weekly on the Kuching-Bandar Seri Begawan route and the Tawau-Tarakan route.
The final announcement for the first phase of the BIMP-EAGA regional expansion came on 19 January 2012 with the flight tariff for the routes. Fares for the Kota Kinabalu-Bandar Seri Begawan route begins from MYR 33/BND 59 one-way, Kuching-Bandar Seri Begawan route from MYR 233/BND 99 one-way, Kuching-Pontianak route from MYR 33/USD 26 one-way and Tawau-Tarakan route from MYR 33/USD 14 one-way. MASwings will offer introductory fares for the service launch of up to 70 percent of the normal fares until 29 February 2012.
On 1 February 2012, three MASwings planes landed at Brunei International Airport for the very first time. This marked the reintroduction of the Bandar Seri Begawan-Kuching route and the addition of 2 daily flights on the Bandar Seri Begawan-Kota Kinabalu route, and also the first MASwings international destination. MASwings Managing Director Datuk Capt Mohd Nawawi Awang said in a press conference in The Airport Restaurant that the airline has "explored the potential and indication is very good". He added that MASwings may even fly to Kuching daily in the future. MASwings is now looking into the possibility to fly from Bandar Seri Begawan to Mulu, Bandar Seri Begawan to Kuching via Mulu and Bandar Seri Begawan to Miri.
Low Cost Carrier repositioning
MASwings is expected to be re-launched as a Low Cost Carrier (LCC) and begin operating 4 leased Boeing 737-800s, all based in Kota Kinabalu International Airport. However, they will continue the operation of ATR 72-500/600 and Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft.
The MASwings fleet consists of the following aircraft (as of December 2014):
|DHC-6 Series 400||5||—||19|
On 9 November 2007, MASwings (through its parent company Malaysia Airlines) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the purchase of 7 ATR 72-500s with options for 3 additional aircraft to expand its services in the states of Sabah and Sarawak in East Malaysia. MASwings received delivery of the first aircraft in 2008, second 6 aircraft in 2009 and remaining 3 (optional) by 2010. On 25 April 2010, its last F50 (9M-MGF) was retired from service.
On 28 February 2012, MASwings made an announcement that they will be replacing their ageing Twin Otters with newer planes, as the request had been sent to the Ministry of Transportation in 2011, and now awaiting final approval. The candidates for the replacement were Viking Air DHC-6 Series 400, Dornier Do 228NG (New Generation) and GECI SK-105 Skylander. However, with the Skylander project cancelled, it is likely that the candidates would be the Do 228NG and the Twin Otter Series 400.
On 18 December 2012, MASwings' parent company, Malaysia Airlines, ordered 36 ATR 72-600 for its subsidiaries. 16 of the ordered aircraft will be delivered to MASwings, while the remaining 20 will enter service with Firefly. For the replacement of the Twin Otter Series 300, six brand-new Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft will enter service in mid-2013.
On 25 July 2013, MASwings received its first ATR 72-600.
MASwings serve the following at March 2015:
- Federal Territory
- Miri - Miri Airport Twin-Otter Hub
- Kuching - Kuching International Airport Secondary Hub
- Ba'kelalan - Ba'kelalan Airport
- Bario - Bario Airport
- Bintulu - Bintulu Airport
- Lawas - Lawas Airport
- Limbang - Limbang Airport
- Long Akah - Long Akah Airport
- Long Banga - Long Banga Airport
- Long Lellang - Long Lellang Airport
- Long Seridan - Long Seridan Airport
- Marudi - Marudi Airport
- Mukah - Mukah Airport
- Mulu - Mulu Airport
- Sibu - Sibu Airport
- Sarikei - Tanjung Manis Airport
Note: Although Tanjung Manis now under the jurisdiction of Mukah Division, the airport still serves the part of the population of Sarikei.
Incidents and accidents
- 10 October 2013 — a de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter (9M-MDM), operating as MASwings Flight 3002 from Kota Kinabalu to Kudat, landed short of the runway at Kudat Airport. The aircraft impacted a house and was destroyed. This accident marks the first fatal incident for MASwings, where two persons were confirmed dead, including the co-pilot.
- "MAS launches regional carrier MASWings" Flight Global, 01/10/07
- "Contact Us." MASwings. Retrieved on 20 May 2014. "Ground Floor, MAS/MASwings Administration Building, Off Jalan Petagas, Kota Kinabalu International Airport, 88100 Kota Kinabalu"
- Contact Us." MASwings. 11 October 2007. Retrieved on 21 December 2010. "MASwings Sdn. Bhd. 1st Floor, Lot 239, Beautiful Jade Centre, 98000 Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia"
- MASwings takeover: Negotiations to start soon, says Abg Jo The Borneo Post dated 27 July 2015, read on 27 July 2015
- MASwings embarks on expansion plan The Star dated 2 December 2009, read on 29 January 2012]
- MASwings mulls flying to Brunei, Bimp-Eaga The Brunei Times dated 26 June 2010, read on 29 January 2012
- MASwings eyes BIMP-EAGA this year The Star dated 26 June 2010, read on 29 January 2012]
- MASwings awaits nod of regulators to serve Bimp-Eaga The Brunei Times dated 21 December 2010, read on 29 January 2012
- MASwings set to fly to Brunei, Pontianak The Brunei Times dated 26 May 2011, read on 29 January 2012
- RBA TO SUSPEND SERVICES TO SOME CITIES The Brunei Times dated 22 June 2011, read on 29 January 2012
- MASwings eyes KK-Brunei route The Brunei Times dated 15 July 2011, read on 29 January 2012
- Gov't urged to give MASWings rights to operate in Bimp-Eaga The Brunei Times dated 11 September 2011, read on 29 January 2012
- MASWings not flying to Brunei upsets more quarters The Brunei Times dated 13 September 2011, read on 29 January 2012
- MASwings not flying to Brunei upsets more quarters The Star dated 12 September 2011, read on 29 January 2012]
- MASWings should be made Eaga airline: Sarawak The Brunei Times dated 29 September 2011, read on 29 January 2012
- MASwings to launch Eaga operations by early 2012 The Brunei Times dated 22 November 2011, read on 29 January 2012
- MASwings to launch the first phase of its BIMP-EAGA operations The Star dated 21 November 2011, read on 29 January 2012
- MASwings direct flights to BIMP-EAGA in Feb The Brunei Times dated 5 December 2011, read on 29 January 2012
- MASwings to begin flying within BIMP-EAGA in February The Star dated 5 December 2011, read on 29 January 2012
- MASwings unveils new routes to capture regional market The Star dated 16 December 2011, read on 29 January 2012
- "MASwings' KK, Kuching flights from Feb 1". The Brunei Times. 19 January 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
- MASwings starts Kuching, KK flights to BSB The Brunei Times dated 2 February 2012, read on 2 February 2012
- "Sarawak, Sabah scratch MASwings plans". Investvine.com. 15 January 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
-  Malaysia's MASwings to repositioned as a budget carrier
- "MASwings receives first ATR 72-600". flightglobal.com. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
- "Malaysia Airlines to buy 36 turboprop planes". Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- "MASwing Akan Tukar Pesawat Twin Otter Dengan Pesawat Baru Dalam Masa Terdekat". Bernama. 28 February 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
- "MASwings' six new Twin Otters to operate from mid-year". The Borneo Post. 15 January 2013. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- "MASwings receives first ATR 72-600". flightglobal.com. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
- Accident: MASWings DHC6 at Kudat on Oct 10th 2013, impacted house The Aviation Herald. Retrieved 10 October 2013
- Co-pilot of MASWings plane crash succumbs to injuries (Update) thestar.com.my. Retrieved 10 October 2013
- UPDATE: Co-pilot, passenger die in MASWings' crash in Kudat nst.com.my. Retrieved 10 October 2013
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