KOTA KINABALU 24 April 2012: A state-owned company is keeping its plans to start an airline under wraps as the details are being fined tuned.
Sabah Air Aviation Sdn Bhd (Sabah Air) yesterday said negotiations and viability studies on their proposal to run a domestic and regional airline were still on.
Its chairman, Datuk Yusoff Mohd Kassim, was, however, non-committal on the outcome as it was still too premature to say if they would go through with the plan.
Speaking at the 1st Malaysian Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) Conference here, he said: "Of course there's room to improve services and we like to be that service provider.
"While there is the possibility, it also depends on viability ... it is still too premature to say," he said.
The helicopter and fixed wing charter and leasing company, which has been operating for more than 30 years, in January announced the plan to spread their wings beyond charter services.
"Its current fleet consists of 11 helicopters and two airplanes.
Yusoff had said Sabah Air's move was necessary in the wake of some airlines ceasing flights to Kota Kinabalu, like Malaysia Airlines, which suspended flights from here to Perth, Haneda, Osaka and Seoul earlier this year.
State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun had expressed his support for Sabah Air's request to take over the routes, even suggesting they start with chartered flights or engage strategic partners for the plan.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman in January said the state government was studying the proposal by Sabah Air.