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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) will be suspending four more routes involving Sabah regional network early next year.
This is in addition to the rationalisation exercise involving eight routes of its international network announced last week.
The suspension covers the twice-weekly Kota Kinabalu-Osaka service from Jan6, thrice-weekly Kota Kinabalu-Perth from Jan 31, four times weekly Kota Kinabalu-Haneda from Feb 1, and four times weekly Kota Kinabalu-Seoul from Feb21.
"This suspension is until further notice and is part of our regional network consolidation involving single-aisle aircraft operations," its group chiefexecutive officer, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, said in a statement today.
"We will be reviewing this situation in about three months time from the date of the first route suspension and will be deciding further by early April 2012," he said.
During the suspension, Ahmad Jauhari said MAS would take advantage of its existing code-share operations with Korean Air to provide direct connectivity between Sabah and South Korea using the Korean carrier’s Seoul-Kota Kinabalu return direct flights.
"We will also continue offering direct international connectivity to KotaKinabalu through our existing daily B737 flights from Hong Kong and Taipei."
In addition, he said, MAS would also use its existing 86 weekly flights between Sabah and Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to provide immediate connections for passengers who prefer full service flights between Sabah and the cities of Perth, Tokyo, and Osaka.
In the statement, Malaysia Airlines expressed regrets the inconvenience topassengers as a result of these route suspensions and assured that it would honour all forward bookings ticketed to date on the affected routes.
Where necessary, the company would make alternative carrier arrangements, atits own cost, to ensure minimum discomfort to passengers, it said.
As for the Sandakan-Kuala Lumpur operations, Malaysia Airlines would continue to offer this connectivity via Kota Kinabalu, 22 times weekly from Sandakan and 25 times weekly from Kuala Lumpur, using both its daily B737 flights and daily MASwings ATR services currently operating between Sandakan and the Sabah capital city. -- BERNAMA