|KEEN INTEREST: Rashid (third right) speaking to Aidan during their visit to Hornbill Skyways base in Kuching. Gerald is at second right. — Photo by Chimon Upon|
KUCHING: The Qatari government wants to have more interaction with Malaysia to further explore the potential for future cooperation in the local aviation industry.
Qatar Ambassador to Malaysia His Excellency Rashid M Al-Mulla said this during his visit to the Hornbill Skyways at Jalan Lapangan Terbang here yesterday.
“The facilities here are ready and now it is a matter of expediting a proposal to our government through direct contact and exchanges,” said Rashid, who leads the mission to enhance mutual relationship between the two countries.
“This way, the two countries can understand the exact requirement to build on this relationship,” he added.
During a briefing on Hornbill Skyways’ operation, its director of flight operations Captain Mohd Hassan Suman mentioned that they were keen in providing flight services for offshore oil and gas industry.
“At the moment, we are looking into conducting a study on ways to capitalise on the local market, for instance rural air services,” he said in his briefing.
Hornbill Skyways has two main bases in Sarawak – in Kuching and Miri – and a total of 14 aircraft consisting of three units of fixed wings and eleven units of helicopters.
Its services cover the entire state of Sarawak and part of Sabah.
Established in 1997, it serves the state government on contract obligation mainly to provide air transport for government personnel apart from private charters for aerial photography and leisure rides.
Rashid further elaborated that the governments of the two countries should have more communication on the matter so that their vision and objectives can be achieved.
Noting the strategic bases where Hornbill Skyways operates, Rashid said the talks revealed a high level of mutual interests.
“This matter can be expedited as there are no obstacles as we are interested in venturing into the commercial flight services as well as the service for offshore oil and gas industry,” he pointed out.
“I am willing to put this proposal forward to the Qatari government as talking point and in turn encourage more exchanges to further study this opportunity,” he said.
Rashid also suggested that Hornbill Skyways increase the number of light aircraft in order to venture into operating commercial flight services.
Hornbill Skyways executive chairman Datuk Aidan Wing and legal advisor to Qatari Embassy Gerald John Pereira were among those present.