Transport linkages to open in Bimp- Eaga
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE BRUNEI Darussalam Indonesia Malaysia the Philippines - East Asean Growth Area (Bimp-Eaga) can look forward to the expansion of various transport linkages into Brunei to promote trade and to ease the movement of people in the region.
Ang Kian Guan, director of transport at the Ministry of Communications and chairman of transport cluster in Bimp-Eaga says the Brunei International Airport has been identified to become a gateway into Bimp-Eaga.
"We hope the Brunei International Airport would be a hub for the Bimp-Eaga region which houses a population of 46 million people," he said.
To encourage Brunei as a hub, landing rights has been granted to two low cost airline agencies, Tiger Airways of Singapore and Air Asia to start operating in Brunei.
"Tiger Airways will be flying in from Singapore three times a week and Air Asia has been granted a seven times a week flight schedule from Kuching and Kota Kinabalu to Brunei," he said.
Cebu Air from the Philippines and Batavia Air from Pontianak, Indonesia are currently preparing proper paperwork for them to be issued landing rights, he said. Landing rights was given to Tiger Airways last year, while Air Asia was granted the same rights in March of this year.
The key factor to an effective hub, said the director is the 'connectivity'.
"The more the airlines come in, the more passengers can use Brunei to connect with any destination they wish to go," he said, expressing confidence the presence of budget airlines will not falter the performance of Royal Brunei Airlines but instead complement them.
"They (budget airlines) would be complementing with our local airline which would be the only one flying into Dubai," he added.
According to a spokesperson from the local airline, Royal Brunei Airlines is proud to see the development and growth of air transport in Brunei.
The current local airline links in the Bimp-Eaga region are to Jakarta, Surabaya, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur and Manila.
"We aim to serve the essential travel needs of the Brunei market. If those needs change and expansion is required, then certainly the airline will carefully review our options," said an RBA spokesperson.
The Brunei Times