MASwingsThe Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) Wednesday defended MASwings over the budget carrier’s allegation that it was forced out of the Sibu-Kota Kinabalu route.

MTUC Sarawak branch secretary Andrew Lo said it has studied the facts and circumstances leading to the cancellation of the AirAsia Sibu-Kota Kinabalu route.

“The congress is of the opinion that AirAsia cannot simply pick and choose profitable routes after leaving Sarawakians “high and dry and tax payers to pick up the pieces of the fiasco.”

“We urge AirAsia, instead of playing to the gallery, but to keep its much published promise to develop Kuching as a low cost travel hub. AirAsia aircrafts do not even make night stopovers in Kuching,” he said in a statement here today.

Last week, AirAsia Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Tony Fernandes, claimed the airline was directed to stop plying this route from Oct 25, 2009 as the sector came under the exclusive right of the rural air service operator namely MASwings.

However, MASwings Managing Director Mohd Salleh Tabrani denied the allegation yesterday saying that it was following the rural air services agreement that was in place. — BERNAMA