Kuala Lumpur: The Cabinet Tuesday approved the Malaysia Open Skies, which will see 37 routes connecting Kota Kinabalu with Asean countries and China.
Announcing the decision, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said the arrangement would see Malaysia signing and ratifying Protocol 2-Implementation of Limited Fifth Freedom under Asean-China Air Transport Agreement (AC-ATA).
This ratification would enable Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) to connect nine secondary points within Asean and 28 secondary points in China for cargo and passenger services, he said in a statement.
"The signing of AC-ATA will be formalised by end of this month in Bali in conjunction with the Asean Transport Ministers' Meeting," he said.
Kong said the AC-ATA framework would enhance air travel connectiviy in Malaysia, especially with the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA), to be a major hub connecting Asean and China.
He said this strategic decision would surely bring tremendous economic, trade and tourism boost to Sabah. The AC-ATA consists of intra-packages and extra packages, he said.
Through intra-package deals, the airlines in Asean and China are authorised to exercise fifth traffic rights for passengers and cargo services, with unlimited flight frequencies, carrier capacity and types of aircraft.
These are for routes connecting 10 secondary points in Asean, which include KKIA, and 28 secondary points in China, he said.
Apart from KKIA, the other nine secondary points in Asean are Bandar Seri Begawan (Brunei), Preah Sihanouk (Cambodia), Mataram (Indonesia), Luang Prabang (Laos), a destination except Yangon (Myanmar), a destination except Manila (the Philippines), Chiang Mai (Thailand), a destination except Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam) and Singapore.
While China has named 28 secondary points comprising Changchun, Chongqing, Xi'an, Xiamen, Urumqi, Chengdu, Shenyang, Fuzhou, Kashgar, Kunming, Dalian, Guiyang, Hohhot, Xishuangbanna, Haikou, Lanzhou, harbin, Nanning, Sanya, Xining, Wuhan, Changsha, Yinchuan, Ningbo, Guilin, Zhengzhou, Lhasa and Yanji.
Kong said through extra-package deals, the airlines in Asean and China are authorised to exercise fifth traffic rights for passenger and cargo services limited to 14 times a week using any type of aircraft for routes connecting 10 secondary points in Asean and 10 secondary points in China to any points outside Asean and China.
The 10 secondary points in China are Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guilin, Kunming, Nanning, Urumqi, Xi'an, Xiamen or Fuzhou and Zhengzhou.
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