SUBANG, MALAYSIA (AP) – New low-cost Malaysian carrier, SKS Airways, took to the skies yesterday with short-haul flights to holiday island resorts as domestic travel rebounds after months of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
SKS launched its maiden flight from the smaller Subang airport near Kuala Lumpur to Pangkor, a northern tax-free island, becoming the first carrier to fly there.
It will also fly to northeastern Redang island, a popular scuba-diving haven, and southern Tioman island using 19-seater Twin Otter turboprop aircraft. There are currently no commercial flights to these islands.
The launch comes even as other airlines in the country, including the region’s budget carrier AirAsia, are still struggling to ride out the effects of the pandemic.
“As a new set-up, we are nimble, agile and flexible and able to tap into any opportunities that arise. We are positioning ourselves to capitalise on the current pent-up demand for domestic travel,” SKS Airways Director Rohman Ahmad said.
SKS Airways is owned by the SKS Group, a real estate company based in southern Johor state. The airline said its operations will initially focus on island and coastal resorts with connections to major cities within peninsular Malaysia.
Rohman said SKS aims to expand regionally to Southeast Asia and southern China in the long-run.