KERTIH, 17 Feb 2009: After nearly 20 years of serving only oil company workers, Kertih airport has reopened to commercial flights.
Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said said the airport used to cater to commercial flights by Pelangi Air in the 1980s but it stopped when the airline ceased operations.
“The reopening of Kertih airport means that Terengganu now has two airports to boost the tourism sector, the backbone of the state’s economy, particularly in the south from Dungun until Kemaman.
“As such, passengers going to Kemaman and Dungun need not alight at Kuantan and Kuala Terengganu as they can land at Kertih, thus saving time and cost,” he said after receiving 72 passengers on board the first Firefly flight from Subang airport.
Also present are the state exco member for Tourism, Culture, Arts and Heritage Datuk Za’abar Mohd Adib and Firefly managing director Eddy Leong.
Ahmad was confident that the service would not face passenger shortage, what with the more than 20,000 oil workers at Kertih who commute regularly between Kuala Lumpur and Kemaman.
He said the state government has allocated RM77 million to build more infrastructure aimed at attracting more tourists to Terengganu.
It has set a target of four million tourist arrivals this year compared to 3.5 million last year.
Budget carrier Firefly offers two daily flights from Mondays to Thursdays with option for more depending on demand. — Bernama