GEORGE TOWN: Only 70 flight passengers from other countries can land in the state each day as there are only 70 Covid-19 test kits available at Penang International Airport (PIA).
A local airline manager Kenneth Tan said he was informed a few days ago of the limited test kits per day, which has to be shared with all airlines.
“There needs to be more effort in reviving international air connectivity.
“I do not mean the state should entirely reopen without any anti-Covid-19 rules.
“Precautions like mask-wearing and social distancing must be maintained.
“However, it should not cripple vital air travel connectivity because of the lack of swab tests for arriving passengers.
“Families want to be reunited and the economy needs reviving,” he said.
“Having only 70 test kits per day means PIA has to decide whether one airline gets the 70-passenger limit or it is divided among at least six airlines.
“Prior to the movement control order (MCO), we had 15 international flights per day just from our airline.
“They have had months to prepare. It is absurd to come up with this impossible figure of 70 international passengers per day.
“Our flight attendants sometimes make up the whole 70 people.
“We hope to start scheduled flights soon, to restart the economy.
“There are many multinational companies in Penang whose employees need to travel,” he said.
A representative for the state Health Department affirmed that
there were currently only 70 kits per day available at the airport.
“We will increase the capacity as we know international flights will resume soon,” he said.