Friday May 13, 2011
Malaysian-made JetFox ready to soar to great heights
By SHAUN HO
SUBANG: Light-sport aircraft have a tremendous future in the country and will be well accepted locally, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said.
He said the sport, which had previously only been accessible to the rich, was now more affordable to all Malaysians.
Speaking after the launch of the Malaysian-made JetFox, which is the first ready-to-fly aircraft, Kong said it marked a milestone in Malaysia's aviation history which celebrates its centennial anniversary this year.
JetFox manufacturer and exporter Euroala Industries Sdn Bhd, bought the JetFox brand and technology from its original company Italian-based Euroala SRL two years ago and relocated its plant to Malaysia.
Kong added that the Department of Civil Aviation was embarking on a joint initiative to benchmark a special light sport aircraft standard for the JetFox which could encourage other industry players and aviators to join the industry.
Kong said aircraft movement in all local airsports over the first four months this year rose to 219,845 from 205,688 recorded in the same period last year, an increase of 6.88%.
“In the year 2010, passenger traffic in all airports in Malaysia rose by 12.1%, from 52.7 million passengers in 2009 to 59.1 million passengers, a record high.
“As of April 2011, passenger traffic rose by 12.28% from 18,328,620 in 2010 to 20,579,358 for the same period,” added Kong.
He said this was an indication that the aviation industry was recovering swiftly and offered a huge demand in the air transport industry which was worth RM52bil annually.
Euroala Industries chairman, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said with its price of RM300,000, he hoped JetFox would be the first step in making aviation more affordable and accessible to Malaysians.
“Its sleek look, good safety record, success in Europe and potential in new markets were the reasons we acquired exclusive rights to the JetFox design and manufacturing technology,” said Dr Mahathir in his speech before its launch at the Subang airport's old cargo complex.