KUCHING: Ever wonder what the recent newspaper advertisements and banners across town with the slogan ‘Black is Not a Colour’ is all about?
Yesterday, the cat was finally let out of the bag and it was in fact a publicity stunt to promote the new luxurious Asia Star High-Deck (double-deck) Business Class Executive Coach which was unveiled for the very first time at Pullman Hotel here.
The launching ceremony was officiated by Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.
Lai Sin Kiong, the manager of Biaramas Express Sdn Bhd which is also the parent company managing Bus Asia and Asia Star express buses said that the company had acquired four double-decker buses costing around RM700,000 each.
“We have invested about RM3 million for the new coaches and we are expecting a turnover of roughly RM2.8 million in the next 12 months,” Lai said.
The Asia Star express buses will be operating at the 3rd Mile Bus Terminal sharing parking and loading bays with Bus Asia and Biaramas coaches.
The Asia Star coaches with its distinctive trademark of black and extra height will be plying the Kuching-Miri route.
“Our company will also extend the bus routes to other major cities and towns in the state such as Sibu and Bintulu sometime next year while Asia Star’s fleet will have an additional four high-deck buses by the end of 2011 as well,” said Lai.
According to him, the double decker buses will only be making a single stopover at Sibu which will shorten travelling time by three hours as compared to other express buses which usuallly make several stops in between journeys.
As such, the Asia Star bus will reach its intended destination in about 12 hours’ time.
However, the important and impressive features of the new double-decker lies not in its travelling time or external appearence but the fact that, it gives passengers more leg room with its two plus one seating combination that can accomodate 30 passengers, compared to 41 seats in a normal express coache.
Apart from that, each seat has its own electrical power point and minitelevision monitor for onboard movies and video games as well as centralised music complete with individual ear phones.
In addition, pillows and blankets will be provided for the comfort of passengers during the long haul journey while food and beverages will also be served onboard by a team of hostesses similar to those facilities and services found in a commercial airplane.
Lai said that the choice of food available in their Asia Star coaches are certified halal and strictly vegetarian.
“The one-way bus fare is priced at only RM99 which is merely RM9 more than our Bus Asia’s fare of RM90 which is deemed reasonable considering all the luxurious treatment and additional facilities available onboard our new coaches,” Lai pointed out.
The Asia Star coaches’ chassis and engines are imported from Scania of Sweden which came with an in-line six cylinders Euro 3 engine of 380 horsepower while the outer housing or cab shell is fabricated by SKS Bus.
The Scania Model K380 coach is equiped with ABS (anti-brake lock system) and traction control as well as possessing additional saferty features such as GPS tracking system which limits the maximum cruising speed to 88km per hour.
Scania buses also gives passengers more riding comfort owing to its hightech suspension system comprising heavy duty dampers with air bellows to absorb uneven road surfaces or bumps.
Among those present at the launch were Chairman of Biaramas Express Sdn Bhd Lai Chon Foo, Consul-General of the Republic of Indonesia in Kuching Bapak Rafail Walangitan and President of Sarawak Tourism Federation, Dato’ Wee Hong Seng.
desmong wrote:it really takes too long to travel from Kuching-Miri by bus. please make air travel cheaper for Sarawak dear Government..
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