Mulu Airport Sarawak - Flying MASWings Fokker 50

Sarawak Mulu Airport
In Sarawak, the Mulu Airport must be the smallest airport I have ever been to in Malaysia and possibly in Asia.

Flying to Mulu from Kuching or Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, can be an experience if you are used to flying jet planes from AirAsia or MAS. It is here in interior Borneo that you will experience flying in turboprop planes.

Mulu Airport Review in Sarawak

As you arrive at the Miri International Airport, you will find that it has been renovated quite nicely and somewhat looks like the KLIA airport, which has been scaled down. Mind you, this article was written in 2009.

Flights to Mulu are only via Kuching or Kota Kinabalu for tourists and no other direct flights. There are only two daily flights to Mulu, so check your timing carefully to connect your flights.

Usually, it will be from Kuala Lumpur to Miri and then connect to Mulu. There is a waiting period in Miri, and if you are lucky, the wait is 3 to 4 hours.

Why lucky? You can then visit Miri town, savour some of the authentic Miri food, and see some of the unique markets. The journey to Miri town is about 20 minutes from the airport.

ATR 72-500 MasWingsATR 72-500 plane picture
The planes used in flying to Mulu are turboprop planes, which are the Fokker 50 planes operated by MAS Wings, a subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines.

On my many trips to Mulu National Park, I have sat in the Twin Otter and Fokker 50 planes. The Twin Otter is the smallest plane used by MAS Rural Service and is no longer service to Mulu.

Owned by MasWings now, the Twin Otters can only take 15 people and fly really low and currently only service the rural towns in Sarawak.

MasWings Fokker 50 PlaneFokker 50 plane picture
Apparently, MAS Wings would be replacing the Fokker 50 with the new ATR 72-500, which can carry 72 passengers instead of the 50 which Fokker can carry. More passengers equal more money.

MAS Rural Airline Service
Passenger awareness
Fokker 50 MAS Rural Plane
One for the photo album, me and the MAS Rural Fokker 50 aircraft
Aerial view of Interior Sarawak
Beautiful low altitude views of the interior in Sarawak
The altitude of your flight will be around 6,000 to 8,000 feet for the old Twin Otter planes, while the Fokker 50 can fly up to 20,000 feet.

Seriously, I prefer the Twin Otter planes anytime as it is such a unique experience flying low as if just above the rainforest of Sarawak and Borneo.

Twin Otter MasWings InteriorInside the Twin Otter plane
The Twin Otter planes have no stewardesses inside and what happened was really funny. We were in the Miri Airport waiting to board the plane, and when it was time, we made our way to the tarmac and onto the plane.

It was so small we had to hunch our way in. Once inside, the Stewardess standing outside gave us a couple of drinks and told us where the safety card was and asked us to buckle up.

All this from outside the plane door. We looked at the other couple and were a little lost. It was hilarious.

When the plane started its engines, the noise it made was deafening! So loud we could not hear each other.

Aerial view of Mulu National Park
Scenic river and rainforest plane views of Mulu
Another factor in flying these small planes was the weight load. They had to weigh you and also your luggage before checking you in.

This is to ensure that the plane is not overloaded. Imagine that, when you check-in, you need to weigh yourself at the counter.

Flying over the Melinau River in Mulu
Flying over the Melinau River in Mulu
Mulu Airport Twin Otter Plan Landing
Twin Otter coming in for a landing at Mulu Airport
The landing was one scary experience as I did not know what to expect from this small plane. As we got closer to the tarmac of the airport, my heart began to beat faster.

Looking out my aisle window, I saw the tarmac floor a few meters away from me and then thud!... a one wheel first landing which shook the plane.

Mind you, this is a tiny plane compared to what most people feel when landing in KLIA; this is 100 times the effect.

And we had landed at Mulu National Park Airport. The plane just did a quick taxi, one turn, and we were facing the airport main entrance.

I thought to myself, wow, just a 20 feet walk to the door and all this in under 3 minutes. It must be the fastest landing ever in my life.

Photo of Mulu National Park
Beautiful skies at the national park
Mulu skies are simply beautiful with white cotton clouds and blue skies. At the end of the flight to Mulu, I really enjoyed the flight.

The experience alone was a rare chance many people will have since they are changing the planes now, but you can still fly them to the smaller towns like Bakelalan or Bario.

You can also contact MASwings at their general phone line below;
  • Malaysia: 1300 88 3000
  • International: +603 7843 3000
MAS Wings office address in Miri;
1st Floor, Lot 239,
Beautiful Jade Centre,
98000 Miri, Sarawak,

Final Thoughts

During my visits to this incredible place, I always stayed at the Royal Mulu Resort Sarawak and have never tried the other lodgings.

Please note that the Royal Mulu Resort has now been taken over by the Marriott Resort group and is the only luxury resort in Mulu.

Maybe on my next trip here, I would consider trying a different place. I also do hope that they put in some minor improvements to the Mulu Airport in Sarawak.

Malaysia Asia

Blogging since 2007, but writing online since 1997. I belong to the 1st generation of worldwide bloggers, which is of course old-school. Since 2008, I created Malaysia Asia and this travel, flood, gadget and lifestyle blog has won numerous physical awards from tourism boards around Malaysia. (Not those online awards). After 12 years of blogging, I have semi-retired and now blog about things I like, do product reviews and enjoy life. My work has been featured in Lonely Planet, CNN Travel, Yahoo Travel, Wall Street Journal, and many other international publications. Find out more about me and thank you.


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