SEPANG, 12 June 2018: AirAsia will launch the first direct flight between Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah state, east Malaysia and the Thai capital of Bangkok, 16 August.
The three weekly service will be operated by AirAsia Thailand (FD), using an A320 with promotional all-in fares from only MYR 99* one-way.
Bookings for the launch fare will close 17 June for travel between 16 August and 13 August 2019 on airasia.com or the AirAsia mobile app.
AirAsia Thailand is home-based at Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport (DMK).
The airline’s CEO, Santisuk Klongchaiya said: “Our latest route connecting Kota Kinabalu and Bangkok affirms our commitment to bringing ASEAN destinations closer.”
AirAsia is the only airline to operate a direct service between the two cities and indeed, between East Malaysia and Thailand.
Last year, Thai Smile offered a flight between Bangkok and Kuching in Sarawak, but failed to make a go of it, claiming traffic demand was low.
AirAsia will be counting on two-way traffic, encouraging resident of Kota Kinabalu to take a break in Bangkok famous for its shopping and food.
The CEO added: “Last year, Malaysians accounted for the second-largest number of foreign visitors to Thailand**, and we hope this new service will not only make it easier for those living in Kota Kinabalu to visit Bangkok but also encourage Thais to explore what Sabah and Borneo have to offer.”
“Kota Kinabalu is a high potential tourism market. On top of being an important flight base for AirAsia, serving both domestic and international flights, it is also the gateway to Sabah state and home to splendid natural attractions, including Mount Kota Kinabalu which is ASEAN’s fourth highest peak and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
“In 2017, Kota Kinabalu International Airport came second as Malaysia’s most travelled airport following Kuala Lumpur International Airport, underlining its wide appeal as a destination,” Santisuk added.
Kota Kinabalu attractions include nature treks at Kinabalu National Park, White Water Rafting along the Kadamaian River, Canopy Walk and Poring Hot Spring, Desa Cattle Dairy Farm, Sabah Tea Garden, and marine activities at Borneo Reef World.
Sabah Tourism reported that in 2017, visits to the state increased 9.4% from the year prior with Kota Kinabalu the main destination.
AirAsia currently operates the most connections between Malaysia and Thailand on nine routes. They are: Kuala Lumpur-Bangkok Don Mueang 84 times weekly; Penang-Bangkok Don Mueang 14 weekly; Johor Bahru-Bangkok Don Mueang 11 flights weekly; Kuala Lumpur-Hat Yai 11 weekly; Kuala Lumpur-Hua Hin four weekly; Kuala Lumpur-Chiang Mai daily; Kuala Lumpur-Phuket daily; Kuala Lumpur-Krabi triple daily; and now, Kota Kinabalu-Bangkok Don Mueang three weekly.
All of the flights are served by both AirAsia Malaysia (AK) and AirAsia Thailand (FD).
*Promotional all-in-fares for one-way travel only, inclusive of taxes and fees. Terms and conditions apply.