KOTA KINABALU, 17 August 2018: AirAsia celebrated its maiden flight from Bangkok, Thailand to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia Thursday.
The new route, which marks the first AirAsia Thailand’s flight to east Malaysia, confirms the airline’s commitment to grow the Kota Kinabalu hub.
Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia YB Tuan Mohamaddin Bin Ketapi, who is a native of Sabah state, joined the inaugural flight from Don Mueang Airport.
The flight was welcomed with a water cannon salute upon landing at Kota Kinabalu International Airport and was received by Deputy Chief Minister cum Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment of Sabah YB Mdm. Christina Liew, AirAsia Malaysia CEO Riad Asmat and AirAsia Malaysia head of commercial Spencer Lee.
AirAsia Malaysia CEO Riad Asmat said: “We are pleased to welcome our inaugural flight from Bangkok to Kota Kinabalu today. We launched our first flight to Kota Kinabalu back in 2002, and have flown more than 39 million guests from and to the city since. We now connect Kota Kinabalu to 18 destinations across the region with 332 weekly flights. We hope that our new direct service between Bangkok and Kota Kinabalu will bring more positive impact, not just to the state’s tourism and economic sector, but to the communities in Sabah as well.”
Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia YB Tuan Mohamaddin Bin Ketapi added: “Collaboration for air accessibility into Malaysia is very much welcomed and I am pleased that AirAsia Thailand has expanded its route to Sabah.
“Thailand is an important market for Malaysia with potential for growth especially with the interest in travel among Thais and the range of tourism products in Malaysia that cater to their needs.”
Kota Kinabalu is now connected to 21 international cities and is one of AirAsia’s busiest hubs that connect long haul destinations from USA, Europe, Russia, the Middle East as well as India.
Sabah will appeal to Thai travellers who are food enthusiasts and keen adventurers.
AirAsia Group currently flies from Kota Kinabalu to nine international destinations (Bangkok, Singapore, Manila, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Wuhan, and Taipei) and eight domestic destinations (Kuala Lumpur, Tawau, Sandakan, Miri, Kuching, Penang, Kota Bharu and Johor Bahru). AirAsia will also operate Kota Kinabalu – Macau route effective November this year.