AirAsia Philippines expands network

MANILA, 30 May 2022: AirAsia Philippines is confident of a strong rebound in the ASEAN region as it resumes flights to Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand commencing in June.

The airline is also set to resume services to the capital city of Sabah – Kota Kinabalu, on 28 May with twice-weekly flights. 

A growing resort destination, Kota Kinabalu is home to an array of tropical islands, lush rainforests and the famous Unesco site, Mount Kinabalu. It is also renowned as an eco, wellness, health and sports tourism destination. With 32 ethnic groups living harmoniously in Sabah, the city is also well known for promoting cultural tourism. 

Aside from tourism, Kota Kinabalu is also Sabah’s industrial and commercial centre, which opens strong opportunities for business and employment for everyone, including Filipinos.

AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricky Isla said: “Our resumption of flights to key ASEAN destinations starting with Kota Kinabalu signifies our recovery, especially in the international market. We hope to revive the tourism and economy of Sabah with the resumption of the Kota Kinabalu flights.”

A survey commissioned by AirAsia Philippines in December 2021 revealed that Filipinos were willing to travel in smaller groups this year with their families (69%), partners (40%) and close friends (24%) should international travel protocols relax. Top destinations picked by Filipino travellers include Singapore (73%) and Japan (71%). Ranking ninth in the list of top preferred international destinations of Filipinos is Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, with 47% of the participants including the destination in their top choice list.

Sabah Tourism Board Chairman Noredah Othman said, “We are pleased to welcome the return of the AirAsia Philippines flight to Kota Kinabalu. This is AirAsia’s second international flight to Kota Kinabalu after Singapore. We are excited that international flights are progressively resuming since we rely heavily on air connectivity for our tourism arrivals. STB will continue to promote Sabah as a holiday destination to the Philippines market, especially to those interested in climbing Mt Kinabalu and other niche tourism products.”

Aside from Kota Kinabalu, AirAsia Philippines will also start flights to Hong Kong (weekly) and Singapore (four times weekly) as well as Bangkok (twice weekly) and Bali (twice weekly) during June.

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