Sabah to boost direct international flight frequency
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah now receives 17 direct scheduled flight frequencies from South Korea, with the resumption of the Busan-Kota Kinabalu route.
On Wednesday (July 13), Air Busan relaunched its previously suspended direct flight from Busan, bringing 220 passengers to the state.
For the time being, Air Busan will operate two weekly flights between Busan and Kota Kinabalu.
State Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Environment cum Sabah Tourism Board chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai was on hand to welcome passengers.
Also present were Sabah Tourism Board deputy chief executive officer Julinus Jeffrey Jimit and chief marketing officer Tay Shu Lan.
Joniston said with the latest route, Sabah hoped to increase the number of international flights from major foreign cities, making the state more accessible.
The increase in international direct frequency indicates that there is a significant demand for travel to Sabah, as well as airline interest in the Kota Kinabalu route, he asserted.
“We are definitely considering expanding direct flights and possibly resuming previously suspended direct routes from Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, and China.
“For this reason, we must keep in touch with airline companies and keep abreast of their objectives in order to come to a mutual understanding and devise a workable strategy,” he said.
To date, there are currently 40 weekly direct International scheduled flight frequency into Sabah, with South Korea having the highest frequency.
This followed by Singapore (14), Brunei Darussalam (4), Thailand (3), and Philippines (2).
Since the reopening of International border on April 1, five foreign carries have returned to Sabah. Three of them are Korean low-cost airlines.
They are Jeju Air (via Incheon), Jin Air (via Incheon), and Air Busan (via Incheon and Busan). Others are Scoot (via Singapore) and Royal Brunei Airlines (via Bandar Seri Begawan).
Malaysia’s budget airline Air Asia is also offering direct flights to Kota kinabalu from Singapore, Manila, and Bangkok.
As for direct domestic scheduled flight frequency, there are currently 372 weekly flight frequency into Sabah.
The direct route are via Kuala Lumpur, Johore Bharu, Penang, Kota Bharu, Terengganu, Sarawak, and Labuan