TAWAU: Tawau is abuzz with the historic inaugural charter flight from Nanjing (NKH), China to Tawau (TWU) today, marking a milestone for the Tawau Airport, said Minister of Tourism, Culture & Envrionment Datuk Christina Liew.

She said the Sabah Tourism Board is proud to announce the commencement of chartered flights connecting Nanjing, China to Tawau, Sabah by Firefly Airlines, and that Tourism Malaysia (TM) also played a role in the development of this new flight route.

According to Liew, this chartered flight, the first-ever international flight for the Tawau Air-port, brought in 157 passengers on its first arrival at 5.55am today.

She said Firefly will operate the charter flights three times a week, scheduled to arrive in Tawau every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, with a 540-seat capacity per week until end of March.

“We warmly welcome our Chinese friends and look forward to showcasing the unique cul-tural and natural treasures of Sabah.”

“The launch of direct flights from Nanjing to Tawau is a testament to the growing appeal of our region as a tourist destination. I am excited that this new route will contribute to the growth and development of Tawau as a prominent international destination.”

“Currently, Sabah receives 42 weekly scheduled flights from Beijing, Shanghai, Guang-zhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou and Wuhan to Kota Kinabalu, with a 7,520-seat capacity a week.” she said in a statement.

Chairman of Sri Pelancongan Sabah, Ken Pan represented the Minister at the welcoming ceremony. His role was to supervise the smooth arrival of the flight with the Tawau Airport Management on behalf of the travel agents in China.

Also present was STB Senior Marketing Manager, Humphrey Ginibun who represented the Board. China-based tourists keen on exploring the beauty of Tawau can conveniently book their flights through various online travel agencies (OTAs) which are Ly.com, Ctrip, Qunar and Fliggy.

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STB and TM Officials, with Sabah’s cultural dancers at the Tawau Airport.
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The Firefly aircraft arriving at the Tawau Airport