Sabah looks set to become a well-connected Southeast Asian destination, as evidenced by the confidence displayed by international airlines over their plans to continue operations in the state.
On Wednesday (June 29), Jeju Air restarted service on its previously suspended route between Incheon and Kota Kinabalu, bringing 120 passengers to the Land Below the Wind.
Sabah Tourism Board chief executive officer Noredah Othman and chief marketing officer Tay Shu Lan were on hand to welcome passengers with a souvenir at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport.
Since May of this year, the following international carriers have resumed their direct flight operations: Scoot (via Singapore), Royal Brunei Airlines (via Brunei), Jin Air (through Incheon), and Air Busan (via Incheon).
The inaugural flight of Air Busan’s direct route between Incheon and Kota Kinabalu took off on June 25. In the past, the airline flew between Busan and Kota Kinabalu.
Malaysia’s budget airline Air Asia is also offering direct flights from Singapore and Manila to Kota Kinabalu. The Singapore-Kota Kinabalu route was restored by Air Asia in April following the reopening of the country’s border.
In May, Air Asia inaugurated service between Manila and Kota Kinabalu, and talks of further international services to and from Kota Kinabalu are anticipated to commence in the near future.
Consistent with the growth of air connectivity, the Sabah Tourism Board has made promotional trips to a number of countries to establish Sabah’s reputation as a premier travel destination in Southeast Asia.
Additionally, the Sabah Tourism maintains its engagement with airline companies as well as international tour operators and continues to participate in any tourism exposition events.