KOTA KINABALU: Malindo Air is making Kota Kinabalu as a transit hub for tourists from Manado and Makassar, Indonesia to fly to China, Korea, Japan and Hong Kong.
Its chief executive officer (CEO), Chandran Rama Muthy, said Malindo Air as the sister company of Lion Air Indonesia, will have the ability to bring passengers from Makassar and Manado in transit using Kota Kinabalu as a hub.
“That’s our plan, and today is just the beginning. We are here and committed with this two-year plan, including introducing Johor to Kota Kinabalu flight by year end.
“Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu is just starting. After Johor to Kota Kinabalu flights, we will have our sister company operating Makassar and Manado flights to this city,” he said.
Chandran said the inaugural flight of Malindo Air from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu landed at Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) Terminal 1 yesterday.
To date, there are three flights available daily from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu and vice versa.
He said there will be at least eight daily flights from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu and two daily flights from Johor to Kota Kinabalu by the end of the year.
“We are very confident with this plan because we are not starting something that has never been tested before. Kota Kinabalu is very popular not only for domestic but also international passengers. If we talk about Kota Kinabalu to China flights, the passengers get very excited, and even for Kota Kinabalu to Japan and to Hong Kong is also exciting,” he added.
Malindo Air is offering an all-inclusive fare of RM68 to Kota Kinabalu, with add-on deals such as personal TV for in-flight entertainment and WiFi at a small cost. The 180-seater Boeing 737-900ER has 12 business class and 168 economy class seats.
Also present to meet the arrival of Malindo Air inaugural flight from Kuala Lumpur-Kota Kinabalu at KKIA Terminal 1 yesterday were Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri and Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun.