Friday, August 12

Second Korean airline flies to KK

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Joniston Bangkuai poses with Air Busan crew members.

KOTA KINABALU (June 25): Korea is poised to become a key contributor to visitors’ arrival to Sabah with the resumption of Air Busan direct flight from Seoul to Kota Kinabalu.

Air Busan is the second Korean-based low-cost airline to resume direct flights from the Korean capital to Kota Kinabalu post Covid-19 pandemic after Jin Air on May 26.

The Air Busan BX 767 flight from Incheon International Airport with 196 passengers onboard arrived at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) at about 11.10pm and was greeted with a water cannon salute.

Sabah Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister cum Sabah Tourism Board chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai was on hand to greet the passengers, all of whom were Korean tourists.

Sabah Tourism Board chief executive officer Noredah Othman and KKIA Senior Airport Manager Sunif Naiman were also present to distribute welcome souvenirs courtesy of the Sabah Tourism.

“With the arrival of Korean airlines in Sabah, we are seeing a slight improvement in Korean arrivals. Koreans’ willingness and confidence to return to Sabah is a great indication for us.

“While we want to promote Sabah to international visitors, we also want to encourage locals to take advantage of this direct flight and explore Korea,” said Joniston.

Air Busan currently operates two weekly flights to Kota Kinabalu, on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Another Korean low-cost airline, Jeju Air, is expected to restart direct flights to Sabah on June 29. For the time being, all three airlines will depart via Incheon.

Joniston and Noredah were in Seoul in early May to meet with top officials of Jin Air, Air Busan, Jeju Air and several other Korean airlines as well as two top Korean travel companies, Mode Tour and Hana Tour.