Monday, August 15

China airlines to fly to Sabah when country opens borders

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Jafry (middle) with Chinese airlines’ officials and Sabah government representatives during the meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

KOTA KINABALU (Aug 5): Airlines in China are expected to fly to Sabah as the country was reported to resume quarantine-free travel with Macau after recovering from its worst ever Covid-19 outbreak.

Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Jafry Ariffin said China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines are expected to resume direct flight operations to Sabah once the country fully opens its borders.

He said the arrival of foreign tourists, especially from China, is important to help boost the state’s tourism activities as they were before the Covid-19 pandemic.

In 2018, Sabah received 593,623 tourists from China while in 2019, a total of 598,566 tourists arrived from China before the State government imposed the travel restrictions due to Covid-19.

He added in a statement on Friday that he hoped throngs of tourists from China would return to visit Sabah and help restore the local tourism sector and state’s economy.

Jafry met with China Southern Airlines’ General Manager, Eric Wang, China Eastern Airlines’ General Manager Lu Jing, China Air’s General Manager Yin Jian Min and Xiamen Airlines’ Gao Yashuang in Kuala Lumpur recently.

Present during the meeting were Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Datuk Mohd Yusrie Abdullah and staff from the Sabah Tourism Board.