AirAsia to resume flying from KK to Macau, Beijing in July


Liew (sixth left) receiving a plane model from Riad. Fourth from right is Noredah.

KOTA KINABALU (May 7): AirAsia’s continued support for Sabah Tourism bodes well for the state’s economic well-being, says Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Christina Liew.

She noted that AirAsia is on the right trajectory in making Sabah an important hub operationally for the budget airline, and mounting the Sabah Tourism campaign.

“Collaboration between AirAsia and Sabah Tourism Board (STB) is desirable in efforts to take Sabah tourism to the next level. STB is one of the six agencies under my ministry.

“We look forward to AirAsia and STB working closely together to lure more tourists from the Asian region, among other areas,” Liew said after a courtesy call by a seven-member delegation from AirAsia Malaysia led by its Chief Executive Officer Riad Asmat last Friday.

AirAsia’s Sabah manpower is made up of more than 700 staff, including ground staff, cabin crew and other employees based in Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Tawau and Labuan Federal Territory.

Briefing the minister on AirAsia updates on Sabah, Riad said Sabah is an important hub and one of AirAsia’s three larger hubs outside of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia where the airline will operate 20 international and domestic routes under its Sabah network.

International routes include KK-Hong Kong (seven flights per week), KK-Shenzhen (seven flights per week), KK-Wuhan (seven flights per week), KK-Guangzhou (seven flights per week), KK-Taipei (seven flights per week) and KK-Singapore (14 flights per week).

According to Riad, the KK-Macau route will reopen in July (four flights per week), and likewise the KK-Beijing route (seven flights per week).

“Our vast connectivity with a total of 303 frequencies weekly not only strengthens our market share in the state, but also allows us to continue looking to further expand our network directly from here to new destinations in the near future with China’s Beijing (Daxing) as an example.

“Being the third largest source of economic growth for Sabah after agriculture and manufacturing, supporting more than 80,000 jobs in the state, tourism continues and has the potential to significantly contribute further to the state’s economic communities as a whole,” the CEO enthused.

AirAsia looks forward to continuously working with Sabah Tourism Board (STB) who have always been supportive of the airline as an organisation to elevate the state’s tourism by connecting it to more domestic and international routes in the future, Riad added.

Others in the delegation were Zamani Rafique (Government Relations), Boon Seong Lim (Group Global Policy, Government Relations and Communications), Adrianna Welson (Government Relations), Joshua Empiong Sanjan (Marketing), Liyana Mahizzan (Marketing) and Primus Bin Poyoh Paul (Station Head Kota Kinabalu).

Also present were STB Chief Executive Officer Noredah Othman and Senior Marketing Manager Josephine Chai.