There was a welcoming ceremony at Kota Kinabalu on 16 August to mark the arrival of Thai AirAsia’s first flight from Bangkok Don Mueang. Joining the celebrations were: Tuan Mohamaddin Bin Ketapi, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Malaysia (Third from left); Christina Liew, Deputy Chief Minister, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment of Sabah; and Riad Asmat CEO, AirAsia.
- Thai AirAsia introduced its first flights to East Malaysia on 16 August when it commenced services from Bangkok Don Mueang (DMK) to Kota Kinabalu (BKI). The 1,907-kilometre connection will be operated three times per week with A320s and faces no direct competition. Riad Asmat, CEO, AirAsia said, “We are pleased to welcome our inaugural flight from Bangkok to Kota Kinabalu today. We launched our first flight to Kota Kinabalu back in 2002, and have flown more than 39 million guests from and to the city since. We now connect Kota Kinabalu to 18 destinations across the region with 332 weekly flights. We hope that our new direct service between Bangkok and Kota Kinabalu will bring more positive impact, not just to the state’s tourism and economic sector, but to the communities in Sabah as well. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank both Federal and State Tourism Ministry for supporting the low-cost business model and for engaging stakeholders, including AirAsia, to improve the connectivity in and out of Sabah.” Tuan Mohamaddin Bin Ketapi, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia added, “Collaboration for air accessibility into Malaysia is very much welcomed and I am pleased that Thai AirAsia has expanded its route to Sabah. Thailand is an important market for Malaysia with potential for growth especially with the interest in travel among Thais and the range of tourism products in Malaysia that cater to their needs. Sabah definitely has a lot of attractive tourism offerings that appeal to Thai tourists.” See how Kota Kinabalu Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.