SABAH S air connectivity is set to improve as Malaysia Airlines (MAS) launches new flights from Kota Kinabalu to Shanghai and resumes services to Osaka and Perth this month.
From December 11, 2012, the national carrier will commence twice-weekly flights to Shanghai, departing Kota Kinabalu every Tuesday and Friday at 20.20 and arriving in the Chinese city at 0.45 the following day.
Following the suspension of its Kota Kinabalu-Perth and Kota Kinabalu-Osaka routes earlier this year, MAS reintroduced a weekly service to Perth on December 9, departing every Sunday, and will bring back its twice-weekly flights to Osaka on December 20, departing every Monday and Thursday.
Services to all three destinations will be operated on B737-800 aircraft with 144 economy class seats and 16 business class seats.
Muzamil Mohammad, MAS regional senior vice president for Malaysia/ASEAN, said: “The introduction of more international direct flights to and from Kota Kinabalu meets the growing demand for premium connectivity to and from Sabah. Kota Kinabalu is an ideal gateway for air travel to and from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, North Asia, Indonesia and Australia.”
MATTA Sabah Chapter chairman, KL Tan, said: “94 per cent of tourist arrivals to Sabah depend on air connectivity. We expect a surge of arrivals to the state with the new services to Shanghai and the resumption of flights to Osaka and Perth. The recommencement of flights to Osaka and Perth will also boost market confidence.”