KOTA KINABALU: At least 200 more charter and extra flights will bring in arrivals from China, Korea and Japan this summer season until March next year, Sabah Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Christina Liew, announced today.
The charter flights are from Chinese second tier cities such as Zhengzhou, Wenzhou, Nanning, Tianjin, Yi Wu and Xiayang.
At least 76 charter flights are expected from South Korea, including one coming from Jeju Island, the first direct charter to Kota Kinabalu from the island.
“We have already received 152 charter flights the first half of the year or, an additional 20,000 tourists from China and Japan into Sabah.” Liew said.
“This is a great opportunity to spread these arrivals to the East Coast as the current number of rooms in West Coast will not be able to carry the influx. We need to be able to give the tourists attractive products and complement that with improved services in the East Coast.”
Currently 196 scheduled international flights from 21 international cities fly into Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) every week.
Last year, Sabah received a total of 215 charter flights from China, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and Thailand.
Liew added, “As for scheduled flights, the direct flight from Bangkok to KK will begin this week (Thursday), a double daily from Shenzhen and a Macau direct to KK are expected in November. All three flights would be on AirAsia.”
The current total arrivals into Sabah as of June this year is 1.891 million or an increase of +5.3% compared to the same time last year.