PHILIPPINES AirAsia, Inc. said it is working with Malaysia’s Sabah Tourism Board (STB) to fly more Filipino tourists to Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah.
This partnership is part of the low-cost airline’s efforts to “restart” its operations in Southeast Asia and the “eventual expansion” of its international route network, Philippines AirAsia said in an e-mailed statement on Wednesday.
The STB promotes Kota Kinabalu, which is home to cultural sites and white-sand beaches, as a “preferred tourist destination among Filipinos,” according to the airline.
Under this collaboration, (Philippines AirAsia) actively promotes eco-tourism adventures through flights and hotel partnerships, airline representatives said.
The airline resumed its flights to Kota Kinabalu in June.
The resumption “has reopened this important border not only for Filipino traders and travelers, but also for Malaysians here in Sabah who would like to visit their friends and relatives in Manila,” Philippines AirAsia Chief Executive Officer Ricardo P. Isla said.
“This also opens the opportunity for tourism for the two sides to prosper, as both destinations have an array of exciting offerings for first-time and seasoned travelers,” he added.
For his part, Datuk Jafry Ariffin, the minister of Tourism Culture and Environment, said: “With… AirAsia, we can re-establish collaborations on new access into Sabah.”
“I am looking forward to more connections AirAsia may bring from the island nation of the Philippines,“ he added.
The budget carrier flies to Kota Kinabalu weekly every Tuesday and Saturday.
“Guests visiting Kota Kinabalu are required to download the MySejahtera app and fill out the pre-departure form and verify their digital COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) vaccine certificate via the ‘Traveler’ icon,” the airline said. — Arjay L. Balinbin