Malaysia Airlines reached a new milestone in its network expansion plan on August 27, 2022, when it inaugurated a new direct flight between Kota Kinabalu and Singapore.
Passengers who arrived at Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI) at 12:25 local time via flight MH648 from Changi International Airport were honoured with a welcome ceremony (SIN).
Representatives from Malaysia Airlines Berhad, Tourism Malaysia, the Sabah Tourism Board, and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad greeted arriving passengers with a water cannon salute and handed out souvenirs to commemorate the special occasion.
Captain Izham Ismail, Group Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Aviation Group, stated, “We are delighted to expand our connectivity to Singapore as many of our passengers opt for this route for business and leisure travel.”
This will increase connectivity and flexibility for passengers travelling to Singapore, as the airline already offers direct flights to the country via its main hub in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Kuching. With this new service, passengers from Singapore can seamlessly connect to the Land Below the Wind to explore the scenic attractions of Sabah and Fly Malaysia to neighbouring states via sister airlines Firefly and MASwings from BKI.
The airline anticipates expanding their growth, introducing new strategic routes, and increasing their capacity to exceed 70% of their pre-COVID-19 capacity by the end of the year.
Sabah Tourism Board’s Chief Executive Officer, Puan Noredah Othman, stated, “Sabah Tourism Board will continue to promote Sabah as a preferred holiday destination to Singaporeans and also to use the popular Singapore hub as a transit point for long haul market travellers to reach Sabah. Since the reopening of the SIN-BKI route in April, we have recorded an upward trend with 1,248 arrivals in May and 3,051 arrivals in June. With the inclusion of Malaysia Airlines, we are confident that this trend will continue.”
The direct flights will operate three times per week on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, departing BKI-SIN via MH647 at 07:00am and arriving SIN-BKI via MH648 at 10:00am. The flights will be operated by B737-800 aircraft with 160 seats, including 16 Business Class seats and 144 Economy Class seats.