AirAsia has recommenced its service between Kota Kinabalu and Jakarta, marking a significant boost for regional tourism.
On Tuesday (Feb. 6), the inaugural flight QZ 526 from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport landed in Kota Kinabalu International Airport to a festive water salute, carrying 131 passengers.
The event was graced by Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Joniston Bangkuai, who highlighted the route’s impact on enhancing regional connectivity and fostering closer ties between East Malaysia and Indonesia.
This new service is expected to drive tourist arrivals, benefit local businesses, and stimulate the economy in both regions.
The reintroduction of this route by AirAsia, after a decade, is seen as a strategic move to promote cultural exchanges and economic activities. Sabah’s diverse landscapes and culture, coupled with its hospitality, make it an attractive destination for travelers from Jakarta and beyond.
Joniston commended AirAsia for its crucial role in expanding air connectivity and providing affordable travel options, enhancing Sabah’s appeal as a travel destination.
In discussions with AirAsia, Joniston, also the chairman of the Sabah Tourism Board, emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts in promoting Sabah and introducing more direct flights, including to Denpasar and Manado.
The anticipation for these new routes reflects the mutual excitement for increased tourism and the strengthening of ASEAN regional travel networks.
AirAsia’s commitment to three weekly flights on this route underscores its importance in their network and the potential for growth in tourism between Kota Kinabalu and Jakarta.