LONDON – On 28 August, the Malaysian flag carrier, Malaysia Airlines marked yet another impressive milestone in its effort to expand its network, by introducing a new route from Kota Kinabalu (BKI) to Singapore Changi Airport (SIN).
The inaugural was flown on the 27 August, with passengers arriving at Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI) at 12:25pm local time carrying the flight number MH648 from Changi International Airport (SIN).
Passengers onboard this historic flight were greeted with a water cannon salute upon landing at Kota Kinabalu, and all passengers received goodies and memorabilia from the airline and the airport. Passengers were met upon landing by different authorities including Malaysia Airlines Berhad, Tourism Malaysia, Sabah Tourism Board, and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad.
Malaysia Airlines statement
Captain Izham Ismail, Group Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Aviation Group said: “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 further boost connectivity and flexibility for passengers bound to Singapore, as the airline also offers direct flights to the country via our main hub of Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Kuching.”
“With this new service, passengers from Singapore can seamlessly connect to the Land Below the Wind to discover the scenic attractions of Sabah and even Fly Malaysia to surrounding states from BKI via sister airlines Firefly and MASwings.”
“We look forward to further expanding our growth, introducing new strategic routes and increasing our capacity to achieve more than 70% of our pre-COVID-19 capacity by year-end.”
Sabah Tourism Board statement
Puan Noredah Othman, Chief Executive Officer of Sabah Tourism Board said, “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.”
Malaysia Airlines plans to operate this direct flight thrice weekly on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. This sector will take off from Kota Kinabalu, carrying flight number MH647 at 07:00am.
Respectively, the returning flight to Borneo will bear the flight number MH648 at 10:00 am. Malaysia uses its narrowbody workhorse, the Boeing 737-800. Malaysia Airlines 737 are equipped with 160 seats, with 16 in Business Class and 144 in Economy Class. Soon, all Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800 will be retrofitted with newer seats.