Thursday, December 15, 2005

AirAsia to launch two new flights to Sabah from Johor Bahru

Malaysia's low fare airlines, AirAsia, will start its two new direct flights from Johor Bahru to Sandakan and Johor Bahru to Tawau to cater to the huge demand by travellers from Singapore in February next year, said its chief executive officer Tony Fernandes, Bernama reported.

The new routes were specially requested by Singapore travellers who would like to visit Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Sandakan and the divers' haven in Sipadan Islands, he said at a press conference here in conjunction with the inaugural flight of Airbus A320 from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to Kota Kinabalu Thursday.

The flight AK102 with 172 guests on board was welcomed by Sabah Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Yahya Hussin.

Touching on the AirAsia operational development in Singapore, he said he was unhappy with the Republic for not allowing AirAsia shuttle buses to ferry passengers from Senai Airport in Johor Baharu to Orchard Road in Singapore and vice versa. "We hope to have total access," he said.

AirAsia currently has one daily flight from Kota Kinabalu to Johor Bahru.

Fernandes said the company planned to use Kota Kinabalu as one of its regional hubs to tap the lucrative market in China.

He said the company was phasing out its current Boeing 737 fleet and it would take about seven years to replace them with Airbus A320 aircraft.

He said the second airbus would arrive this Christmas and the third with Manchester United's logo would be delivered next January. Fernandes said the phased out Boeing 737 would be used by its joint-venture companies in Thailand and Indonesia.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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