Sunday, January 07, 2007

AirAsia travellers impressed with low-cost terminal in KK

By Rosli Abidin Yahya

Travellers from Brunei Darussalam on board the AirAsia budget airline during the last week of December were pleasantly surprised to return via Kota Kinabalu, Sabah through the nearly-completed low-cost terminal during the first few days of the New Year.

About 75 per cent of the new terminal's facilities are in place pending demolition of the old complex but already passengers are giving it the thumbs-up for comfort and excellent service.

Overseas Foreign Workers (OFWs) from the Philippines who were on their way to Brunei after spending their Christmas and New Year holidays in Manila said two weeks ago, they saw piles of rubble, dusty roads and hot and congested halls.

"When we stepped out of the AirAsia plane to enter the new terminal, we thought we were in the wrong place. You can still see some work going on but it's definitely better now," they said.

"It was all chaos prior to our journey on Christmas Eve to Manila. However when we returned two weeks later, it was all pleasant. With such a facility, things can only get better as far as tourism is concerned," they added.

Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is expected to officially open the RM60 million terminal, which caters to AirAsia, Fly Asian Express and Transmile flights, on January 15.

The new terminal, developed by Global Upline Sdn Bhd, was completed in seven months - 29 months ahead of schedule - and could cater up to 2.5 million passengers annually, a five-fold increase compared to the old terminal.

There are 26 check-in counters compared with four at the old building and 13 immigration counters.

There are also six aircraft parking bays, seven luggage X-ray machines, 176 vehicle parking bays, 750 public seats and 500 luggage trolleys.

Kota Kinabalu has been a favourite destination among Bruneians as well as Philippine OFWs, as they can travel cheaply to Clarks, Manila on board the budget airline AirAsia.

Courtesy of: Borneo Bulletin

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