Malaysia Airlines announced (09-Aug-2010) plans to make Kota Kinabalu its Eastern hub, leveraging on the strategic location of the city as a transfer point for travel to/from China, Taiwan, North Asia, Indonesia and Australia. The hub will be developed over three stages from 15-Nov-2010 to 03-Jun-2011, with Malaysia Airlines adding new international destinations and frequencies from Kota Kinabalu, including Tokyo Haneda on 15-Nov-2010 and Osaka on 15-Jan-2011. It also plans to increase Kota Kinabalu-Seoul Incheon frequency to four times weekly in Jan-2011. By Jun-2011, Kota Kinabalu will have the following international flights: daily flights to Taipei and Hong Kong, four times weekly to Kaohsiung and Seoul, three times weekly to Tokyo Haneda and twice weekly services to Osaka. The carrier plans to deploy new B737-800 aircraft on select routes from the hub. Other new international destinations in the planning stage include cities in China, Indonesia and Australia. At the same time, Kuching will have 25 weekly flights, up from 14 weekly, to Kota Kinabalu. Malaysia Airlines will also be synchronising schedules from Kota Kinabalu with MASwings to offer better connectivity - see Route Changes Table for more information. [more]
Malaysia Airlines: “We have seen an increase in demand from these countries into Sabah and Sarawak which are ideal destinations for tourism and business. The setting up of Kota Kinabalu as the Eastern hub enables us to provide our customers with better flight schedules and connectivity as they would not need to wait for the aircraft to arrive from Kuala Lumpur. To facilitate this, we will position 150 flight and 250 cabin crew in Kota Kinabalu by June 2011. We are also pleased to announce that 6 planes, 2 of which are our latest planes, the 2 B737-800s and 4 B734s will be based in Kota Kinabalu. This also provides us the opportunity for growth and expansion to new destinations. We currently expect a potential improvement per annum of between MYR60 and MYR100 million (USD19.1-32.0 million) to our bottom line,” Azmil Zahruddin, Managing Director & CEO. Source: Malaysia Airlines, 09-Aug-2010.