Kota Kinabalu Airport
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- IATA Code
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- Kota Kinabalu International Airport,
88740 Kota Kinabalu,
- Kota Kinabalu
- Domestic | International
- 2987m x 46m
- Airlines currently operating to this airport with scheduled services
- Air Seoul
China Southern Airlines
Royal Brunei Airlines
- Airlines currently operating to this airport via codeshare
- Air New Zealand
China Eastern Airlines
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Kota Kinabalu International Airport is the main gateway to the Malaysian state of Sabah and the island of Borneo. Over ten airlines fly to a range of domestic and international East Asian destinations. Malaysia Airlines uses it as a secondary hub. The airport is operated by Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad.
Location of Kota Kinabalu Airport, Malaysia
Ground Handlers and Cargo Handlers servicing Kota Kinabalu Airport
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Fuel & Oil Suppliers servicing Kota Kinabalu Airport
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18 total articles
AirAsia is resuming domestic expansion in the Malaysian market with a focus on connecting more dots within its network of 15 domestic destinations. The LCC is launching or resuming three domestic routes from Johor Bahru in late Apr-2017 and has lodged applications for four more new domestic point-to-point routes.
By the end of 2017 AirAsia is also aiming to take over a few domestic routes within east Malaysia that are now exclusively operated by the Malaysia Airlines Group turboprop subsidiary MASwings. The routes are part of the Malaysian government’s subsidised rural air services (RAS) programme, but are potentially big enough to support larger aircraft on a commercial basis. The Malaysia Airlines Group is preparing to reduce its ATR 72 turboprop fleet further following anticipated changes to the RAS programme, which is coming up for renewal this year.
AirAsia is the leading domestic airline in Malaysia and has 50% of its total seat capacity allocated to the domestic market. However, AirAsia’s domestic capacity has been flat the last three years as it has focused entirely on international expansion.
Malaysia Airlines plans to resume network and capacity expansion in 2017, with a focus on medium haul routes to India and North Asia. The airline is considering several new routes – primarily to secondary cities in China and India – and may also add capacity to some existing North Asian destinations.
Capacity is projected to increase by 3.5% to 4% in 2017, generated by aircraft utilisation improvements. Malaysia Airlines expects significant utilisation improvements on the 737 fleet as new crew bases are opened in secondary cities throughout Malaysia.
The rate of capacity growth is relatively modest but follows a period of sharp cuts, and signifies that Malaysia Airlines is entering a new phase in its restructuring. The airline expects to carry approximately 13 million passengers in 2016, compared with a high of 17.2 million in 2013.
AirAsia 2016 outlook Part 4: Malaysia expansion focuses on international routes from secondary bases
Malaysia AirAsia (MAA) is focusing on expanding secondary bases in 2016 as its fleet grows by three aircraft. The Kuala Lumpur-based short haul LCC is adding four international routes from secondary cities in 1Q2016, giving it a total of 20 international routes from six secondary cities.
MAA is the largest airline in Malaysia and has been able to increase its market share over the last year while traffic in the overall Malaysian market has been flat. Growth should resume in 2016 in both the domestic and international markets, driven partially by MAA expansion, but competition is also intensifying as other Malaysian airlines expand.
China, particularly, is a fast-expanding market from Malaysia. Two of the four routes that MAA is launching are 1Q2016 are to China, while the other two are to Myanmar and Vietnam.
Malaysia Airlines is planning to expand at Kota Kinabalu after opening a new base at Malaysia’s second largest airport in Apr-2016. The restructured flag carrier will be basing six 737-800s at Kota Kinabalu year-round with one or two additional aircraft during certain periods to support new charter flights to China.
The Malaysia Airlines international operation at Kota Kinabalu, which currently consists of only 12 weekly flights to four destinations, could see rapid expansion over the next couple of years. The Kota Kinabalu international routes have traditionally been highly unprofitable but the flag carrier is confident its new significantly reduced cost structure along with the improved efficiency generated by a new local crew base will make previously lossmaking routes viable.
Malaysia Airlines is also banking on improved domestic connections as it starts to promote Kota Kinabalu as a hub. The domestic operation of Malaysia Airlines and regional subsidiary MASwings will be retimed to facilitate connections. There will also be opportunities for new domestic flights under the restructured mainline carrier.
Kota Kinabalu Airport in east Malaysia should see a resumption of traffic growth in 2016 following two years of reductions. Malaysia’s second largest airport is quietly emerging as an international hub, fuelled by growth from mainland China.
Malaysia Airlines is opening a base at Kota Kinabalu in Apr-2016, which is expected to lead to nearly 30% traffic growth at the airport for the newly restructured flag carrier. AirAsia is also expanding at Kota Kinabalu in 2016, starting with a new daily service to Wuhan, its fourth Chinese route.
Kota Kinabalu also has seen the launch or resumption of service from three Chinese carriers in 2H2015. China is now the airport’s largest international market and will see further growth in 2016 driven by new flights from AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines and Chinese carriers.
AirAsia is preparing to establish a hub on the Malaysian island of Langkawi following a landmark deal which has resulted in a 70% reduction in charges – an indicator of the high importance placed on charges by the AirAsia Group. Langkawi will become Malaysia AirAsia’s sixth hub as services to Guangzhou and Hong Kong are launched.
Several other new international destinations are expected including Bangkok under a plan which will see at least five A320s based in Langkawi by 2020. Langkawi currently only has regular international services to Singapore.
The new Langkawi hub is part of an overall strategy by the AirAsia Group to focus growth on secondary airports. At the group’s original Malaysian subsidiary several new domestic and international routes from secondary hubs are planned for the next year despite a significant slowdown in fleet growth.