AirAsia Ramps Up Domestic Flights to Sabah

Tickets between the eastern state and Peninsular Malaysia are now going for as low as RM 99 (US$24).

A view of Mount Kinabalu from Sosodikon Hill. (Photo: Ryan O’Neil/Unsplash)

AirAsia is dramatically increasing the number of flights to, from, and within Sabah as the state reopens for domestic tourism. Entry restrictions imposed on Malaysians coming in from other parts of the country were eased yesterday, three weeks after a blanket ban on non-essential travel was lifted in West Malaysia.

Sabah’s Covid-19 disaster management committee has said that out-of-state visitors no longer need to obtain entry approval from the state government and police. Apart from being fully vaccinated, they must present a negative result from a PCR or antigen rapid test conducted within three days of the intended date of entry. Travelers between 12-18 years old should have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, and children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by fully vaccinated parents or guardians.

Riad Asmat, the CEO of AirAsia Malaysia, said in a statement, “While Sabahans can now look forward to better convenience with our higher flight frequencies to return to their hometowns and reunite with their loved ones, many others can’t wait to come back to Sabah to explore and enjoy the best that nature has to offer.” He added that the low-cost-carrier would be operating almost 300 weekly flights connecting Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, and Tawau in Sabah with Kuala Lumpur and other key cities in the Peninsula and Sarawak. That number represents a 75 percent increase from the over 170 weekly flights AirAsia ran to and from Sabah before interstate travel restrictions were lifted.

Until November 7, travelers can book seats for one-way flights from Penang, Kuala Lumpur, and other cities to Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, and Tawau from as low as RM 99 (US$24), while one-way flights within and between Sabah and Sarawak start at just RM 13 (US$3) for AirAsia BIG members.

Valid for travel from November 8, 2021 until October 29, 2022, the flights are now available for booking on the airasia Super App. Customers with credit accounts can use them to redeem tickets; promo seats are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

AirAsia currently accepts only fully vaccinated passengers on board, and customers must check-in via the airasia Super App that is integrated with vaccination records on Malaysia’s contact tracing app MySejahtera. The upcoming launch of its FACES facial recognition boarding system will eventually make the entire journey fully digital and contactless.

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