Malaysia Airlines Launches Kota Kinabalu–Singapore Flights

Initially, departures have been scheduled three times a week aboard two-class Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

Mount Kinabalu rises to the northeast of its namesake city. (Photo: Traworld Official/Unsplash)

Lion City residents who desire a little more comfort in the air when flying to Sabah can look to Malaysia Airlines’ brand-new direct service between Kota Kinabalu and Singapore. The latest addition to the Malaysian flag carrier’s regional Southeast Asian network will increase passenger capacity by nearly 500 seats per week each way. And as its immediate competitors are Scoot and AirAsia, which both run daily flights, MAS has the distinction of being the sole full-service airline operating on the route.

Two-class Boeing 737-800 aircraft with 16 seats in business class and 144 seats in economy are being deployed, and direct flights are scheduled three times a week. Each Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, the Singapore-bound service, MH647, will depart from Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI) at 7 a.m. and arrive in Changi at 9:15 a.m.; after a turnaround time of under an hour, MH648 will then take off at 10 a.m. and return to Sabah’s state capital at 12:25 p.m.

Izham Ismail, the Group CEO of Malaysia Aviation Group, said in a statement, “This will further boost connectivity and flexibility for passengers bound to Singapore, as the airline also offers direct flights to the country via our main hub of Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Kuching.” He added that MAS planned to launch new strategic routes, and was aiming to increase the overall passenger capacity to reach more than 70 percent of pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year.

Looking beyond Southeast Asia, Malaysia Airlines celebrated its inaugural flight from Kuala Lumpur to Tokyo Haneda on August 14: the carrier currently operates a twice-weekly service using Airbus A330-300s, complementing its existing flights to Narita. Last month also saw the airline double capacity between Kuala Lumpur and Doha with a second daily flight — a significant step up for an international route that debuted only in May.

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