AIRASIA PHILIPPINES SEES STRONG ASEAN REBOUND BEGINNING 2Q2022
Manila, Philippines, 27 May 2022 – AirAsia Philippines is confident of a strong rebound in
the Asean Region with the resumption of flights to Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong-Kong, Singapore
and Thailand commencing in June.
The World’s Best Low-Cost Airline is set to return to the capital city of Sabah – Kota Kinabalu on
27 May with 2x weekly flights.
A growing resort destination, Kota Kinabalu is home to an array of tropical islands, lush
rainforests and the famous Unesco site, Mount Kinabalu. It is also famous as an eco, wellness,
health and sports tourism destination. With 32 ethnic groups living harmoniously in Sabah, the
city is also well known for the promotion of cultural tourism.
Aside from tourism, Kota Kinabalu is also the industrial and commercial center of Sabah which
opens strong opportunities for business and employment for everyone, including Filipinos.
AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricky Isla said, “Our resumption of flights to key ASEAN
destinations starting with Kota Kinabalu signifies our recovery especially in the international
market. We hope to revive the tourism and economy of Sabah with the resumption of the Kota
Kinabalu flights. We believe that the easing of safety protocols and test requirements by our
neighboring countries have also revived the urge to travel among Filipinos.”
A survey commissioned by AirAsia Philippines in December 2021 revealed that Filipinos are
willing to travel in smaller groups this year with their families (69%), partners (40%) and close
friends (24%) should international travel protocols relax. Top destinations picked by Filipino
travelers include Singapore (73%) and Japan (71%). Ranking ninth in the list of top preferred
international destinations of Filipinos is Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, with 47% of the participants
including the destination in their top choices.
Sabah Tourism Board Chairman Noredah Othman said, “We are pleased to welcome the
return of AirAsia Philippines flight to Kota Kinabalu. This is AirAsia’s second international flight to
Kota Kinabalu after Singapore. We are excited that international flights are progressively
resuming since we rely heavily on air connectivity for our tourism arrivals. STB will continue to
promote Sabah as a holiday destination to the Philippines market especially to those interested
in climbing Mt Kinabalu and other niche tourism products.”
Aside from Kota Kinabalu, the World’s Best Low-Cost Airline will also begin to fly tourists and
business travelers back to Hong-Kong (weekly) and Singapore (4x weekly) as well as Bangkok
(2x weekly) and Bali (2x weekly) starting in June.