Indonesia AirAsia: Jakarta-Kota Kinabalu direct flights debut 2024 first intl route – Travel And Tour World

Skytrax has named Indonesia AirAsia the world’s premier low-cost airline. Today, the airline officially resumed its flights from Jakarta to Kota Kinabalu, marking its inaugural international route for 2024. This service offers exclusive direct access to Kota Kinabalu, famously known as the ‘Land Below the Wind.’

“Indonesia AirAsia is expanding its international flight network, demonstrating our commitment to bolstering ties between Indonesia and Malaysia,” remarked Capt. Wuri Septiawan, Director of Flight Operations for Indonesia AirAsia, during a press briefing in Kota Kinabalu on Tuesday (2/6).

Capt. Wuri emphasized AirAsia’s dedication to fostering tourism and economic growth in both nations, particularly highlighting Kota Kinabalu’s immense tourism potential and the airline’s pledge to provide outstanding travel experiences.

This launch establishes Kota Kinabalu as the fifth direct flight destination from Jakarta to Malaysia by Indonesia AirAsia, joining the ranks of successful routes to Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Penang, and Kuching.

“We anticipate that this flight will facilitate easier access for tourists from Indonesia and Malaysia to explore and enjoy the top tourist spots in each country, all at affordable rates,” Capt. Wuri noted.

The maiden flight, coded as QZ 526, departed from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK) and arrived safely at Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI) at 3:55 PM local time, where it received a ceremonial water salute.

In commemoration of this milestone, Capt. Wuri Septiawan, accompanied by Indonesia AirAsia Allstars, was warmly received by local dignitaries including Datuk Joniston Bangkuai, Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Sabah & Chairman of Sabah Tourism Board; Josie Lai, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment Sabah; Jamilah Abd Halim, Deputy Director of ASEAN Division, Tourism Malaysia; and Rafail Walangitan, Consul General of Indonesia in Sabah. Additionally, the pilot and cabin crew were honored with traditional Sabah necklaces as tokens of appreciation.

“We are delighted to welcome Indonesia AirAsia’s inaugural flight to Kota Kinabalu. This initiative not only strengthens the relationship between the countries but also opens up new opportunities in the tourism, cultural, and economic sectors. With this new route, we hope to welcome more Indonesian tourists to enjoy and experience the unique attractions and charming natural beauty of Sabah,” said Datuk Christina Liew, Sabah Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment.

“We appreciate Indonesia AirAsia for taking this significant step, which may pave the way for positive bilateral ties between Indonesia and Malaysia. This is an important move that will enhance connectivity between the two destinations and provide new opportunities for economic and tourism growth. We welcome this flight as tangible proof of a strong commitment to strengthening cooperation between our countries. Hopefully, this flight opens the door to more cooperation opportunities in the future,” said Rafail Walangitan, Consul General of Republic of Indonesia in Sabah.

Kota Kinabalu, commonly known as “KK,” stands as a vibrant melting pot of cultures set amidst breathtaking natural landscapes, encompassing everything from museums and beaches to Malaysia’s highest peak. Mount Kinabalu, soaring at 4,095 meters above sea level, offers adventurous travelers the chance to conquer its summit and witness the awe-inspiring sunrise. Sabah, home to KK, boasts a plethora of attractions including Tanjung Aru Beach, Sabah State Museum, Mari Mari Cultural Village, Atkinson Clock Tower, Gaya Street Sunday Market, KK Waterfront, and Tanjung Aru Perdana Park.

Statistics from Indonesia reveal that Malaysian tourists topped the list of foreign visitors to Indonesia in 2023, constituting 16.28% or 1,901,242 individuals. Similarly, Sabah Immigration Department data for January to November 2023 indicates that Indonesian tourists ranked third, with 78,693 visitors.

The launch of a direct flight route from Jakarta to Kota Kinabalu by Indonesia AirAsia is poised to significantly bolster the government’s efforts in boosting international tourism. Aligned with the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy’s ambitious target of welcoming 14.3 million international visitors in 2024, marking a substantial 68% increase from the previous year’s goal of 8.5 million.

This growth isn’t limited to tourism alone; exports and imports are also expected to surge. Malaysia ranks as the fourth largest source of imports into Indonesia and the fifth most common export destination, according to the Ministry of Trade of the Republic of Indonesia. Thus, the introduction of this flight route presents promising opportunities to enhance cargo services and facilitate increased trade activity.

Tickets for the Jakarta to Kota Kinabalu route are now available for purchase via the AirAsia MOVE app, website, AirAsia Travel & Service Center (ATSC), online travel agencies, and authorized ticket sales agents. Group reservations of 10 or more passengers can be made by contacting AirAsia’s Group Desk at [email protected].

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