China–Kota Kinabalu air links increase

Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah in Eastern Malaysia, is gaining a growing number of air connections with China.

Low-cost carrier AirAsia announced yesterday that it would begin a daily service between Kota Kinabalu and the southern Chinese industrial city of Guangzhou from December 25. Flight AK1530 will leave at 2000 to land in Guangzhou at 2315, with the return leg leaving at 0005 and landing back in Malaysia at 0315.

China Southern also announced plans to start flying between these two cities from the end of last month, but has postponed this launch until next year.

It has also been reported that Dragonair plans to boost its flights between Hong Kong and Kota Kinabalu to daily from March next year due to a high demand for the service. The airline added an extra weekly service in July this year.

Malaysia Airlines recently announced that from December 1 this year it is increasing flight frequencies between Kota Kinabalu and Hong Kong from daily to nine weekly (see here).

The new flight MH426 will depart at 1530 on Wednesday and 1620 on Saturday, to arrive in Hong Kong at 1825 and 1915 respectively. The return leg will leave Hong Kong at 1925 and 2015 on the same days, landing at 2225 and 2315.

Kota Kinabalu is emerging as an industrial centre in the east of Malaysia. Its industries include steel manufacturing, timber products such as plywood, palm oil production and agriculture. The city is located at the centre of the region and has a sizeable seaport, making it well placed for regional trade with surrounding commercial hubs (to read more about Malaysia’s emerging hubs click here). About half of the city’s residents are of Chinese ethnicity.

Nicholas Olczak


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