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Travel: AirAsia Philippines flights to Kota Kinabalu are back

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Low-cost airline 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 company is set to return to the capital city of Sabah – Kota Kinabalu on May 27 with twice-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.

In celebration of the resumption of its international ASEAN flights, AirAsia Philippines is doing a three-day Super Flash Deals promo across all its destinations from May 27 to 29. Interested flyers can expect discounts as high as 80% for hotels, flights and combined packages under SNAP, with base fares for tickets starting from just Php 88. The booking period is from May 27 to 29 for travel between Sept. 5, 2022 to March 25, 2023.

Filipinos traveling outside the Philippines are required to download and install the Traze Contact Tracing App, and register for the e-Health Declaration Card (e-HDC) through the Bureau of Quarantine’s OneHealthPass (OHP).

Depending on their country of destination, a traveler might be required to present other supporting documents and medical certificates. Some of the ASEAN countries like Thailand also require travelers to purchase travel and health insurance which will cover hospitalizations in case of COVID-19 infection.

For more information about schedules, travel requirements, and protocols, visit airasia Flysafe landing page.

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