Malaysia Airlines today announced that it has chosen Kota Kinabalu to be its Eastern Hub, as the airline sets its eyes on Flights to Australia, China, Taiwan, North Asia, Indonesia markets. Its Managing Director cum Chief Executive Officer, Tengku Datuk Azmil Zahruddin said the hub will be developed over three stages from November 15 to June 3 next year, where new destinations and frequencies will be added to complement the currently served foreign cities from Kota Kinabalu.
“We picked Kota Kinabalu in Sabah to leverage on the strategic location of the city as an ideal gateway to promote travels between the markets mentioned.”This is the right time to develop the (eastern) hub with the upturn of this industry in Asia. It provides us opportunity for growth in yield, load factor and destinations – we expect a potential improvement of between RM60 million and RM100 million per annum to our bottom line as a result,” he said when making the announcement, here.
The first new destination introduced will be three non-stop weekly services to Haneda (Tokyo) effective November 15, 2010, followed by twice weekly services to Osaka effective Jan 15, 2011. The Seoul route meanwhile, will be increased in January to four flights a week from twice a week currently.
“By June 2011, Kota Kinabalu will have daily flights to Taipei and Hong Kong, four weekly flights to Kaohsiung (Taiwan) and Seoul, and three weekly services to Haneda and twice weekly to Osaka. “Other new international destinations to cities in China, Indonesia and Australia is in the planning and will be announced in future,” he said.
At the same time, Kuching will have more access to these international destinations when flights to Kota Kinabalu is increased to 25 flights a week, from the current 14 flights weekly. “Malaysia Airlines will also be synchronising the flights schedules from Kota Kinabalu with MASwings and vice versa, to offer better connectivity,” he added