AirAsia Celebrates Inaugural Flight to Kota Kinabalu from Taipei

AirAsia, the world’s best low cost airline today celebrates its maiden flight to Kota Kinabalu from Taipei with a celebration at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport; establishing Kota kinabalu as its 2nd largest hub in Malaysia with a total of seven international and nine domestic destinations. When the route was announced open for sale in November 2009, it received excellent response from the public where bookings reached encouraging numbers with over 32,000 seats sold to date. YB Dato’ Sri Ong Tee Keat, the Minister of Transport Malaysia was present to welcome over 120 guests on the inaugural flight from Taipei at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport, together with YB Datuk Masidi Manjun, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment of Sabah, YBhg. Dato’ Aziz Bakar, Chairman of AirAsia Berhad, and YBhg. Dato’ Fam Lee Ee Director of AirAsia. Also present were YBhg Dato’ Seri Tengku Zainal Adlin, Chairman of Sabah Tourism Board, and YBhg Datuk Irene Benggon Charuruks, General Manager of Sabah Tourism Board, distinguished guests from government bodies, travel agents and members of the media. Minister of Transport of Malaysia, YB Dato’ Sri Ong Tee Keat said, “This is a fantastic milestone for Malaysia’s aviation industry and for AirAsia; establishing Kota Kinabalu as its second largest hub in Malaysia. The Ministry is working closely with AirAsia to enhance international air services, which will result in more inbound tourists to Malaysia, boost our economy and increase tourism revenue. There are countless attractions in East Malaysia and I am pleased to be here today to celebrate AirAsia’s inaugural flight from Taipei. The introduction of this new route will provide greater accessibility and connectivity across South East Asia and beyond.” Kota Kinabalu (Sabah) has the most developed tourism infrastructure for gentle beach life or more active watersports, which makes this beautiful coast one of the most coveted tourist destinations of the world. Not to mention the Mount Kinabalu, the third tallest mountain of South East Asia is also one of the stunning tourist attractions in Sabah. Other primary Eco-tourism attractions include its outstanding national parks such as Kinabalu National Park and the Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary. Likewise, residents of East Malaysia can now enjoy AirAsia’s low fares and have the luxury of direct flights to Taiwan, renowned for its cuisine, culture, arts, architecture and bustling business activities. Taipei is a melting pot of the great culinary traditions, both Chinese and foreign, with hundreds of restaurants creating a gourmet’s paradise. This most popular city in Taiwan is also littered with large shopping centers and department chain stores. Combining diverse leisure and entertainment facilities, these venues offer shopping for clothing, lifestyle products, bookstores, amusement centers, and many others. Chairman of AirAsia, YBhg. Dato’ Aziz Bakar commented, “We are confident that this new route will stimulate more travel between these two destinations and enhance tourism activities. We are optimistic that our low fares and world class services will continue to induce more travel demand and in turn enrich and galvanise the economies of both nations. Nothing speaks better than the current statistics, and the numbers tell me that the response from the public is very encouraging for all three cities from our hubs in Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Kota Kinabalu to Taipei, operated by AirAsia and AirAsia X. To date, we have carried 129, 000 guests both inbound and outbound from Taipei since April 2009 and the numbers are still growing. I believe we have successfully established an important ‘bridge’ between Kota Kinabalu and Taipei and have made air travel more accessible for both leisure and business travelers. We believe this is a good start with 2010 as year of the Tiger and hope to foster closer ties with the government, tourism bodies, airport authorities and travel industries in boosting the nation’s economy which will in turn induce prosperity.” Besides Taipei, Kota Kinabalu also connects guests to other international destinations such as Brunei, Jakarta, Shenzhen, Macau, Clark and Singapore. Domestically, guests may connect to Kuala Lumpur, Sandakan, Sibu, Tawau, Miri, Labuan, Penang, Kuching and Johor Bahru from the hub. To add value, AirAsia, under GoHoliday at goholiday.airasia.com, has also lined up some great online hotel deals to stretch the dollar where they may choose their holiday lodgings from over 50,000 hotels. We encourage our guests to purchase food, baggage, hot seats online to enjoy more discounts and savings through airasia.com. The new route will be served by AirAsia’s brand new Airbus A320 aircraft, one of the most modern aircraft that boosts efficiency, enhances reliability, cost efficient and provides higher service levels to AirAsia’s guests. The Airbus A320 family provides operators with the highest degree of operational commonality and ensures guests’ safety and comfort. Stay tuned! Follow AirAsia on Twitter, Facebook, and AirAsia’s Blog where we will provide real time updates on our latest promotion. Photos will be available on www.flickr.com/airasia. For more details on flight times and bookings, please visit www.airasia.com or mobile.airasia.com.

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