Kota Kinabalu is going to be an AirAsia Hub from July 11

Good news for budget travelers in Borneo Island. I adapted this news from our local newspaper, The Borneo Post this morning.

The Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) will be officailly become an AirAsia hub beginning July 11 (next Tuesday). By establishing KKIA as a hub, the budget airline will commence daily flights between Kota Kinabalu-Miri, Kota Kinabalu-Kuching and Kota Kinabalu-Tawau. Previously, those route was managed by our national carrier, MAS.

“Having the hub strategically in place will facilitate the growth of the tourism industry in Sabah and at the same time stimulate travel between Semenanjung (Peninsular) and East Malaysia,” AirAsia Berhad Chief Executive said.

“The introduction of new routes and additional frequencies from the Kota Kinabalu hub will certainly create more economic opportunities in terms of tourism and business travel,” the Chief Minister of Sabah said.

The new AirAsia flights will be operated using the Boeing 737-300 aircraft and available for booking at all AirAsia distribution channels. In conjunction with the launch, AirAsia will offer special fares of RM9.99 one-way for its Miri (in Sarawak) and Tawau routes.

Get your low fare airline tickets at www.airasia.com

My two cent: Well, its good to know that you have options to choose between two major carriers in Malaysia. However, there are some complaints from the passanger that AirAsia staff is not as ‘friendly’ as the MAS staff. Looking from our point of view, they may be correct. Well, you can expect that to happen when they have to ? ‘overwork’ to give the best service around. I can usually see that they sometimes ‘faking’ their smile, just to make ourselve happy.


Experience it yourself. You may have a better experience than me 😉

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About drizad

A self employed General Practitioner who lives with his lovely family in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. He dedicates his spare time serving people with precious information on climbing the Majestic Mountain of the Borneo, Mt Kinabalu. Reachable at drizad(at)gmail.com

2 thoughts on “Kota Kinabalu is going to be an AirAsia Hub from July 11

  1. Ian


    I have been traveling to and from Malaysia for over thirty years and now reside here with my wife and child. I have businesses in the UK and Malaysia and still clock over 200,000 air miles a year. I have traveled Air Asia on several occasions over the past few years and received the service expected from a budget airline.

    Unfortunately my trip to Laos on the 19th of February 2009 with Air Asia turned out to be one of the most disastrous and humiliating experiences of my life. Being disabled I made sure that I informed the ticket center at least 48 hours prior to my departure that as I am unable to climb stairs that I would require the service of their “Ambulift”. The gentleman at your call center confirmed that a note had been put on my reservation and told me that I should report to the two desks that would handle my request and a wheel chair. When I arrived at the airport with my wife and son, we checked in and went to a desk which was right at the end of the check-in desks and was, I believe numbered sixty something. The Malay guy at the desk confirmed my request for the “Ambulift” and then told me to go to desk 41 for a wheel chair, which I did, also telling them that I had requested the “Ambulift”.

    After going through passport control I was pushed to the gate only then to be told that the Ambulift was not available. This was some 5 minutes before boarding and at no time prior to this was I informed that it was not available. To add insult to injury I was then questioned as to whether I had even requested it.

    To get me on board the aircraft 3 of the ground staff carried me and the wheel chair up the stairs which was not pleasant for me and most strenuous for them but I was on board an we flew to Vientiane only to find that I had an even worse problem there.

    After several attempts it was decided that I was too heavy to carry down the steps in the wheel chair and one of the ground staff then grabbed me and attempted to carry me on his back which resulted in me on the floor of the aircraft after he dropped me. I suffered severe chest pain and it was only when the air crew came to my rescue that I was able to stand back up again and get my breath. To cut a very long story short, there was no way that the staff were able to get me down the stairs and I ended up crawling down to the runway on my hands and knees. To add insult to injury several people boarding another aircraft stopped to film my decent on there video camera’s. With apologies from the aircrew who seemed to be most embarrassed, I was wheeled in to the terminal with my suit covered in dirt and dust and my hand filthy.

    I can honestly say that I have never been so embarrassed and humiliated in my life.

    Air Asia had over 48 hours to advise me that A. The Ambulift at K.L. was not available and B. That there were no facilities in Vientiane for disabled passengers.

    I sent a complaint to Air Asia on the 4th of March 2009 and every week since but have yet to receive a reply.

  2. Ian

    I posted a blog just over a week ago with regards the treatment, as a disabled passenger, I received from Air Asia following a trip from Kuala Lumpur to Laos with my family. Being someone that believes that others should be warned if an airline can not, or does not provide the services that it offers, I related my long tale of woe and castigate Air Asia for its failings. I am now however pleased to report that I am, to say the least, most impressed with the response that I have received from Air Asia following my complaint. I did not receive a long list of excuses, my problems were not blamed on computer error or even worse something that I did wrong. Air Asia did what most big companies never seem to do and simply said that they were sorry and that they had got it wrong. Not only did I receive a written apology, several telephone calls from their call centre but I was also telephoned by the Guest Services and Operations Manager Eddie Tan with a full explanation of what went wrong and most important, what Air Asia were doing to ensure that it wouldn’t happen again. OK anyone can write a letter and anyone can pick up a telephone to shut a complaining customer up, if your lucky but I actually received a heart felt apology from Mr Tan that was genuine. It would appear that ground crew, check in staff and even cabin crew were interviewed regarding the incident in an attempt to pinpoint the areas of failure. Like a lot of things a few miner errors, someone entering a wrong code here, an unread fax there, were compounded into one major cock-up of which, unfortunately, I was the recipient. It’s nice to know that young as Air Asia is and as large as Air Asia is becoming, it is not taking the stance of a lot of airlines and that consider disabled people as a necessary evil that can be treated like morons and that Air Asia has the guts to say, we were wrong, we’re sorry and we will make sure it doesn’t happen again. Apology accepted Air Asia.

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