KOTA KINABALU: Sabah sees the rapid growth of low cost carrier MYAirline as a positive development in expanding the state's reach for both domestic and international travellers, says Datuk Christina Liew.
The state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister said that in less than seven months, the low-cost carrier had increased its passenger load by some 60% to Sabah and Sarawak.
"Since its first flight on Dec 1, 2022, MYAirline's passenger performance has increased 34% on the Sabah route alone," she said when launching the MYAirline Miss Borneo 2023 beauty pageant at a mall here on Saturday (June 6).
She said Malaysia's newest airline has achieved significant milestones in terms of expanding its operations to various destinations.
"From its initial flights, MYAirline has expanded its official operations from three destinations in Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi, Kuching, and Kota Kinabalu) to eight more domestic destinations to date," she said.
She said that it augured well for Sabah as MYAirline was looking at expanding its domestic routes as well as to selected Asean destinations that included Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam by the end of 2023.
Liew was happy to see that MYAirline was also looking into establishing a hub at Kota Kinabalu.
"Its current operations in Sabah are centred around Kota Kinabalu and Tawau with a total frequency of 28 and 14 flights weekly from Kuala Lumpur, respectively.
"They are also providing connecting daily flights from Kota Kinabalu to Tawau," she added.
Liew said that she was informed that the flights from Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu will be increased in the future, and daily flights to Sandakan will also be introduced soon.
She said Sabah appreciated MYAirline for its unwavering support in promoting Sabah Tourism and positioning Sabah as a must-visit destination.
On the MYAirline Miss Borneo pageant, Liew felt that it was a unique approach by the company for recruiting Sabahans with dreams of working in the airline industry.
The candidates participating in the beauty pageant were hired in a walk-in interview earlier this week and would compete for MYAirline Miss Borneo 2023.
"I was made to understand that cabin crews will be elegantly attired in traditional costumes from Sabah, while a select few will showcase the traditional attire from Sarawak in conjunction with the recent Kaamatan and Gawai festivities," she said.
Also present was MYAirline chief executive officer Rayner Teo Kheng Hock.