Malaysia Airlines Starts New Direct Kota Kinabalu-Singapore Flights

  • Malaysia Airlines Airbus A330 Getty

    Malaysia Airlines

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Kuala Lumpur International Airport

    Year Founded:


    Izham Ismail


On August 27th, Malaysia Airlines made history by opening a new route connecting Kota Kinabalu and Singapore. The flight departed from Changi International Airport (SIN) and landed at Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI) at 12:25 PM local time. Passengers aboard this inaugural flight were greeted upon arrival with a water cannon and given bags filled with souvenirs. Representatives from the airline, airport, and other travel agencies welcomed the passengers and flight crew. Airline executives shared their excitement about the new route at the event. The airline plans to fly the route three times a week. It anticipates that this will sufficiently meet both leisure and business travel demands between the cities.


Historic route

Malaysia Airlines reached another milestone in its plan for network expansion on Saturday, August 27th. It opened another flight connecting Singapore and Malaysia. At 12:25 PM local time, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800 landed at BKI. It had just flown the inaugural flight from SIN. Upon arrival, the passengers and flight crew were greeted by a water cannon and were all given bags filled with souvenirs to help them remember the historic flight. At the gate, representatives from various groups greeted the passengers and crew. The organizations represented were Tourism Malaysia, Sabah Tourism Board, Malaysia Airlines Berhad, and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad.

Passengers were greeted by various representatives when they entered the terminal in Kota Kinabalu. Photo: Malaysia Airlines

Captain Izham Ismail, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Aviation Group, shared the airline’s excitement for this new route. ismail stated,

“We are delighted to expand our connectivity to Singapore as many of our passengers opt for this route for business and leisure travel. This will further boost connectivity and flexibility for passengers bound to Singapore, as the airline also offers direct flights to the country via our main hub of Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Kuching. With this new service, passengers from Singapore can seamlessly connect to the Land Below the Wind to discover the scenic attractions of Sabah and even Fly Malaysia to surrounding states from BKI via sister airlines Firefly and MASwings .”

He stated that the new route would help the airline reach 70% of its capacity in 2019 by the end of the year. The Chief Executive Officer of Sabah Tourism Board, Puan Noredah Othman, stated that the tourism board anticipates a steady flow of tourists to the region from Singapore along this route. Othman stated,

“Sabah Tourism Board will continue to promote Sabah as a preferred holiday destination to Singaporeans and also to use the popular Singapore hub as a transit point for long haul market travelers to reach Sabah. Since the re-opening of the SIN-BKI route in April , we have recorded an upward trend with 1,248 arrivals in May and 3,051 arrivals in June. With the inclusion of Malaysia Airlines, we are confident that this trend will continue.”

Route frequency

Malaysia Airlines plans to operate this route three times a week. It will be flown once on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The flight will depart BKI at 07:00 local time on flight number MH647. Once in Singapore, the plane will be turned and depart at 10:00 local time on flight MH 648. The route will be flown on a Boeing 737-800 aircraft carrying up to 160 passengers.

What do you think of this new route? Let us know in the comments below.

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