KOTA KINABALU: AirAsia was recognised with the ‘Best Airline Award’ , as well as the ‘Minister Special Awards’ at the recent Sabah Tourism Awards 2015 held last Saturday.
Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun, Minister of Tourism Culture and Environment of Sabah handed the awards to Aireen Omar, CEO of AirAsia Berhad during the ceremony.
The ‘Best Airlines’ category recognised the airline that contributed to Sabah’s tourism industry in terms of connectivity and bringing the highest number of visitors to Sabah in the past two years.
The ‘Minister Special Awards’ was given to AirAsia for its bold expansion of direct air connectivity to Sabah internationally and domestically with a total of 23 destinations and growing, fully optimising Kota Kinabalu’s strategic geographical position enabling visitors to discover and experience Sabah’s world-class attractions, apart from developing business opportunities in Sabah.
Aireen Omar, CEO of AirAsia Berhad expressed her appreciation to Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun and his team at Sabah Tourism Board for recognising their hard work and contribution to the state of Sabah with 2 prestigious awards.
“We have invested substantially in developing Sabah into becoming a key AirAsia hub and are very pleased that our efforts have paid off with the ever-growing numbers,” she said.
“We have big plans for Sabah and look forward to growing the current 3 million passengers per annum to at least 12million passengers. We are confident this number is not far-fetched and highly possible, with a proper low cost carrier terminal in place in Kota Kinabalu. Sabah has tremendous potential to be a key regional hub and we want to make this a reality,” she added.
AirAsia has catered to over 8.4 million people in and out of Sabah in the past two years and currently serves 698 weekly flights to and from Kota Kinabalu, Tawau and Sandakan in Sabah.
The airline has also seen a growing trend of guests travelling from the Asian region and Australia into Kota Kinabalu through AirAsia’s Fly-Thru service. Bangkok, Beijing, Shanghai and Perth are the top cities with people connecting into Sabah for the past year, and AirAsia currently has 24 Fly-Thru routes into Kota Kinabalu, providing easy access and convenience for visitors across the region to travel to the state of Sabah.- Sayangsabah