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KOTA KINABALU: The Transport Ministry has approved AirAsia Bhd's application to fly to Davao, Philippines from Nov 1, 2012.
In a statement today, Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha, said AirAsia would operate seven flights a week using the Airbus A320 from Kota Kinabalu International Airport to Davao.
"The rationale for flying to Davao is to improve the 'connectivity' for the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asian Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) and thus boost tourism and economy.
"The flights will also offer an alternative for Malaysians to fly to the Philippines and hence boost the number of passengers handled by the Kota Kinabalu airport," he said.
Kong said the flights would also indirectly increase government revenue.
"Currently, there are no Malaysian airlines flying to Davao. AirAsia is the first to offer the services," he said.
Earlir this year, MASwings, a unit of Malaysia Airlines, which operated only in Sabah and Sarawak, started the flights to four destinations in BIMP-EAGA using ATR aircraft.
The routes are: Kota Kinabalu-Bandar Seri Begawan (twice a day); Kuching-Bandar Seri Begawan (three times a week); Kuching-Pontianak (Indonesia) (once a day); and Tawau-Tarakan, Indonesia (three times a week). -- BERNAMA