Airports in Sabah - About the Kota Kinabalu International Airport

The Kota Kinabalu International Airport serves the city of Kota Kinabalu, the state capital of Sabah. It also boasts of being the second busiest airport in Malaysia, after that of Kuala Lumpur. Located just 8 kilometres to the southwest of the city centre, the Kota Kinabalu Airport is the only major airport in Sabah. Housing two terminals, which are home to all state-of-the-art facilities and modern conveniences, the airport also includes a host of dining and shopping options. This airport also makes for the main getaway to the state of Sabah and the Borneo Islands, and is flocked by tourists from all parts of the country all year round. 

The Terminals at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport

Terminals at the airport
The Kota Kinabalu Airport has two fully functional terminals as of now: Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, both of which have entirely different access. 

Terminal 1 is the main and newer terminal of the airport, which was opened for commercial use only in 2008, and can be accessed via Jalan Putatan in Petagas, nearby Kepayan. Both domestic and international flights operate from this terminal, and it also features a myriad of duty-free shops, lounges, restaurants, travel agents, bookshops and other shops. 

Terminal 2, on the other hand, is the original and older terminal of the airport. It is located on the other side of the runway and is accessed via Jalan Mat Salleh in Tanjung Aru. 

Shopping and Dining at the Airport

Shopping and dining facilities
Visitors will find plenty of duty-free shopping options as well as dining facilities at the Kota Kinabalu Airport, which helps them to travel comfortably and in peace. 

From fashion accessories to chocolates and confectionery, and from apparels to jewellery, there is a host of shops at the airport. Famous brands that you will find at the airport include 7-eleven, Adibayu Fashion & Accessories, BAR.FLY, Eraman Emporium, Unique Borneo Handicraft, and The Body Shop. 

An excellent selection of dining restaurants as well as fast food outlets is also available at the airport, which means that you need not worry about food before heading onto a long flight. Popular food chains like McDonald's, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, KFC and Wendy's can be found at the airport. 

The Plaza Premium Lounge at the Kota Kinabalu Airport

The Kota Kinabalu Airport is home to two lounges, one for international travellers and another for domestic travellers. 

The Plaza Premium Lounge for international flights is situated on the main strip of the boarding gates. It offers exceptional services and facilities including meals, hot and cold beverages, workstations, shower facilities, WiFi connectivity, workstations, reading materials and TV channels for the comfort of its guests. 
Location: Level 3, International Departure, Kota Kinabalu International Airport (near Gate B3) 
Operating hours: 06:00 AM to 08:00 PM everyday
The lounge for domestic departures also offers equally excellent facilities and services, including shower services, an assortment of food and beverage selections, local and international magazines and newspapers, WiFi connectivity, business centre services, and workstations. 
Location: Level 2, Domestic Departure, Kota Kinabalu International Airport (near Gate A10)
Operating hours: 05:30 AM to 10:00 PM on all days of the week

Services and Facilities at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport

Services and facilities
Kota Kinabalu International Airport offers several amenities for the convenience of its passengers. The airport is equipped with free WiFi services and a proper lost and found department, and also provides special assistance to disabled guests and the elderly. 

Prominent facilities that are offered here include 
  • A well developed waiting area 
  • Foreign exchange and ATM services
  • IDD and STD call services
  • Prayer Rooms for Muslim passengers
  • Baby Care Room
  • Smoking Lounge
  • Locker services
  • Packaging services

Getting around the Kota Kinabalu International Airport

Both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 of the Kota Kinabalu International Airport are located 20 minutes away from the Kota Kinabalu city centre, and you will find a lot of taxis and buses plying to and from the airport. 

An airport bus is a convenient option if you don't have a lot of luggage, and it takes about 25 to 40 minutes to reach the city centre via the bus, depending on the traffic conditions. The price for the same is RM 5 per person per trip.

Alternatively, you can simply hop onto any taxi service provider to and from the airport, and this will cost you around RM 30 per person. 

Flights and Routes from the Kota Kinabalu International Airport

flights and flight routes

The airport serves the entire city of Kota Kinabalu as well as the west coast of Sabah and has excellent connectivity with major hubs across the Asia Pacific. 

Popular airlines that operate their flights from the airport include AirAsia, Air Busan, China Southern Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Malaysian Airlines, Philippines Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Silk Air and TransAsia Airways. 

Thanks to the excellent direct connections to various places from the airport, you can fly straight to international destinations, such as Singapore, Brunei, Bangkok, Guangzhou, Hongkong, Cebu, Tokyo, Sydney, various destinations in Indonesia; as well as to local destinations including Kuching, Labuan and Kuala Lumpur. 

Of these, the maximum flights fly out to Kuala Lumpur, followed by Tawau, Sandakan, Seoul, and Kuching. 

Things to Do Near the Kota Kinabalu Airport

There are plenty of things that you can do near the Kota Kinabalu Airport, including visiting major tourist sites, beaches, and indulging in adventure activities. 
  • Mount Kinabalu: 1.3 kilometres from the airport
  • Tanjung Aru Beach: 0.9 kilometres from the airport
  • Petagas War Memorial: 0.6 kilometres from the airport
  • Tanjung Aru Perdana Park: 1.5 kilometres from the airport
  • Mountain Torq: 4.4 kilometres from the airport
  • Canopy Walk: 1.6 kilometres from the airport
  • Imago Shopping Mall: 3.8 kilometres from the airport
  • Sabah State Museum: 3.3 kilometres from the airport
  • North Borneo Railway: 4 kilometres from the airport
  • Star Marina Watersports: 1.7 kilometres from the airport
There are also a few domestic airports in Sabah:

Name of the Airport
Keningau AirportKGUWBKGJalan Tambunan-Keningau, 500, Kampung Tuarid Taud, 89000 Tambunan, Sabah
Kudat AirportKUDWBKTJalan Airport, 89050 Kudat, Sabah
Lahad Datu AirportLDUWBKDKM4, Jalan Tengah Nipah, 91123 Lahad Datu, Sabah
Long Pasia AirportGSAWBKNSipitang, Sabah
Sandakan AirportSDAWBKSBatu 7, Jalan Airport, 90000 Sandakan, Sabah
Semporna AirportSMMWBKASemporna Airport, Sabah, 91308 Semporna
Tawau AirportTWUWBKW91011 Tawau, Sabah
Tommanggong AirportTMGWBKMKinabatangan, Sabah

Though basic, the airport is well maintained and is adequately equipped with all required facilities, making for a comfortable time at the airport, before heading onto a long flight. 

This post was published by Muskan Ahuja

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