TAWAU: Sabah’s Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment will submit a proposal to Singapore Airlines soon to increase their flights to Sandakan and Tawau.

Its minister, Datuk Jafry Ariffin said that direct flights to the Sandakan and the Tawau airports would help invigorate the tourism sector in Sabah.

He said a meeting with Singapore Senior Minister of State for National Development and Foreign Affairs Sim Ann was held on the matter yesterday.

“The flight routes will make it easier for foreign tourists to go to interesting tourism destinations such as Pulau Sipadan in Semporna, the Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre in Sandakan and many more.

“The ministry is seeking to attract the participation of Singapore airlines to expand their flight routes,” he said in a statement today.

The first AirAsia flight to Kota Kinabalu from Singapore on April 16 marked the first international flight to Sabah after two years. Three weekly flights are currently available between Kota Kinabalu and Singapore.

The second international flight was by Scoot, Singapore’s low-cost airline on April 29 with one flight each day while the other airlines’ flying into Sabah are Royal Brunei and Firefly.

Jafry said that he was confident the initiative being planned could boost the entry of tourists from other countries to Sabah especially Singapore.

Meanwhile, Jafry said the ministry through the Sabah Tourism Board was now conducting business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customer (B2C) commercial transactions in boosting tourism promotion efforts to lure more international tourists to Sabah. — Bernama

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