Sipadan Air to debut September
Published on: Wednesday, May 15, 2019
By: Leonard Alaza
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Kota Kinabalu: Sabah’s own Sipadan Air will be making its debut in the domestic aviation industry when it flies foreign tourists to Semporna from Kota Kinabalu from September this year – and it has been fully pre-booked even before taking off the ground.

The charter flight using two Twin Otter aircraft is expected to also open a new chapter in the state’s tourism industry where tourists will be able to reach some of the popular tourist destinations in Sabah by air.

Sipadan Air is managed by Equus Air Sdn Bhd whose Chairman Datuk Omar Ali Tun Sakaran told Daily Express that other than Semporna, there are plans to provide charter flights from Kota Kinabalu to Ranau and Kudat.

“Our business tagline is from islands to highlands,” he said, referring to areas in the state which have been the most popular destinations for foreign and local tourists such as Mount Kinabalu.

He said the maiden flight of the two Twin Otters to Semporna would be carrying a total number of more than 30 China tourists.

“In fact, we’re fully booked the whole year round after that where we will fly daily flights between Kota Kinabalu and Semporna,” he said, after paying a courtesy call on Head of State Tun Juhar Mahiruddin at the Istana Negeri, Tuesday.

Omar is confident that Sipadan Air will make an important contribution in helping the State Government develop the tourism potential in the east coast and further build on the international popularity of Sipadan.

The next big plan for the company is to get amphibian aircraft to fly passengers to some of the beautiful marine locations and islands in the state.

He said the company has sent one of its pilots for training in the Maldives for this purpose and is also preparing an amphibian flight module for the Department of Civil Aviation.

He believes the company’s use of amphibian aircraft will be the country’s first for tourism, after the Sikorskys used by famed Hollywood documentary filmmakers Martin and Osa Johnson whose aircraft was specially built by the Sikorsky aircraft company to land on the Kinabatangan. However, it was a foldable aircraft that could be dismantled and shipped to the next destination.

Omar would not rule out the possibility of Sipadan Air becoming a budget airline someday.


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