It took years for the Malaysian airline AirAsia to move its operations to Kota Kinabalu International Airport’s Terminal 1, but once it finally did, the response from customers was a positive one as they prepared to embark on their flights.
Maria Abdullah, who was traveling to Kuala Lumpur, said:
So far it’s been a good experience. I was expecting some chaos and mayhem due to teething problems but it’s been surprisingly pleasant. There’s the normal service you expect like baggage wrapping, which is nice. I think they should have moved earlier.
Tamrin Disimon came with his family from Kota Belud and had praised the more comfortable terminal, but complained about it being more expensive, saying:
It’s bigger and there are more seats in the waiting area. It does not feel so cramped, although it’s also more expensive, which is tough when you have a big family like me.
Not all were happy by AirAsia moving into KKIA T1, however. Chin How Feng, a local from Kota Kinabalu said he liked the facilities at Terminal 2 as they were “sufficient to get in and out fast”.
Here’s what Feng had to say about AirAsia’s new home at KKIA:
There’s a longer walk, longer queues, generally more procedure here. But I guess it is more civilized and makes a better impression on tourists.
First Flights Celebrated With Water Salute Ceremony
The first flight from AirAsia to arrive at Kota Kinabalu Airport Terminal 1 arrived from Sandakan at around 8:40 P.M. and was greeted with a water salute. On the other hand, AirAsia saw its first aircraft leave KKIA T1 for Hong Kong at 6:40 A.M.
Although there was some confusion among the AirAsia customers, the move was rather smooth. Guest services officer Mohd Taufik Mohd Ismail said:
At first, we were worried about the general flow of passengers especially in the early morning where we had about six flights leaving at the same time. But it turned out to be fine. Other than the usual passenger questions asking for directions, it seems to be going smoothly. Just needs some getting used to.
AirAsia was resistant to moving out of Terminal 2 for almost two years, despite the fact the facilities there could not support the airline’s operations out of Kota Kinabalu. Now that AirAsia has finally to Terminal 1, the old terminal is likely to be used for general aviation and cargo services in the future.