KKIA’s too popular. Expand, definitely. New site, my wish personally.

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Do you know that Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) is the second busiest in Malaysia, after Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)? On a yearly basis, I go to Kota Kinabalu 2 times or more. I think it’s full of potential for property investment. In my last trip just 2 months back, I went to IMAGO and I think it’s well managed and has all the feel of a good mall.  Coming back to some stats for KKIA. This was reported in propertyhunter.com.my  Sabah’s State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said, “Last year, we recorded a 7.9 million arrival and looking at the trend now, we will be getting more and more tourists so we need to find a solution fast on how to handle the surge in visitors if it reaches the maximum capacity,” The full capacity of KKIA is said to be 9 million visitors per year.

KKIA is positioned to tap into a market of 139.4 million potential visitors within a three- to six-hour flight radius. On top of this, another 34.5 million international visitors pass through major aviation hubs like Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok.  The airport now services 180 international direct flights a week, with AirAsia currently holding 49pc market share, followed by Malaysia Airlines with 36pc, other airlines (11pc) and Malindo Air (4pc).  There are a few options for this potential expansion. Expand the current terminal through reclamation but this will cut into another mega project: the Tanjung Aru Development (TAED). It is also possible to build a totally new one in Kimanis and if the capacity is an issue, to divert some airlines and tourists to Sandakan and Tawau. Third option is to reopen the closed KKIA Terminal 2.

I personally think building a totally new airport makes the most sense. The new site would then have space for future expansion. PLEASE stop having the mindset that airports must be closer to the city. It should be very well connected to the city centre BUT it must be built further away so that expansions could be done easier in the future. Kota Kinabalu can only become more popular and not lesser. From the Mount Kinabalu to the beach facing South China Sea and even the diving havens, Kota Kinabalu is a wonderful holiday getaway!  It’s also the magnet for all the working people from smaller towns in Sabah too. More flights would also mean more competition and naturally it becomes even more cheaper to travel into Kota Kinabalu. I will always remember that I used to pay 3-4 times more when there were NO competition previously. My wife’s from Sandakan and I fly to Sandakan 2-3 times per year. It was always in the thousands. These days, it’s nowhere near a thousand ringgit and it’s possible to be below RM500 too. Well, let’s wait for the decision but my opinion is now made known. All the best KKIA. Do hit that 9 million soonest!

written on 18 Feb 2018

next suggested article:  A good 2018 for property market Malaysia

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