Malaysia Airlines plans to double the number of flights from Kuala Lumpur to Tawau and Sandakan to twice daily from 16 September.

Loads to the East Malaysian cities, both popular tourist and business destinations, have been above 75%, says MAS. Increasing the services will allow the carrier to build on that and offer better connections for its international passengers to the cities, it adds.

"Tawau is a popular stop over for divers before they head off to Sipadan while many Australians travel to Sandakan especially to the Sandakan War Memorial Park," says Amin Khan, MAS senior general manager, Network and Revenue Management.

Demand for domestic travel has increased 15% in recent months after MAS dropped its fares, he adds.

The airline competes with Malaysia-based low-cost carrier AirAsia on both the Kuala Lumpur-Tawau and Kuala Lumpur-Sandakan routes. AirAsia also has twice-daily flights to both destinations.

MAS also flies to East Malaysian destinations such as Kota Kinabalu 55 times weekly, Labuan 14 times weekly, Kuching 48 times weekly, Bintulu seven times weekly, Miri 21 times weekly and Sibu seven times weekly.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news