KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is trying to get airline companies from Singapore to expand their flights to Sandakan and Tawau districts.

State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Jafry Ariffin said direct flights from Singapore to these two districts would boost tourism and other economic relations between them and the city-state in the future.

“The availability of direct flights to and from these places would enable tourists to easily visit places like Sipadan Island, Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and more,” he said at a meeting with Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for National Development and Foreign Affairs, Sim Ann, in Singapore on Thursday.

Jafry said he would present the proposal to several airline companies as soon as possible.

He said apart from visitors from Singapore, travellers from other countries who use the Singapore route as transit can also take the opportunity to make a stop in Sabah.

“Changi Airport is one of Asia’s main flying destinations,” he added.

On other matters, Jaffry said the ministry, through the Sabah Tourism Board, is also actively engaging in ‘business to business’ and ‘business to customer’ initiatives to bring in more visitors.