Your Journey Guide to Sabah on Malindo Air

Posted by   Geoff Roy
28/11/2019
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Whether you are travelling to Sabah from elsewhere in Malaysia or from further afield like London or Sydney, you will likely find yourself on a Malindo Air service. This airline began flying in March 2013, and at 6 years old is expanding into the key airline for travelling to Borneo. Some people take to flying with more ease than others. So here at Borneo Dream, we want to give you a full guide for your flying experience. Where you can fly from, what you can expect, and how to manage the dreaded jet lag!

Who are Malindo Air?

Let’s start with the airline. Owned by the Indonesian Lion Air Group, the name Malindo signifies a collaboration between Malaysia and Indonesia. The airline includes a range of amenities and services within its fare and offers low cost options too. This puts Malindo Air in the category of hybrid airline. It shares the routes with Air Asia and Silk Air operated flights to many of the same destinations.

What to expect on board

It’s worth noting that in October 2019, Malindo Air discontinued their complimentary meals and snacks services on Economy class flights (unless your tickets were issued prior to 6th September 2019). You can now pre-purchase meals 24 hours before departure for MYR 10 or on board for MYR 15. At the same time, a ‘Comfy Kit’, priced at MYR 25 (online) and MYR 30 (on board) has been launched. This consists of a fleece blanket, stereo earphones, neck pillow, earplugs and eye mask.

Modern Services

What has made Malindo Air notable is that it was the first Malaysian airline to offer an in-flight Wi-Fi service back in 2015. Passengers can purchase packages which offer connectivity to any WiFi-enabled device. So you can continue using your laptop, notebook, tablet or smartphone as normal through the flight. To this, Malindo Air have added Malindo Mobile for access of GSM-enabled devices in flight. Those flights which are equipped with the system allow passengers to make voice calls, send SMS or MMS messages, and use the internet and other applications. Since this service works through data roaming, carrier billing applies.

Flight Destination Guide

Perhaps you are traveling around Malaysia, or maybe you are making a long haul journey with connecting stops. Direct flights from Kota Kinabalu are operated by Malindo Air to:
    Chengdu
    Chongqing   
    Guangzhou
    Kuala Lumpur
    Singpore
    Tianjin
    Wuhan

You can fly on to Tawau from Kota Kinabalu or arrive into Labuan from Kuala Lumpur if required.


A key connecting destination, Singapore is a 2 and a half hour flight away. You may like to stop for a couple of days to explore some of the things that Singapore has to offer.

About Kota Kinabalu

Why is Kota Kinabalu a destination growing in popularity? For a start, it is the state capital of Sabah, Malaysia. The city faces the South China Sea on the northwest coast of Borneo. It’s a popular destination for holidaymakers since it is sandwiched between The Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park and Mount Kinabalu. The Marine Park makes Kota Kinabalu a favourite for divers of all levels of expertise, and Mount Kinabalu is desirable for walking tours and wildlife spotting. The city itself offers a vibrant food and arts scene, with markets, shopping and history around every corner.

Healthy Travelling

You should make the most of your visit to Kota Kinabalu. So make sure you arrive in the best of health! A comfortable flight is one thing. It’s also helpful if you understand and have managed any potential jet lag that you may experience. Although symptoms are more severe if you've travelled across at least two time zones, you may be affected to some degree by even short haul flights. Symptoms are likely to be worse or last longer if you travel in an easterly direction.

Conquer Jet Lag

For those seeking an active vacation, you don’t want to waste time feeling tired and lethargic. You’ll be keen to get straight out on your first dive or enjoy a boat tour. So what can you do to keep jet lag at bay?

Preparation

You can start to amend your sleeping patterns a few days before you travel. Go to bed slightly later if you’re travelling West, and a bit earlier of you’re travelling East. Of course all this can be forgotten once you’re en route. So as soon as you board start thinking in your destination time and get sleep if you possibly can.

Hydration

Water is a wonderful thing! Many of us don’t consume enough water on a daily basis and when you’re travelling it’s an easy thing to forget about. Being fully hydrated will prevent the headaches associated with jet lag and helps to keep your body energised. Avoid caffeine in excess of what you’re used to consuming.

Natural Light

The first day of your holiday is vital when it comes to adapting to the local time zone. In addition contact with natural light is extremely restorative as a vital source of Vitamin D. In this way it’s best to keep busy and get outside. So why not ease into things with a browse around Kota Kinabalu markets?

Sleep

It’s all about your circadian rhythms; sleep is the most essential aspect of managing jet lag. As long as you achieve a base of at least 4 hours at the right time, you can build up your sleep to get the best from your time in Sabah. Some swear by ‘sleep banking’ - getting extra sleep in the period before you need it. Others find that short naps to build up to 8 hours over a 24 hour period suit them. Then by day two, you can get out there on your first dive!


When flying into Kota Kinabalu on Malindo Air, you’re sure to be looking forward to a great vacation. Whether through Singapore or Kuala Lumpur, you can experience some wonderful parts of South Asia on the way. Use the benefits of the airline and jet lag management techniques to feel at your best when you arrive. And at Borneo Dream, we can help with all the memorable experiences once you’re here!

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