Bus Service between Kota Kinabalu and KKIA Airports (Terminal 1 & 2)

Airport Bus
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(KKIA Terminal 2 was closed on 1 Dec 2015, and all flight operation are moved to KKIA Terminal 1.) Due to increasing demand by tourists, now Kota Kinabalu city (KK) has regular shuttle sending passengers back and forth KKIA (Kota Kinabalu International Airport) every day.

Airport Bus station in Padang Merdeka Field

Airport Bus station in Padang Merdeka Field


The ticket counter and station of Airport Bus is at Padang Merdeka (or Merdeka Field in English, see location map). Note the sign “Bas Airport” (means Airport Bus) at the bus stop.

ticketing booth of Airport Bus
Pic: the booth of Airport Bus. The bus ticket costs RM5.00 (≈USD$1.50) for each Adult, RM3.00 (≈USD$0.90) for Child (below 12).

Airport Bus
Pic: the 20-seater Airport Bus

If you have a lot of luggages, you can store them in the compartment at the bottom of the bus.

Departure Time (Last Updated: 3 Jan 2016)

The shuttle service is available from 7:30am to 8:30pm daily. Below is the schedule of Airport Bus.
(Note: KK = Kota Kinabalu City, KKIA = Kota Kinabalu International Airport)

KKIA → KK KK → KKIA
08:00 07:30
08:45 08:45
09:30 09:30
10:15 10:15
11:00 11:00
11:45 11:45
12:30 12:30
13:15 13:15
14:00 14:00
14:45 14:45
15:30 15:30
16:15 16:15
17:00 17:00
17:45 17:45
18:30 18:30
19:15 19:15
20:00
20:30

It takes the bus about 25 to 40 minutes to reach the airport (depend on if it’s rush hours) about 7 to 10 Kilometers away from KK city centre. If you are in a hurry to check-in at the airport, I would advise you to go with a taxi instead.

Airport Bus picks up tourists at airport

Airport Bus picks up tourists at airport

Route

Here is the route of Airport Bus:
KK City (Padang Merdeka) → KKIA  → KK City (Padang Merdeka)
On its way to airport, the bus will pass by the bus stop behind Horizon Hotel (see location map) and Asia City Complex (see location map), so you can wait at these bus stops to get a ride to airport. The Airport Bus also picks up passengers at the airports.

The map below shows the Pick-up & Drop-Off points of Airport Bus Stations:

Pick-up & Drop-Off points of Airport Bus Stations

(Click to Zoom In) Pick-up & Drop-Off points of Airport Bus Stations

You can find the ticket booth of Airport Bus inside both terminals of KKIA.

Airport Bus counter in KKIA (Ground Floor)

Airport Bus counter in KKIA (Ground Floor)

KKIA Airport Bus Booth (now has Chinese label)

KKIA Airport Bus Booth (now has Chinese label)

On its way back to KK, the bus can drop passengers near Horizon Hotel (Online Booking Available), Deleeton Hotel (Online Booking Available) and Hotel Dreamtel (Online Booking Available). It even can send you to Sutera Harbour, but you have to inform the bus driver in advance. For backpackers who stay in lodges in Gaya Street, the place is only a few minutes walk from Airport Bus station.

Padang Merdeka Bus & Taxi Terminal

The route of Airport Bus ends at Padang Merdeka (Merdeka Field) in Kota Kinabalu City Center. At Padang Merdeka terminal, long-distance bus, mini-van and taxi are readily available for tourists who want to travel to major cities / towns in west coast and interior of Sabah.

Bus Stop of Padang Merdeka / Merdeka Field
Pic: Padang Merdeka / Merdeka Field, where the Airport Bus stationed.

Padang Merdeka (Merdeka Field) has bus service to the towns of Sabah interior, such as Kundasang (Kinabalu Park), Ranau, Keningau, Tuaran, Kota Belud, Kudat, Kota Marudu, Tenom, Tambunan, and Pitas. There is a lot of taxi / limo around that area too.

Bus terminal of Padang Merdeka Field

Bus terminal of Padang Merdeka Field

Bus ticket booth in Padang Merdeka Field

One of the bus ticket booth in Padang Merdeka Field

As far as I know, only bus to Keningau is big bus with air-conditioning and they have fixed departure schedule. For other destinations, there are usually mini buses and vans that may not have any air-conditioner and they only move when all seats are taken up (an hour of long wait is common). For more detail on Sabah bus, please read my other article Traveling in Sabah by Bus.

Contact of Airport Bus

Below is the contact of Airport Bus. You also can charter a bus or van with them.
Company: Luen Thung Tanjung Aru Transport Co. S/B
Tel: +60 88-269500 / +60 88-269506
Mobile: +60 10-9325183 / +60 10-9325283
E-mail: lttatsb@hotmail.com
Address (office): KM 7, Jalan Kepayan (next to JKR Training Center), 88100 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.

Airport Taxi counter

Pic: airport taxi counter in airport

Though the cost of bus service is a a fraction of taxi, bus doesn’t take you to your home or hotel. Our airports have taxi service counter where you can get a taxi. Taxi is more expensive, but it’s more feasible than taking bus when you have a few passengers to share the car (to split the cost). FYI, Uber is also available in Sabah now.

Last Updated: 4 May 2016

Photos taken in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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  • jipp

    like seriously, what took them so long? Anyway, it’s better than never.

  • Shaiful Borhan

    I discovered this post today while surfing in my hotel room in KK 🙂 Yeah i took a taxi from airport to the hotel for RM30 via the airport taxi counter. Will definitely give the bus a try when i go back to the airport next week. Thanks for the info.

  • You are welcome my friend. I’ve added more details to this post. 🙂 Have a nice trip.

  • I also wonder. Now KK gets more and more travellers who don’t come here by tour group, it’s time to make our public transportation more tourist-friendly.

  • paul

    Hi Murphy

    thank you…i will rather use the bus then.taxi its a rip off lol

  • Angela

    Thanks a lot this article is really helpful

  • You are welcome Angela 🙂

  • bonyzan

    Hello. I’m just wondering, is the service still running?

  • Murphy Ng

    Yes it is. I saw the bus picking up passengers just 2 days ago.

  • 1) So if I’m staying at Dreamtel, I just have to tell the bus driver to stop at Dreamtel?

    2) If I want to go to the airport from Dreamtel, where shall I need to wait?

  • Hi Stiles, Dreamtel Hotel is only 2 minutes walk from the Airport Bus Terminal.

  • Thanks Murphy!

  • Wonderer

    How can i find a hotel shuttle bus? The route between Centre Point and Sutera Habour..

  • I think they do but I’m not sure if it’s regular. You may check with your hotel.

  • Mandy Lau

    Sorry to ask if there is still Airport Bus provided? I’m considering going to KK City from T1 as my transit time is quite long in between. I wanted to go Suria Mall. My flight will land at 12:30pm and depart again at 7:45pm. Any suggestions or comments on my route? @mysabah:disqus

  • Hi Mandy, I think so. I saw them taking passengers in airport terminal 1 just last Saturday. If you reach KK on airport bus, you can get down at the bus stop behind Horizon Hotel, Suria Sabah is only 6 or 7 minute walk away.

  • Mandy Lau

    Oh yeah! I remember! Thank u so much for your help! Would u recommend taking the bus at 6pm back when my flight is around 7:45pm? I’m not sure about KK traffic jam time.

  • Yea, better move earlier. The road to airports is quite jam after work during weekdays.

  • Mandy Lau

    Thank u so much for your help! 🙂 appreciatted!

  • john smith

    was wondering though… whats the best way to get from KKIA to One Borneo and vice versa. any suggestions?

  • Personally I would get a Airport Taxi to go to 1Borneo. I remember there are shuttle bus between KK (Warisan Square) and 1Borneo.

  • siew

    hi, i just to check whether you have any recommended local tour guide for 1 day kundasang trip?

  • fatin rahman

    Hi, I am looking for public transport from Papar to Kundasang.. is there any available? How about their timing and rates?

  • Hi Fatin, Papar town may not have bus goes directly to Kundasang. You may get a bus from Papar to Kota Kinabalu City first, then take a bus to Kundasang from Bus Station in Padang Merdeka in city centre.

  • duane

    Hi, do they have airport bus from 1am onwards? thanks.

  • Hello duane, the Airport Bus is only available from 7:30am to 8pm. You may hire an Airport Taxi.

  • douglaspeng

    Hi there, We’ll arrived around 11:30PM and have to transfer from terminal 1 to terminal 2 by taxi. Does anybody know how much would it be for the taxi? Will the airport taxi counter closed by the time, so I might have to bargain with the taxi driver??

  • Hi Douglas, it shall be taxi available until the last flight arrival. The taxi fee from T1 to T2 is about RM40. It’s a bit expensive due to the night surcharge. The rate of Airport Taxi is fixed so you may not able to bargain.

  • shamsiah sam

    hi,
    how about from kk town to kundasang?
    is there any public transport?

  • Hi Sam, you can get any mini-bus or long-distance bus going to Kinabalu Park, Ranau or Sandakan. They will pass by Kundasang after 1.5 hour.

  • Suhaila Zain

    Hi Murphy, i just wondering if the bus from airport can drop us at Promenade Hotel Apartment. The hotel is located at Jalan Api-Api.Tq.

  • The airport bus would not pass by Promenade Hotel Apartment, but you can ask if they can drop you there. It’s up to them if they want to do that. Sometimes they do help.

  • Steven

    Thanks for your updates, I will go Sabah next month

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  • Sayap Terbang

    i want ask somthing, got bus from padang merdeka direct to tawau sabindo terminal?

  • I’m afraid not. You have to take the bus from Inanam Bus Terminal.

  • Sayap Terbang

    Owh ok, easy to find bus or anything from inanam to padang merdeka? Thanks for helping

  • There are taxi in both terminals. It’s quite easy to get a bus nearby to go to another terminal, if you don’t carry many things.

  • Rommel Dalupan

    Hi, where to get bus going to Ranau? I want to get off at Kinabalu Park HQ

  • You can get the bus to Ranau at Padang Merdeka Field, where the Airport Bus stops at the end.

  • Rommel Dalupan

    thanks Murphy! im on airport shuttle bus now.

  • rich

    how do i go to karamunsing from kota kinabalu terminal 2?

  • Hi Rich, KKIA Terminal 2 is no longer in operation for civil flight.

  • bev md

    is there any bus from KK terminal 1 that will drop off Tanjung Aru Beach?

  • I’m afraid no. But you can get an airport taxi to send you there.

  • bev md

    Thanks for the info.

  • You are welcome Bev

  • bev md

    I been there last week and it was a nice experience, I came there alone and I can vouch that it is safe there for women. Locals are very nice and accommodating to tourists. People will definitely go back, Thanks Murphy.

  • No problem Bev. Thanks for sharing. I’m glad you enjoy the trip. Please visit us again. 🙂