Airport Bus

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

(KKIA Terminal 2 wasclosed on 1 Dec 2015, and all flight operation aremoved 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 (about USD$1.50) for each Adult, RM3.00 (about USD$0.90) for Child (below 12).

Airport Bus
Pic: the 20-seater Airport Bus

If you have a lot of luggage, 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)

Tour package to Kinabalu Park
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

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


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
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, Grab and Uber are also available in Sabah now.

Last Updated: 4 May2016

Photos taken in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

84 thoughts on “Bus Service between Kota Kinabalu and KKIA Airports (Terminal 1 & 2)

    1. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. 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

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

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

    1. 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.

        1. 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.

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  5. 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??

    1. 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.

  6. 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.

    1. 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.

        1. 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.

        1. 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.

  7. hi murphy, I want to ask if there are local buses or any kind of transpo except taxis from KK terminal 1 to Pekan Tanjung Aru? Like a direct bus? If none how can we possibly get there? because that is where our accommodation is through Airbnb 🙂 Thank you

    1. Hi Shyr, you have to walk 300 Meter away from airport to highway outside, to get a bus. However, I think they all head to KK instead of Tanjung Aru town. Frankly, I don’t think this method is worth your time and effort. 🙂

      1. thanks for the reply murphy 🙂 I just found out that yes we need to get a local bus from the highway, asked the driver to drop us off on the intersection before the flyover, walked to Jalan Mat Salleh road to catch a bus 16A, B, or C to get to Pekan Tanjung Aru haha! I think it will be fun though riding the bus with the locals and getting lost 🙂 I’ll inform if we did great getting lost after our trip 🙂

  8. Murphy, another question, we want to rent a motorcycle in KK, do you know any shop that offers semi automatic motorcycle that is not very expensive? I’ve researched on it already but google only shows Gogo Sabah that cost RM 40/day…do you think there are other shops that are a bit cheaper? Because I’ve read in forums that the rate in Gogosabah is a bit expensive. Thank you

    1. The rate of Gogosabah is considered cheap. I’m not comfortable recommending other company. Something dirt cheap is usually substandard, unlicensed or uninsured.

  9. hi, Murphy, i need transport on 26th July 2016 to KKIA. Reach KKIA by 8am or earlier than 8am. Transport from Taman Kuala Menggatal, Jalan Sepangar to KKIA(2 persons) can you suggest? Taxi? Uber? How much is the cost? Thank you.

  10. Hi Murphy, im going to kk end Nov. Can recommend any good Car rental company in KK city coz im driving up to Kundasang. Thanks in advance.

  11. Good to know there is now a bus shuttle between KKIA & KK city. When I was there a few years ago, we had to depend on taxi (expensive) & minivan for the shuttle.

  12. Hello, i have a different question, can i buy sim card with mobil data somewhere on the airport? I am wondering uber is there, but for uber internet is needed. Thank you.

    1. Hello Kamila, yes there are a few stalls in the airport that sell sim card with data plan. I think they only open during normal working hours. Uber is available in Sabah now.

  13. Hello, I’ll be visiting kota kinabalu next month for 8 days..can you send me useful links to get around the city? It will be my first international travel. Thank you very much.

  14. Wow! Never knew the existence of Airport Bus service until i read this article. Thanks Murphy! I think some tourist or local people prefer to go to the airport by bus because it is cheaper and more economical..

  15. hello Murphy, I am travelling to Kota Kinabalu on June 14 and will arrive at 1:30 am. What other transport, except the taxi, should I take going to Gaya Street? I’m on a tight budget so I can’t afford taking the taxi. Thank you very much. 🙂

      1. thank you for the reply Murphy, although will the airport bus be available after 12mn? I’ll be arriving 1:30 am. I read that the airport bus is only operating from 8am – 11pm only.

        1. I see. Since I’ll be arriving after midnight, I might not be able to take the airport bus. Do you have any suggestions aside from the taxi. 🙂

        2. Well that sounds interesting. 🙂 How many minutes/hours would it take before I arrive at Gaya Street? And is it safe to walk around 1am?

        3. Please don’t walk, Sharmaine, it’s really quite far on foot and with luggage. I would strongly advise you to just save some extra money and take a taxi – I think it’s about RM35 one way. Or, you could sleep in the airport and take the first bus out, but I feel that’s quite uncomfortable and a waste of your time.

  16. Hi, Tadpole

    We had booked a 4D3N KK trip on 19 – 22 / 7/2017; arrive in the morning ard 11am; and return on 22 July by 5pm.

    We intend to visit KUNDASANG as we heard there is a very beautiful place.
    but facing some trouble for the trip arrangements. Shall we
    going straight to KUNDASANG after touchdown or next day ? it seems a waste of time and to have to change the hotel again.

    Do you have any suggestion or advise for mi ?

    Thanks in advance.

  17. Hi friends,I want to ask you if I ride Airport bus to Klagan Hotel Kinibalu,is it far or near the bus stop closed to Klagan Hotel?This is my first trip to Kota Kinibalu,so I hope you would like to advice me some information which transportation is the suitable for me.Thank you.

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