Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) is the second busiest airport in Malaysia serving the bustling city of Kota Kinabalu.

KKIA previously consisted of 2 terminals located on opposite sides of the runway from each other, but since the start of 2016, all commercial passenger traffic now arrives and departs from the main terminal, Terminal 1.

Kota Kinabalu International Airport Overview

Terminal 1 at the airport (IATA Code: BKI) has a theoretical capacity of 12 million passengers per year. Both terminals together handled just shy of 6.8 million passengers in 2014, and the merging should have a positive impact on efficiencies and offerings at Terminal 1.

As it stands, Terminal 1 is about 8km outside the centre of the city of Kota Kinabalu. It is well connected by numerous taxi operators who charge RM30 for the journey, and an airport-specific bus that plies the route between the airport and city at regular intervals, at RM5 per person.

Kota Kinabalu International Airport also feature the following facilities and services:

Rental Cars

Rustic Borneo can arrange car rentals for you that will be ready for collection on arrival. To take advantage of our competitively prices services, do contact us.

Alternatively, there are several kiosks at the airport, on the 1st floor just outside the arrivals hall, where you can try for availability and on-the-spot rates if you have nothing pre-booked.

Duty Free Shopping

If you are arriving as an International passenger at KKIA (as opposed to from somewhere else in Malaysia), then you are entitled to  purchase duty free products from the stores at the air-side of the arrivals terminal. The selection isn’t exhaustive, but the 2 shops do feature the usual variety of alcohol, perfume and tabacco products.

Malaysia’s duty free allowance includes 1 litre of spirits and 200 cigarettes.

Foreign Exchange

Several money exchangers are dotted throughout the terminal. You can find both foreign currency exchange desks and ATMs outside the arrivals hall on the ground floor, and in the check-in / departure area on the 2nd floor.

Rates are least competitive at the airport. If at all possible, wait until you get to the town centre where you will have multi options in either Centre Point Shopping Centre, or at Merdeka Shopping Centre. At both locations you can shop around and compare for the best rates, but all should be considerably better than at the airport.

Luggage Storage

Rustic Borneo offers a luggage storage facility at our Traveller Service Centre in the heart of Kota Kinabalu. For just RM15 per 24 hours per piece (up to 25kg), you can store your luggage with us while you go off on an adventure around the city or the state.

There is also a luggage storage facility at the airport, opposite the entrance to the International Departures security check on Level 3. Prices there vary from RM5 per item for 3 hours to RM30 per item per day, depending on size. Baggage wrapping services are also available.

At either storage location it is imperative to double-check opening times for when you expect to collect your luggage. Nobody wants to make a choice between stored luggage in a locked shop and a departing plane.

Internet Access

Internet access KKIA can be a little spotty.

There is the publicly provided Malaysia Airports WiFi, which is sometimes down and sometimes slow.

Alternatives include some of the fast food restaurants, like McDonald’s with their open WiFi access on Level 3, the courtesy lounges of the Malaysia Airlines and other airlines, featuring protected WiFi, and Starbucks, located on the air-side of the departure area, with free-with-purchase WiFi.

Medical Services

Terminal 1 has a medical clinic located on Level 1.

Airline Offices

Most of the airlines that utilise Kota Kinabalu International Airport have representative offices on Level 2.  At last count there were office for MAS Wings and Malaysia Airlines, Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Royal Brunei Airlines and Dragon Air. There should now also be offices for Air Asia.


McDonald’s and Asian Delights were both resident since the launching of Terminal 1. As the terminal grew, and especially after the closure of Terminal 2, more restaurants have joined the fray. You can now find KFC, Dukin’ Donuts and Old Town White Coffee on either Level 1 or 3. On the air-side you will find Starbucks and a few lesser-known cafes and shops.

Other Shops

Counting amongst the other shops you might encounter at KKIA are handicrafts, perfume, cosmetics, jewellery, books, bird’s nest and seafood shops. With the increased traffic from Terminal 2, more shops are sure to pop up.

Flight Arrival & Departure Schedule

Kota Kinabalu’s International Airport online flight arrival and departure schedule: