Tawau Airport is the second largest airport in the Sabah state and an important gateway to the infamous island Pulau Sipadan and Pulau Mabul. Towns with closest proximity to the airport are Tawau, Semporna, and Kunak. Its IATA code is “TWU”, and ICAO code is “WBKW”.

How to travel between Tawau Airport and Tawau Town

Tawau town stands approximately 31 km away from the Tawau Airport. Passengers can travel to and from Tawau town:

By taxi:

Tawau Airport operates a coupon taxi system. Passengers are required to purchase taxi coupon and hand it to the taxi driver for a ride, which costs around RM40 to RM45 one-way to Tawau city center. From Tawau city to the airport, passengers can easily get a taxi in town. Do bargain with the drivers to get better fares as most taxis in Sabah are not metered.

By bus:

Airport bus in Tawau is operated by Kasah Transport (S) Sdn Bhd. One-way ticket costs RM10 for adult and RM5 for child. Ticket counter at the airport is located just next to the airport taxi counter. The bus leaves airport everyday at 8.00 am, 10.30 am, 2.30 pm, and 4.30 pm to Sabindu Square, Tawau Town. From Tawau Town, the bus leaves Sabindu Square everyday at 6.30 am, 9.00 am, 1.00 pm, and 3.00 pm.

By rental car:

At the Tawau Airport, passengers can look for Master Leisure Travel Agency Sdn Bhd. Daily rental for a typical sedan is around RM100 to RM400. Cars with drivers are also available.

How to travel between Tawau Airport and Semporna

Semporna is approximately 60 km away from the airport. Passengers can travel to and from Semporna:

By taxi:

Airport taxis take passengers from Tawau Airport straight to Semporna. However, the taxi fare costs around RM100 to RM150 one-way.

By bus:

A better alternative is taking taxi from the Tawau Airport to Tawau city center, and by bus from Tawau to Semporna. There are both express buses and minivans servicing the Tawau – Semporna and Semporna – Tawau routes. Express buses make it a point to depart on time, with the first bus leaving at 9 am and the last bus at 3 pm. Look for either “TungTalun Express” or “Manis Express”. Minivans are available from 6 am to 5.30 pm. However, they do not stick to a fixed travel schedule as drivers will wait till the minivans are full before leaving the bus station. A one-way ticket costs around RM15 to RM20, and travel time is around 2 hours.

Airport transfer:

Airport transfer from Tawau Airport to Semporna Jetty is normally included into the island package. Some provide direct transfer to the jetty where some transfers require a transit in the Tawau town.

Airlines served by Tawau Airport:

Tawau Airport offers direct connectivity to few domestic airports, including Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan. The airport is also connected to Tarakan of North Kalimantan, Indonesia. Airlines operating from Tawau Airport are AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines, and MASwings (operated by Malaysia Airlines).