Prices of airfares up threefold: Senator
Published on: Thursday, September 06, 2018

Kuala Lumpur: Prices of flight tickets have increased by threefold between 2016 and 2017, particularly during the Chinese New Year seasons for routes within West Malaysia, Peninsular to Sabah and Sarawak, and between East Malaysia, said Transport Minister Anthony Loke. In most cases, he said the price hike occurred from the first to fourth day of the peak period where demand spiked.

Loke said that in response to Senator Datuk Yong Wui Chung's (pic) question on whether the Government planned to control the prices of fights tickets for domestic routes between Sabah and Sarawak, as well as Sabah and Kuala Lumpur particularly during the festive seasons at the Dewan Negara sitting on Wednesday.

He said the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) has concluded a study on the pricing of domestic flight tickets in Malaysia during festive seasons and the report has been submitted to the Transport Ministry in July 30 this year.

Depending on the routes and airlines, he said the average price of domestic flight tickets were generally on a downward trend between January 2011 and April 2018.

He said Mavcom also found that the trend for air fares during peak seasons in Malaysia was similar to that of Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and the United States.

To Yong's question, Loke said majority of flight authorities of other countries did not control the pricing of flight tickets for international and domestic routes.

He said controlling the prices of air fares would lead to negative implication like what happened in Indonesia where airlines were found to have taken advantage of the ceiling price fixed by the government by increasing the average price of flight tickets even during off-peak periods to maximise profits.

Hence, he said fixing a ceiling price was not recommended to avoid price manipulation by airlines. Nonetheless, Loke said Mavcom has recommended airline companies to report their flight ticket prices during peak seasons to the Government.

He added that Mavcom as also suggested increasing the capacity or competition either for routes monopolise of air tickets ed by certain airlines, routes in high demand and routes that did not have alternative modes of transportation to encourage more airlines to operate scheduled or charter flights.

"The ministry is studying the result of the study and recommendations by Mavcom and will make a final decision soon," Loke said.


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