Airlines instructed to lower airfares for domestic flights
Published on: Saturday, November 27, 2021
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Malaysia Airlines says it will add more flights to Sarawak from next month.
PETALING JAYA: The transport ministry has instructed local carriers to take immediate action to lower the cost of domestic flights, in response to outcries over exhorbitant airfares since the resumption of interstate travel.

In a statement, transport minister Wee Ka Siong recognised public outrage over the high ticket costs, particularly for flights to Sarawak, and said the ministry had met with Malaysia Airlines, Malindo Air and AirAsia in recent days to discuss the need to lower these prices.

“Immediately following this meeting, Malaysia Airlines pledged to add additional flights to Sarawak in December. This should result in a reduction of airfares to the state,” he said.

Wee urged all local airlines to “take immediate action to lower airfares for travellers without the need for the federal government and its agencies to unduly intervene in the operations of these enterprises.”

He reiterated previous statements that fares would be lowered when restrictions on flight frequencies eased, saying that both the Malaysian Aviation Commission and the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) are prepared to approve more flights.

In addition, the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee and the state transport authorities have also decided to increase the frequency of flights from 223 to 307 per week into the state.

These flights will be operated by Malaysia Airlines, Firefly, AirAsia, Malindo and Scoot from Dec 4 this year to Jan 5, 2022.

Pre-pandemic, there were said to be 502 weekly flights to Sarawak.

Wee said the matter was of serious concern to his ministry, with many families eager to reunite ahead of the Christmas holiday period after many months apart.

“The government also reminds all industry players to refrain from hiking air fares to address the wide public perception that this is being done by airlines to recoup their losses during the pandemic.”

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