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Extend the maximum airfare period: CFOS
Published on: Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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Extend the maximum airfare period: CFOS
Nordin also believes that the three days set to implement the maximum price of flight tickets to Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan, in conjunction with Aidilfitri, is seen as not enough because not everyone can take an early holiday and some have to work during the festival.
Kota Kinabalu: The three-day period of RM599 maximum fare for one-way economy class flights from the peninsula to Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan, in conjunction with Aidilfitri this year, needs to be extended to two weeks, according to the Sabah consumer association.

Consumers Front of Sabah (CFOS) President Nordin Thani is of the view that the period should be extended so that more residents from the three regions get reasonable flight ticket prices to have the opportunity to return to their respective hometowns to celebrate Aidilfitri.

He also believes that the three days set to implement the maximum price of flight tickets to Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan, in conjunction with Aidilfitri, is seen as not enough because not everyone can take an early holiday and some have to work during the festival.

“The maximum price (should be implemented) a week before and a week after Aidilfitri. Two weeks. Anyone who cannot go on holiday (before Raya) can return (to the village) afterwards.

“We appeal to the Government to consider this method so that all (the people of Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan) have the opportunity to buy flight tickets at reasonable prices and not expensive. Besides, they can plan holidays and make reservations during that period,” he said.

On Saturday (Feb 24), Transport Minister Anthony Loke announced that the Government has set a maximum fare of RM599 for a one-way economy class flight from the peninsula to Sabah, Sarawak, and Labuan, applicable for travel three days before Aidilfitri.

He said this initiative was part of the Government’s efforts to assist people in travelling back to their hometowns for Aidilfitri in April, and according to him, any increase from the maximum set price will be covered by government subsidies within the three-day period.

Loke said his Ministry would seek the views of all parties, including the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs), to determine the exact date of Aidilfitri before finalising the implementation of the maximum ticket price.

Commenting further, Nordin said the implementation of the maximum price of air fares in conjunction with Aidilfitri must also give priority to the residents of Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan to return to their hometowns, as it is feared that some will take advantage of the price set to go on holiday to the region.

He said airline operators also need to consider using large planes to accommodate more passengers to “balik kampung” this festive season.

National Consumer Action Council (MTPN) Sabah Branch Chairman Kevin Lo Kian Min commended the Government’s move to set the maximum price, and sees it as a positive approach to control excessive flight ticket price increases ahead of Aidilfitri.

He said this could help ensure accessibility to air travel for the people of Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan wanting to return to their respective hometowns, without being burdened by unreasonable flight ticket prices.

“This step also reflects the government’s determination to protect the interests and well-being of the people, especially in a challenging economic situation,” he said.

He also advised the people of Sabah in the peninsula to plan their journey back home as well as possible, including buying tickets in advance to avoid unexpected price increases.

“Making preparations in advance is important for travellers to get tickets at a reasonable price. This includes planning a trip, because this will allow them to find the best deals and get lower flight ticket prices,” he said.

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