The Ministry of Transport (MOT) will hold discussions with airline companies to provide cheaper fares to students, especially for flights connecting Peninsular Malaysia to the eastern states of Sabah and Sarawak. Its minister Anthony Loke revealed this during Dewan Rakyat earlier today, in a response to a query by PH-Sandakan member Vivian Wong, who wanted to know whether the government plans to offer students originating from East Malaysia with flight packages at reasonable prices during semester breaks.
Loke notes that so far, only Malaysian Airlines Bhd (MAB) have provided such packages under its MHExplorer programme. Under this initiative, students are entitled to a 30% discount on flight fares, as well as an additional 10 kg baggage allowance and special offers for family members and fellow students. “We will try to discuss this (special packages) with other airlines,” he added.
At the same time, the minister said MOT will also continue to monitor the airfare for all domestic routes through the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM). This is likely referring to last year’s incident where citizens have filed numerous complaints regarding high ticket prices charged by companies during festive seasons.
He assured that there are airlines that implement special initiatives to offer cheaper fares for special occasions, with AirAsia being referred to as the more recent example. Just in case you missed it, the low-cost carrier has recently announced fixed flight fares to East Malaysia in conjunction with the upcoming Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration.
Meanwhile, Loke also revealed that his ministry has no problems with airline companies introducing new routes, though this would depend on market demand. This statement is a response to a supplementary question posed by PN-Padang Besar representative Rushdan Rusmi, in regards to whether the government has any plans to add more flights to connect the west and east coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
“…but I understand that sometimes, there needs to be an incentive,” he said. “Therefore, maybe the state government, through the Tourism Action Committee, can give some incentives to these airlines, so that they can have direct flights from new destinations such as Penang to Terengganu, or Penang to Kota Bharu.”
(Source: The Edge)
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