Airline companies have been requested to adjust their flight prices back to pre-movement control order (MCO) levels by senior minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
According to Datuk Ismail, the government is aware of the high airfares for domestic flights between Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah and Sarawak. He explained that the initial increase in ticket prices was justified as airlines were only allowed to fly at 66% passenger capacity due to social distancing.
“But now we have allowed airline companies to operate at full capacity without social distancing measures,” said Datuk Ismail, hence the call for ticket prices to be returned to normal. He added that the Transport Ministry and the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) have been tasked to reach out to airline companies regarding this matter.
In particular, Datuk Ismail urged for flight prices be adjusted for students, teachers, and higher education institute students who will be resuming their studies. He further called on MAVCOM to negotiate special ticket prices for these groups of travellers.
Prior to this, airlines had temporarily grounded their fleets between March to April due to travel restrictions and low demand. Subsequently, the government urged them to resume flights between Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah and Sarawak. Malaysia Airlines was the first to do so in mid-April, and it was subsequently joined by AirAsia and Malindo Air. However, the airlines were subject to regulations and operating procedures, such as carrying only 66% of the passenger capacity (during the extended conditional MCO).
(Source: The Star)