MAVCOM Approves Increased Domestic Flight Frequency For Hari Raya Celebration
Domestic flights in conjunction with the upcoming Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration will see an increase in frequency, said transport minister Anthony Loke. Speaking to reporters during a press conference earlier today, he revealed that the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) had informed his ministry of its decision to approve the additional flights during a cabinet meeting yesterday.
Loke added that among the approved includes the use of larger or “wide-body” aircraft from Malaysia Airlines’ (MAS) fleet in order to accommodate demand during the period. These are likely referring to the company’s twin-aisle planes, such as the Airbus A330-200, A330-300 and A350-900 models, which can support larger passenger capacities and are usually utilised for long-ranged international flights.
“With that, flight capacity will increase, seat capacity will certainly increase, while the average ticket price is also expected to decrease,” he said. It is unspecified whether other airlines such as AirAsia or Batik Air would also take similar approaches at this time, but Loke promises that an announcement regarding the additional capacity will be made soon.
Undoubtedly, these measures are to ensure that a public uproar concerning exorbitant ticket prices would not recur. As you may recall, the government had previously received complaints regarding this issue last year, where it was reported that fares booked in conjunction with the Hari Raya celebration had reportedly surged over 566% in price, especially for flights to East Malaysia.
This resorted to different ministries as well as MAVCOM to conduct an investigation into the matter. As a solution, airlines were then instructed to increase their frequencies, which did help introduce cheaper flights, but in turn introduced a new problem that led to another outcry.
On a related note, Loke previously revealed that the Ministry of Transport has expressed interest in allowing airlines to provide cheaper fares to students, especially those travelling to and from East Malaysia. The outcome of its discussion with the companies has yet to be announced.
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