The travel industry has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. With the rise of coronavirus cases outside of China and more travel restrictions imposed by various governments including Malaysia, various airlines including Malaysia Airlines are finding ways to brace themselves for turbulent times.
To inspire confidence for travellers, the national flag carrier is now providing greater flexibility with its 1x Free Date Change offer. This is applicable for Malaysia Airlines flights booked between 10th to 31st March 2020.
According to the Malaysia Airlines’ Coronavirus update page, the flexible rebooking option is open to passengers that have booked for travel dates between 10th March to 31st December 2020. Eligible passengers can enjoy a one-time change fee waiver for deferred travel but the rebooking must be made by 31st May 2020 and the new travel date must be completed by 31st December 2020.
Although the flight change fee is waived, the fare difference may apply and it is subject to seat availability.
For those travelling to COVID-19 affected or restricted areas such as China, South Korea, Japan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Malaysia Airlines is offering cancellation with refunds subject to T&C. To request for a waiver and to find out more, you can check out Malaysia Airlines’ website.
Malaysia Airlines asks staff to take unpaid leave
Due to the current coronavirus situation, Malaysia Airlines is offering all of its 13,000 employees the option of taking three months of unpaid leave or five days unpaid leave a month for a period of three months starting from April 2020. This also includes staff from Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) subsidiaries such as MAB Kargo, MAB Engineering, Firefly and MASwings.
Meanwhile, the senior management of the group will also get a 10% pay cut as a measure to lower operating costs and to cope with the current low demand for air travel. The management will also forgo their allowances starting from this month.
According to MAS group CEO Captain Izham Ismail, the impact of COVID-19 on the market is tremendous and people are not travelling. He shared that businesses are not operating as they used to be and the aviation landscape has changed tremendously. The aviation group has introduced capacity cuts in Q1 this year with a 7.1% reduction in flight capacity. It has also reduced capacity to China by 53% and to South Korea and Japan by 23%.