Following complaints of expensive airfares following the announcement of Malaysia’s 15th General Election on 19th November, the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) has reviewed domestic flights between 16th to 20th November 2022. The commission found that most airfares during the GE15 travelling period have decreased since the initial spike on 20th October.
According to their statement, the average one-way airfare across all airlines for routes within Peninsular Malaysia is RM185 while the average airfare for routes within East Malaysia is RM188. Meanwhile, the average airfare for routes between Peninsular and East Malaysia is RM296.
MAVCOM Executive Chairman Datuk Seri Hj. Saripuddin Hj. Kasim said “We are pleased to see that airlines have introduced promotions and launched discounted airfares to facilitate this cause. There are also existing discount schemes offered by airlines specifically for student travellers which could aid travel for young voters. As evident, the industry has shown its support to facilitate voters fulfilling their civic duty and returning to their respective hometowns without the burden of high airfares. However, more can be done and airlines must continue to play their part for the nation during this critical period.”
The commission also noted that a small percentage of domestic routes have airfares that are higher than average and it urge airlines to add more capacity for these routes for GE15 as demand would most likely increase approaching the polling date. It also requested airlines to increase the capacity of their operating routes during GE15 travelling dates to ensure enough flights are available to various destinations at an affordable price. MAVCOM says they are committed to facilitating and approving all route applications for GE15 in performing its mandate for the national interest.
MAVCOM said all local scheduled airlines have planned extra flights for GE15 with 45 extra flights from KLIA and 30 extra flights from Subang to selected destinations within Peninsular Malaysia. It also added that 68 extra flights have been planned for flights between Peninsular and East Malaysia.
More flights are also planned for selected destinations within East Malaysia under the Rural Air Services programme and there are also 5 planned additional flights between Subang and Singapore’s Seletar airport. Malaysia Airlines have recently announced that it would increase the capacity for flights between Kuala Lumpur to Kuching and Kota Kinabalu by operating its larger Airbus A330 aircraft on selected flights. AirAsia has also increased its capacity for selected routes by operating AirAsia X’s Airbus A330.
MAVCOM reminded that airfares are currently not regulated and are determined by airlines after the Malaysian Government’s decision to rationalise the domestic air services sector in 2006. It added that it will continue to work closely with the Ministry of Transport and local airlines, and is committed to ensuring that customers are able to return home to cast their votes with ease.
At the time of writing, a return ticket on Malaysia Airlines from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching between 18th to 20th November costs RM699.20 with the 20% discount promo. Meanwhile, a return trip from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu for the same dates and airline cost RM841.22.
On AirAsia, a return trip from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching between 18th to 20th November costs RM518.00 with no extra add-ons, while the same trip arrangement between Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu costs RM658.00.
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