April 19, 2022
PUTRAJAYA – Airfares to Sabah and Sarawak for the festive season have fallen following intervention by aviation authorities and airlines, says the Transport Minister.
Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said based on observations by the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) on Saturday, the one-way fare for economy class from April 27 to May 8 is between RM105 and RM1,398.
For flights between April 29 and May 1, which is considered the peak period, a one-way ticket for domestic travel is between RM195 and RM1,398.
Hari Raya Aidilfitri is expected to fall on May 3.
“From this price range, the majority of one-way airfares for all Sabah and Sarawak routes on economy class during the monitoring period is only between RM300 and RM500,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Dr Wee said the situation was different before and on April 14, when the price range was between RM105 and RM2,084 during the “monitoring period”, while during peak period, the one-way fare for an economy seat was between RM195 and RM2,084.
The price range is mostly between RM700 and RM1,200 for a one-way economy ticket, he added.
“This is good news for those who want to return to Sabah and Sarawak as airfares have fallen significantly.
“I would like to congratulate Mavcom, the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) and the domestic airlines for their cooperation,” he added.
Dr Wee said claims that airline ticket prices were more than RM3,000 for a one-way economy seat were actually over a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu, with one transit at Kuching.
“I would like to urge consumers to plan their travel and buy their airline tickets early to benefit from possible lower fares,” he added.
Earlier, at the launch of a road safety campaign and Ops Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Dr Wee told reporters that a solution had been found for the issue of high airfares after three days of discussions between his ministry, Mavcom, CAAM, Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia and Malindo Air.
He said a meeting with all stakeholders was called last Thursday and an outcome was reached Sunday afternoon.
“The matter needs to be resolved as we view relations and connections between Sabah, Sarawak and the peninsula to be very important,” he added.
Dr Wee said the meeting also took into consideration limitations faced by airlines, particularly over their aircraft.
“Not many people understand that it is not easy for airlines to just operate additional flights when aircraft have been left in the hangar for two years.
“In order for these aircraft to be used, they must go through a safety checklist, maintenance, repair and overhaul before they can be approved for safe service,” he added.
Dr Wee said to resolve the issue of a lack of aircraft, airlines such as Malaysia Airlines would cancel some flights to Asean cities where other airlines are also servicing these routes.
“They just want to help solve this problem,” he added.
The issue of costly flight tickets to Sabah and Sarawak became a hot topic recently as many airlines quoted high fares for domestic flights around the Hari Raya period.