KUALA LUMPUR, July 3 — Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said airlines no longer have justification to keep domestic ticket prices elevated as they were no longer restricted to flying with lower capacities.

In his press briefing today, Ismail said that the Special Meeting of Ministers concluded that airfares should consequently return to what they were before the movement control order (MCO) was first enforced.

“Lately we have been hearing grouses that the airfares are still high. The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) made a presentation regarding the flight ticket prices, including domestic ones in the peninsula, within the peninsula states or from the peninsula to Sabah and Sarawak which are part of domestic flight routes.

“The Special Meeting of Ministers acknowledge the issue of these high prices flight tickets, and according to their’ view, in the initial stages, we understand that the prices were high because the order from the meeting or the National Security Council (NSC), is that they cannot have full capacity flights owing to social distancing in planes. Maximum they can board is only 66 per cent. However, in the end, we allowed airlines to fly full capacity flights and there is no more social distancing in planes.

“Therefore, the ministers feel that the ticket prices must return to the original price before the MCO was enforced,” he added.

Ismail said that the government has also asked Mavcom to discuss with airlines about offering discounted fares to teachers, school students as well as higher education students, for their classes.

He said that the Ministry of Transport (MOT) has been asked to hold a meeting with airlines to find a solution on the matter.