PUTRAJAYA, April 8 — The Transport Ministry (MOT) has approved 527 additional flights in conjunction with Aildilfitri this year, involving flight services from six companies, namely Malaysia Airlines, Batik Air, AirAsia, Firefly, MASWings and MYAirline.

In a statement today, the ministry said the measure implemented through the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) was aimed at meeting the high demand during the festive season involving flights from the peninsula to Sabah and Sarawak.

“Since early March, MOT and Mavcom have taken proactive measures and encouraged airlines to offer reasonable airfares.

“Mavcom has approved all additional capacity requests by airlines offering fixed fares to major destinations in Malaysia,” it said.

Advertisement

A total of 184 additional flights are offered by Malaysia Airlines, Batik Air (173), AirAsia (130), Firefly (18), MASwings (12) and MYAirline (10).

The additional flights involved 118 flights from Peninsular Malaysia to Kota Kinabalu, Tawau (70), Sandakan (32), Kuching (102), Sibu (34), Miri (20) and Bintulu (14).

According to MOT, Mavcom also approved other additional flights to ensure higher seat availability to deal with increased demand and keep airfares affordable.

Advertisement

“The fixed-fare tickets were sold out quickly. In fact, normal fare tickets also saw a high purchase rate which led to increased prices for the remaining tickets,” it added.

The statement said that the ministry and Mavcom also implemented intervention measures by holding discussions with Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) when the capacity offered by low-cost airlines was insufficient.

According to MOT, the move was successful when MAB agreed to upgrade 40 flights to Airbus A330 aircraft for the Kuala Lumpur-Kota Kinabalu route.

“This has helped in lowering the initial fares,” it said.

The additional flights are on top of the 5,617 initial flights scheduled to operate within Peninsular Malaysia, 2,149 flights between Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak, and 2,033 flights between peninsular Malaysia and Sabah. — Bernama