KUCHING (Oct 30): The Sarawak Transport Ministry (MOTS) has lauded the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) for its swift action in tackling the lack of flights into the state and the increase in flight fares for the 15th General Election (GE15).
The ministry in a statement said state Transport Minister Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin had verbally requested and also sent a written application on Oct 21 to Mavcom and all airline companies to increase flight frequency or use larger planes into Sarawak in light of GE15.
Lee also thanked all airlines that had cooperated by increasing flight capacity and offering reasonable prices for flights to Sarawak throughout the election period.
In a Mavcom statement issued on Oct 27, the one-way average domestic airfare across all airlines for routes within Peninsular Malaysia and within East Malaysia is RM188.
Meanwhile, the one-way average airfare is RM296 for routes between Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia.
Mavcom added that the airline companies have also introduced other promotions and discounts to benefit consumers, including offering a discount scheme for tertiary students to return home to vote.
Based on the data submitted to Mavcom, all local scheduled airlines have planned extra flights for GE15 beginning November using the resources at their disposal.
In addition, 68 extra flights have been planned for flights between Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia.
Malaysia Airlines is said to be increasing its capacity to key destinations in Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia by utilising the Airbus A330 wide-body aircraft.
There are also additional flights planned to selected destinations within East Malaysia under the Rural Air Services programme, said Mavcom.
“MOTS hopes that this cooperation can be maintained in the future. With this cooperation, it will make it easier for voters to fulfill their rights to vote without being burdened by high cost of airfares,” it added.