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Mavcom urged to request additional flights to Sarawak to meet surging demand for GE15

NSTP/MOHD FADLI HAMZAH.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) has been urged to request airline operators to either increase the number of trips or use bigger aircraft for flights to Sarawak in order to meet the surge in demand for the 15th General Election (GE15).

The request was made by Sarawak Transport Minister Datuk Seri Lee Kim Shin after the ministry received a number of complaints about the hike in the price of flight tickets to Sarawak, especially during the coming polls.

Lee said his ministry had also officially written to Mavcom and all the airlines on the request from the Sarawak government.

“I have personally called the Mavcom executive chairman to request the airlines to have extra flights or use bigger aircraft, such as Airbus A350, which can carry between 300 and 400 passengers.

“My ministry has also officially written to the commission and all the airlines on this request.

“We trust that this will help to reduce the flight fares, lighten the public’s financial burden and ensure voters will return home to cast their democratic rights in the coming GE15,” he said in a statement today.

He, nonetheless, also urged the public, especially the voters, to plan their journey ahead and purchase their flight tickets in advance rather than buying at the last minute.

“This is because most of the airlines are using the Dynamic Pricing mechanism in their Revenue Management System where prices will respond to demand as informed by Mavcom,” said Lee.

The ministry, he said, trusted that airlines would reciprocate to the decision made by the Transport Ministry of Malaysia and Mavcom in approving more flight frequency into Sarawak.

“This is the time for the airlines to stage their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and play their pivotal role in facilitating the movement of people and goods at reasonable rates as well as supporting government initiatives to accelerate the revitalization of our economy.

“My ministry also believes that with the increase in flight frequency coming to Sarawak, it will generate a healthy competition among the airline operators, create an alternative and more choices of flights with a very competitive and reasonable fare for the voters, public, tourists and business travellers, especially in the coming GE15,” he said.

Federal Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong had yesterday said that Mavcom would take action if airlines were found to have raised prices against the set conditions.

He had also said Mavcom would regulate the prices of flight tickets to ensure that airlines do not hike up prices arbitrarily ahead of the polls.

A Mavcom spokesman told the New Straits Times that the commission was monitoring the situation.

Source: New Straits Times

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