MALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) expects 40% of its ticket sales to come through online bookings in five years.
“We expect online bookings to account for about 5% to 7% of total sales initially, and the figure to gradually improve,” sales general manager (West) Nick Phang said after the launch of the national carrier's new online services in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
The new and interactive online booking service, accessible via the airline's enhanced website (www.malaysiaairlines.com), is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The website, Phang said, would provide opportunities for the airline to market its full range of services and travel destinations.
He said MAS planned to invest about RM20mil over the next five years to upgrade its online services.
New online services include electronic tickets for travelling to all domestic points within Malaysia and selected international destinations, ticket-by-mail or self-collect (at airport or ticketing offices) options for selected stations, and automatic Enrich member recognition at points of booking.
Under its online booking service, local and foreign travellers can make bookings to any of MAS' travel destinations (previously online bookings were only for domestic destinations) and at their convenience.
Phang said MAS expected the number of domestic online reservations to be higher than foreign ones based on the experience of other airlines that had initiated online booking services.
Assistant general manager (distribution) Md Saat Abdul Samad said online booking was becoming an attractive option due to the rising number of Internet users in Malaysia, totalling about seven million people.
“Our company felt it was time to develop comprehensive online booking services to further market the airline and enable as many people as possible to know about the services we offer,” he said, adding that there could also be other positive spin-offs from having online services.
Besides promoting MAS and its services and destinations, Saat said, the website would also help to further promote Malaysia to the world.