PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) has approved all 291 additional flights applied by airlines in an effort to meet travel demand and curb soaring airfares during the Chinese New Year (CNY) festive period.
As of Jan 6, 2023, the breakdown of the 291 additional flights applied by airlines and approved by the commission comprises AirAsia (134), Malaysia Airlines (53), Batik Air (44), SKS Airways (44) and Firefly (16), said Mavcom in a statement.
Routes with the highest number of extra flights for the season would be between routes to Sabah and Sarawak with 205 additional flights, it said.
“The additional flights from Peninsular Malaysia to Sabah comprise 50 flights to Kota Kinabalu, followed by 21 to Tawau and two to Sandakan. Meanwhile, 52 additional flights from Peninsular Malaysia were approved to Kuching, followed by 41 to Sibu, 23 to Miri, and 16 to Bintulu.
“This is on top of 1,253 regular scheduled flights between Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah, 1,594 between Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak as well as 3,261 within Peninsular Malaysia, operated by all carriers during this period.”
In total, the commission has approved an additional 33.5% extra domestic flights for 2023 compared to the 2022 CNY festive period.
To further facilitate the increase of overall flight capacity between Jan 18 to 31, 2023, Mavcom has instructed all airlines to better manage flight disruptions with immediate effect and reminded airlines of their obligations toward consumers under the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016.
Mavcom said the requirements were issued in anticipation of the increased flight capacity and passenger traffic during the CNY festive season, one of the nation’s peak travel periods.
It urged airlines to immediately rectify any issues experienced by passengers following the recent flight disruptions.
“While Mavcom notes that airlines have standard operating procedures for handling flight disruptions, the management of these flight disruptions must be further strengthened and requires urgent attention.
“As such, the instructions aim to immediately address concerns regarding airlines’ management and handling of flight delays and cancellations, especially during important festive holidays when air travel is expected to increase.”