KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia Airlines Travel Fair is a tremendous success if the first day's response is anything to go by.
Reacting to MAS’ offers, other airlines operating here have dropped their airfares and have come out with special discounts of their own.
Their promotion is almost similar to that of MAS.
The airlines that have entered the fray are Austrian Airlines, Air India and Singapore Airlines.
“The selling periods are almost the same, even the travel dates are about the same time – March to June,” said a travel agent.
An example of the price war sparked by the travel fair is the London route.
Austrian Airlines is charging about RM1,900 and SIA is quoting RM100 more.
MAS is offering its L class tickets to London at RM1,099 one way.
However, MAS regional manager Malaysia Baharom Mohd Yatim said the response had been very good so far.
“We are hoping for it to pick up even more in the next few days,” he said at the ticketing counters in KL Sentral.
Baharom added that MAS had no plan to extend the promotion period.
A spokesman for MAS said the Internet booking facility, which normally experiences an average of 5,000 hits per hour, surged to an average of 500,000 hits per hour.
“Our Kuala Lumpur and Kuching call centres collectively recorded up to almost 50,000 calls from 12.01am to 8pm,” he added.
Travellers interviewed were delighted with the MAS fair.
Initially, engineer Fadzil Ismail and his wife Aminah Abdullah were making flight reservations for the family to Perth, Australia, in March, but after much persuasion from MAS, they have decided to put their plans on hold.
“They (MAS) advised us to wait for the travel fair, and we have not regretted waiting. Now, I can take the whole family to visit my sister in April,” he said.
The couple are looking forward to the trip, their first overseas vacation as a family.
Some might take the opportunity to visit a few places, like what a 39-year-old businessman will be doing.
“I travel a lot because of my work, but with the reasonable prices offered, I’m travelling to Jakarta, Hong Kong and Paris in March.”
“I’m also inviting my friends from Jakarta to join in my expedition,” said the businessman who did not want to be identified.
Chief executive officer Ricky Chin, who was going to Dubai, said he was thrilled when he learned about the promotion.
“They should have it a long time ago, and more frequently. I travel a lot and have yearly plans for both work and pleasure,” said the 54-year-old.
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