PETALING JAYA: Airline companies are reminded to set reasonable airfares so as not to unduly burden travellers following the relaxation of social distancing rules for aviation, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (pic).
The Transport Minister said his ministry had conveyed the government’s stand in a meeting with Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia and Malindo Air on June 11 to discuss the aviation sector’s recovery.
“The airlines must begin to reduce their fares and increase flight frequencies in line with the relaxation of social distancing rules for scheduled and non-scheduled passenger flights.
“The airlines have informed the government that fares are determined via a dynamic pricing mechanism based on supply and demand that are market-driven, ” said Dr Wee in a Facebook post yesterday.
Other factors that affect pricing are the economic situation as well as fuel and operation costs.
Dr Wee said the airlines had also explained that they had to ensure bookings were stable and consistent before airfares could be brought to normal levels.
“Fares also depend on the timing of the purchase. For example, tickets bought closer to departure dates will cost more compared to those bought much earlier.
“It is recommended for travellers to plan their flights ahead of time to enjoy lower fares.
“Moving forward, the government has reminded the airlines to set reasonable prices that would not unduly burden air travellers during this time of national recovery from the pandemic, ” he said.
Dr Wee also said that the government viewed seriously the toll the movement control order (MCO) had had on air travel.
“Since the MCO was enforced, it had inadvertently placed great stress and inconvenience on a number of industries and people who must travel for work or personal reasons, ” he said.
Dr Wee said on June 18, the government decided to discontinue the requirement for social distancing at the airport as part of the recovery MCO phase.
“As such, social distancing is no longer mandatory for scheduled passengers who have already passed security checks and are queuing at boarding gates at the terminals, ” said Dr Wee.
Those meeting and greeting arriving passengers are also allowed into the terminal now.
“This is to allow assistance to be given to the elderly or persons with disabilities when necessary.
“It must be stressed that the public must still comply with all guidelines related to health screening, body temperature checks, wearing of face mask and the use of hand sanitisers within the airport, ” he said.
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