PETALING JAYA: Good news is in the air for Sarawakians ahead of the state election and Christmas next month as Malaysia Airlines will be operating additional flights to Sarawak.
Malaysia Airlines said this was made possible after it received approval yesterday from the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) to operate additional flights for the period between Dec 11, 2021, and Jan 5, 2022.
The frequency of flights for the Kuala Lumpur-Kuching route will be 35 times weekly, up from 21 times previously.
For KL-Bintulu, KL-Miri and KL-Sibu, the flight frequency of seven times weekly will be increased to 14 times weekly for each route.
The flight frequency for the Kota Kinabalu-Kuching route will remain at seven times weekly.
“As airlines execute dynamic pricing based on supply and demand, fares may vary depending on the date, time and remaining seat availability.
“When more capacity is available in the market, fares will naturally go down,” Malaysia Airlines said in a statement to The Star yesterday.
Recently, Sarawakians had raised the matter of sky-high airfares in December for flights from the peninsula to the state ahead of the Dec 18 polls and Christmas Day on Dec 25.
Malaysia Airlines said the issue of flight fares had been discussed early this month with Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, where airlines highlighted that reduced flight frequency had resulted in higher fares.
“Since Nov 1, 2021, Malaysia Airlines has been operating a limited service of 21 times weekly to Kuching as approved by the SDMC, compared to 63 times weekly in December 2019 prior to Covid-19.
“On the week of Nov 22, 2021, bookings achieved a load factor of between 98% and 100% during the upcoming holiday season,” it said.
For the December travel period, Malaysia Airlines filed an average fare of RM350 from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching one-way beginning October 2021, it said.
The airline also introduced a promo fare of RM109 one-way between Oct 10 and 31 for the travel period of October 2021 until April 21, 2022.
It added that it would continue to adjust the capacity and frequency as advised by the SDMC.
“Customers are encouraged to book their travels early to be able to obtain a lower fare,” it said.