KUALA LUMPUR: More than 3,000 flight tickets were snapped up in just two days for those travelling to Sabah and Sarawak for the coming Hari Raya Aidifitri celebrations, says Anthony Loke.
The Transport Minister said the number was from the 11,400 low-priced tickets set aside by AirAsia for flights between Kuala Lumpur and seven destinations in Sabah and Sarawak during the festive period.
"AirAsia has prepared 62 additional flights totalling 11,400 seats at low fixed prices from Kuala Lumpur and Johor to seven destinations.
"The destinations are Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan and Tawau in Sabah as well as Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri in Sarawak between April 19 and 28 and from April 28 to 30," he said in reply to Vivian Wong Shir Yee (PH-Sandakan) in the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (March 9).
He said the tickets were priced starting at RM249 from Peninsular Malaysia to Sabah and RM199 to Sarawak.
"Tickets for the popular routes, particularly between Kuala Lumpur and Sandakan, are almost sold out," he added.
Wong suggested that there should be more special packages for students or flight routes opened between Penang and Johor to Sabah and Sarawak.
"This will help reduce travel costs as a one-way ticket to Sandakan cost over RM1,400 last week," she added.
Loke said the Malaysia Airlines MHexplorer product currently offers up to 30% discounts for students as well as other benefits such as 10kg baggage allowance and special "friends and family" promotions.
He said he would also meet MyAirlines representatives soon to see if it is possible to open new flight routes between Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah and Sarawak.
Earlier, Loke informed the House that the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) had imposed penalties totalling RM4.72mil between 2018 and January this year on airlines which had breached the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code.
He added that airlines have to reimburse customers or offer them alternative flight tickets if their flights were delayed or cancelled due to technical issues or lack of capacity.