RM300 max for flight tickets to Sabah and Sarawak during Kaamatan and Gawai

KUALA LUMPUR: A total of RM17.2mil has been allocated to make it more affordable for people to fly back to Sabah or Sarawak from Peninsular Malaysia for two upcoming festive events.

The Cabinet has agreed to set aside RM5.8mil and RM11.4mil respectively, to subsidise one-way flights from Peninsular Malaysia to Sabah and Sarawak in the run-up to the Kaamatan and Gawai festivals there.

Kaamatan and Gawai, both harvest festivals, will be observed on May 30-31 and June 1-2, respectively.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the Cabinet decided to lighten the burden on Sabahans and Sarawakians who want to return to their hometowns for the festivals.

While airlines are still free to set their prices, travellers need not pay more than RM300 to fly to Sabah and Sarawak at selected periods as the government will top up the fare difference by reimbursing the airlines.

“Those flying from the peninsula to Sabah and Sarawak will not have to pay more than RM300 when they make bookings this Saturday and onwards.

“The discounted flight tickets to Sabah will be applied three days before Kaamatan, from May 27-29.

“For flight tickets to Sarawak, the discounted rates will be applied three days before Gawai, from May 29-31,” he told a press conference at KTM Bhd’s Hari Raya open house here yesterday.

Loke said the discounted tickets would be available for all airlines flying to Sabah and Sarawak, including AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines, Batik Air and MYairline.

As of May 17, Loke said there was a remainder of 17,708 flight tickets from Peninsular Malaysia to Sabah and Sarawak.

“There were 8,903 tickets to Sabah and 8,805 tickets to Sarawak,” he said.

The issue of costly airfares was highlighted in a report by The Star on May 12, where Sarawakians residing in Kuala Lumpur said they could not afford to return home to celebrate Gawai.

They said one-way tickets for a family of four from Kuala Lumpur to Sibu cost up to RM1,600.

The Malaysian Association of Hotels also said a return air ticket from Peninsular Malaysia to Sarawak could cost as much as four figures if booked at the last minute.

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Kaamatan , Gawai , flight tickets


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