KUALA LUMPUR: Domestic airlines have agreed to increase the frequency of flights in the nation based on demand in support of the 15th General Election (GE15) in response to government agencies' and stakeholders' requests.
Over the last few weeks, domestic carriers such as Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia has been urged by government agency such as the transport ministry, state governments and regulator Malaysia Aviation Commission (Mavcom) to increase flight and keep fares low to facilitate those who are returning home to fulfil their responsibilities for GE15 on 19 November 2022.
Late last month, caretaker transport minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong told domestic airlines to increase flight frequencies and instructed Mavcom to monitor ticket prices.
"I will ask Mavcom to look at the available facilities and use them as best as possible. As for land transport, I guarantee that everything will be sufficient throughout the GE15 period," he was quoted saying.
Malaysia Airlines will increase the number of flights from 26 to 44 and upgrade from 16 to 24 domestic services to wide-body A330 aircraft on several routes in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, and Sarawak to ensure smooth and reliable connectivity for voters.
The airlines said those returning home to fulfil their responsibilities for GE15 on 19 November 2022 will enjoy a 20 per cent discount on one-way, all-inclusive fares starting at RM104 through the airline's "Jom Balik Mengundi" campaign.
This has been made for bookings by 19 November 2022 for travel from November 11 to 27, 2022.
The carrier said in a recent statement that the 20 per cent discount applies to all fare categories, including Lite, Basic, and Flex for economy class and Basic and Flex for business class.
The airline has raised capacity by 30 per cent to main domestic destinations within Peninsular Malaysia, such as Penang and Kota Baru, as well as Sabah and Sarawak.
"There are 140,000 seats made available by optimising all our fleet to support air transport movements via Malaysia Airlines during GE15," he said.
Low-cost carrier AirAsia did not respond to queries at press time.
Meanwhile, Firefly, an airline of Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG), will also offer a 20 per cent discount on all ancillary products, such as seat selection, inflight meals, and extra baggage allowance.
This offer will start from November 14 until November 20, 2022, for immediate travel to November 30, 2023.
It is available to all domestic and international destinations flying using ATR72-500 turboprop and Boeing 737-800 jets.
In addition to great add-ons, Firefly said customers can also take the opportunity to enjoy special fare from RM89 for one way to all destinations from November 15 until November 20, 2022.
"The special fare is valid for immediate travel until November 30, 2022," it said.
Previously, Mavcom completed its review of airfares for domestic flights operating between November 16 to 20, 2022, and Malaysia's upcoming GE15 on November 19, 2022.
The commission's latest observation on October 25, 2022, indicates that most airfares during the GE15 travel period have decreased since the initial spike following the GE15 announcement.
Based on the commission's review, the one-way average domestic airfare across all airlines for routes within Peninsular Malaysia is RM185.
The average airfare for routes within East Malaysia is RM188, and RM296 for routes between Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia.