Malaysia urges airlines to lower air ticket prices to 'normal' levels

Passengers at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 in Sepang, on April 29, 2020. PHOTO: AFP

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's Senior Minister (Security) Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Friday (July 3) urged airlines to bring down flight ticket prices to levels before the country enforced its movement curbs in March.

Datuk Seri Ismail said the Transport Ministry and the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) have been tasked to discuss with the airline companies to return air ticket prices back to "normal".

He said the decision was taken during a special ministerial meeting that coordinates the implementation of the movement control order (MCO), as they were aware of the high domestic ticket prices between Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah and Sarawak.

"In the beginning, the air ticket prices were high because they (airline companies) could not accept full seating capacity due to social distancing measures. The maximum passengers they could accept was just 66 per cent.

"But now we have allowed airline companies to operate at full capacity without social distancing measures," he said during his regular briefing on Covid-19.

Mr Ismail urged the airline companies to return ticket prices to normal levels especially for students, teachers, and higher education institute students who will be resuming their studies.

He also called on Mavcom to discuss with airline companies to offer special ticket prices to this group of people as they will need to attend universities or schools either back in Sabah and Sarawak or in Peninsular Malaysia.

Malaysia's borders remain generally shut to foreign visitors, but domestic travel and tourism have now been allowed as Covid-19 cases in the country have been trending down.

The Health Ministry reported three new coronavirus cases on Thursday (July 2) with the cumulative total at 8,643.

The death toll remained at 121 for the 18th consecutive day.

The number of active cases was below 100, with 85 patients being treated at health facilities nationwide.

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