2016 Paralympic Games

Free flights for Paralympic medallists

Singapore's Paralympic medallists Yip Pin Xiu and Theresa Goh will receive free flights from Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia, its chief executive officer Tony Fernandes announced on Monday.

In a Facebook post lauding the achievements of South-east Asia's para-athletes at the Rio Games, he wrote: "Thought the Summer Olympics was amazing. But the Paralympics has showed me what determination is all about."

Asean athletes who win a gold medal will get free flights for life, while silver and bronze medallists receive five and three years' worth of free flights respectively.

Yip, 24, won gold in the 100m backstroke S2 last Friday, while Goh, 29, clinched a bronze in the 100m breaststroke SB4 on Sunday.

The two swimmers are the only Singaporean medallists so far at the Sept 7-18 Paralympics.

AirAsia's chief executive also announced last month that all Asean athletes who won gold medals at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games would get free flights for life.

This offer meant that Joseph Schooling - who made history by becoming Singapore's first Olympic champion - would receive free flights for life.

But since Schooling is unable to accept the gift while still a student athlete at the University of Texas, AirAsia reportedly said it will instead offer his parents free flights on the airline till 2018.

Malaysia and Thailand have so far won three gold medals each at the Paralympics, while Singapore and Vietnam have each won a gold.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 14, 2016, with the headline 'Free flights for Paralympic medallists'. Print Edition | Subscribe