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Government Caps Airfares To East Malaysia At RM599 Ahead Of Hari Raya

Government Caps Airfares To East Malaysia At RM599 Ahead Of Hari Raya

Responding to long-standing concerns over high holiday airfares, the government introduces a fare cap for flights to East Malaysia, ensuring that families can reunite without the burden of excessive costs.

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In a move to ease the financial burden on travellers, Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook has announced a price cap on airfares from West Malaysia to East Malaysia.

The maximum fare for a one-way economy class flight will be RM599, effective three days before the Hari Raya celebrations in April.

The announcement comes after years of public discontent over soaring ticket prices during festive seasons, particularly affecting those travelling between Peninsular Malaysia and the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak.

The government’s decision aims to make air travel more affordable for Malaysians returning home for the holidays.

Loke, who also serves as the Rasah MP, disclosed the initiative following a groundbreaking ceremony for a new Chinese primary school in Negeri Sembilan.

He emphasized that while this measure does not solve all travel-related issues, it will significantly aid family reunions during major festivals such as Lunar New Year, Eid al-Fitr, Dayak, Harvest Festival, and Christmas.

Stakeholders Align to Enable Affordable Festive Travel

The fare cap is particularly targeted at East Malaysian travellers due to the lack of alternative transportation options available in West Malaysia, such as long-distance buses and trains.

The government is prepared to subsidize any excess costs should ticket prices exceed the RM599 threshold.

Before implementing this fare cap, the Transport Minister plans to consult various stakeholders, including the Minister in charge of religious affairs at the Prime Minister’s Department, to confirm the exact date of Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

Additionally, budget airline AirAsia has expressed willingness to offer fixed-price flights on certain nights and to provide additional flights during peak periods.

Further discussions on this proposal are expected to take place in early March.

Bridging the Distance: Airfare Cap Brings Malaysians Closer

This policy reflects the government’s recognition of the longstanding issue of costly flights between Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia.

It represents a step towards addressing the economic disparity that has impacted many Malaysian families during festive periods.

The announcement has been met with relief among many Malaysians who have traditionally faced high travel expenses during these times.

The government’s proactive approach demonstrates a commitment to acknowledging and rectifying a pressing concern affecting its citizens’ social and economic well-being.

This is not the first time the government has implemented such a fare cap – a similar measure was taken to make flights more affordable over holiday periods.

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