Aviation industry gears up for GE15

The planned additional flights include 45 flights from KLIA and 30 from Subang Airport to selected locations within Peninsular Malaysia 


TO SHOW their support for the upcoming 15th General Election (GE15), the aviation industry is increasing their flight frequencies and lowering airfares to ensure the public can travel back to their hometowns to cast their vote. 

According to a review conducted by the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom), airlines have reduced their airfare rates between Nov 16 and Nov 20, to RM185 for flights within Peninsular Malaysia and RM188 for flights within East Malaysia. 

Routes between Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia have been lowered to RM296. 

Mavcom executive chairman Datuk Seri Saripuddin Kasim is happy that the aviation industry is supporting GE15 by introducing various promotions and discounted airfares. 

“There are also discount schemes for student travellers which can benefit young voters. 

“As evident, the industry has shown its support to facilitate voters fulfilling their civic duty and returning to their respective hometowns without the burden of high airfares. 

“However, more can be done and airlines must continue to play their part for the nation during this critical period,” he said in a statement recently. 

As there is still a small percentage of routes having airfares that are higher than average, the commission has urged airlines to induce more capacity on these routes during the GE15 travelling period as demand for these routes will most likely increase approaching the polling date on Nov 19. 

“To ensure there are sufficient domestic flights at an affordable price, the commission also advises airlines to increase their operating routes capacity during these dates,” Saripuddin said in the statement. 

Based on the data submitted to Mavcom, Saripuddin highlighted that all local scheduled airlines have planned extra flights for GE15 beginning next month. 

“The planned additional flights include 45 flights from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and 30 additional flights from Subang Airport to selected locations within Peninsular Malaysia. 

“Additionally, there will also be 68 extra flights between Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia. Malaysia Airlines is also planning to increase capacity to key destinations in Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia by utilising the Airbus A330 wide-body aircraft,” he said. 

Saripuddin added that there are additional flights planned to selected destinations within East Malaysia under the rural air services programme and five planned additional flights between Subang and Singapore. 

“Mavcom welcomes these action plans by airlines and is cognisant that the planned capacity additions may vary closer to the election date depending on operational reasons and overall market demand. 

“However, the commission is closely monitoring the developments to ensure enough seats are available at affordable prices to meet the demand,” Saripuddin said. 

Mavcom also reminds people that airfares are currently not regulated and are determined by airlines in line with the Malaysian government’s decision in 2006 to rationalise the domestic air services sector. 

But airlines are encouraged to make their flights affordable to ensure Malaysians can fulfil their civic duty.

  • This article first appeared in The Malaysian Reserve weekly print edition