Airlines urged to reduce fair

Airlines urged to reduce fair

Consumer activist Patrick Sindu has denounced the hike in airline ticket prices for flights between Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu and Kuching during the upcoming Hari Raya period.

He said the prices were exorbitant and pleaded with the airlines to sympathise with people who had not been able to travel for two years because of Covid-19.

Bernama reported last week that the round trip ticket prices had increased by 566% for the festive period from April 29 to May 8.

“This is unfair to the people who want to return to their families in Sabah or Sarawak,” Sindu told FMT. “The airlines must have some social responsibility, especially considering the effects of Covid-19.

“Consumers have not fully recovered from the pandemic and as such, their purchasing power may not be there for most things, what more overpriced flight tickets.”

He said this price surge would undermine government efforts to stimulate the economy as it would deter people from travelling despite the reopening of the nation’s borders.

He urged Putrajaya to come up with a system to keep prices in check, especially for Malaysians.

“If the airlines can’t lower their prices to an acceptable rate, then it’s better to open up the skies. I’m sure there are airlines interested in serving these routes.”

Last November, law minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar urged airline companies to resolve the issue of high ticket prices to Sabah and Sarawak, especially during the year-end holidays and festive seasons.

However, he said the government would not impose ceiling prices as it understood airlines had been hit hard by the pandemic.

Sabah West Coast Wise Consumers Association chairman David Chan said he sympathised with Sabahans and Sarawakians who were yearning to reunite with their families after being away for so long but had now been inflicted by “another setback”.

He told FMT he understood that airlines had lost significant revenues since Covid-19 struck and were trying to make up for lost time, but he said the hike in ticket prices was inappropriate.

“You can do business and generate income, but don’t be cruel to consumers,” he said. FMT

Airlines urged to reduce fair

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