SEPANG 21 Nov.: Low-cost carrier, AirAsia (Malaysia) has announced additional late night flights to for the upcoming Chinese New Year (CNY) period between January 31 and February 12, 2019 to accommodate travel demand on popular routes.
AirAsia Bhd group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said the airline will be adding 22,000 seats in addition of 43,500 seats, making a total of 65,520 seats available during the festive period.
"We have found a way to help people by offering extra late night flights for CNY at fixed low fares," he said at a press conference after announcing AirAsia's special announcement, here, today.
He said the extra flights include routes to and from Penang, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, Sibu and Miri.
The airline offers fixed low fares of only RM99 one-way from Kuala Lumpur to Penang, RM149 from Kuala Lumpur to Miri, Sibu and Kuching and RM199 from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu.
"There were so much speculations that oil prices would continue rising. There was one time the oil prices reached around U$85 per barrel.
"We felt that was way to high. We didn't hedge very much. Now, we will benefit from the much lower oil prices," he added.
Fernandes said this will be passed on the savings to consumers as well, while noting that the airline's margins should increase with the oil prices going down.
"We want lower air fares, more flights and flight volume (frequencies) backed by lower oil prices," he said.
Transport Minister Loke Siew Fook said the ministry has also requested the Malaysian Aviation Commission Malaysia (MAVCOM) not to overly regulate airlines who add more frequencies and routes for their operations.
"Let the airlines take the risk. Government should not limit the risk. That's the direction I have given to MAVCOM and hope any airlines who want to fly to certain destinations and increase flight frequencies, it is the government's role to facilitate the sector," he said.
(Celebratory mood: (From left) Fernandes, AirAsia X chairman Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, Loke and AirAsia Malaysia CEO Riad Azmat
hitting the drums during the launch of the Chinese New Year fares and flights at the AirAsia RedQ Office in Sepang.)
He hoped the government and airlines can closely cooperate to ensure airfares remain affordable and competitive.
Meanwhile, Loke said the government hopes to review the Passenger Service Charge (PSC) and the Operating Agreement with Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB).
"Lowering the PSC is one of the agendas we want to achieve to ensure we remain competitive and affordable for Malaysians to travel," he said.
(Source: NST, TheStar)