JELEBU, Feb 24 – The government has set a maximum fare of RM599 for a one-way economy class flight from the peninsula to Sabah, Sarawak, and Labuan, applicable for travel three days before Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke said this initiative was part of the government’s efforts to assist people in travelling back to their hometowns for Aidilfitri in April.

“We have a policy for all festivals, be it Chinese New Year, Aidilfitri, Gawai, Kaamatan, or Christmas. Three days before these celebrations, the government will set the maximum price (of flight tickets). However, in the peninsula, where alternative modes of transportation like buses and trains are available, no maximum price is set.

“Those who buy (airline tickets) early may get a cheaper price, but in the event of ticket shortages, prices may surge…any increase exceeding RM599 will be covered by government subsidies within the three-day period,” he told reporters after officiating the groundbreaking ceremony for a new school building here Saturday.

The Seremban Member of Parliament said, however, that the ministry would seek the views of all parties, including the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs), to determine the exact date of Aidilfitri before finalising the implementation of the maximum ticket price.

“This year’s Hari Raya is expected to fall on Wednesday or earlier. We anticipate that this year’s peak period (people returning to their hometowns) is on the Saturday and Sunday before Raya; therefore, the implementation period may be set on that weekend,” he said.

Loke, who is also the Chennah assemblyman added that certain airlines may offer fixed prices for particular night flights and provide additional flights.

“For example, Air Asia is gearing up to unveil a special deal featuring fixed, pocket-friendly fares for flights operating at night. These particular flights, only available a few times a day, are scheduled to be launched in March,” he said.

Meanwhile, in response to a question regarding individuals renting helicopters to return to their hometowns during festive seasons, Loke said that all flights must be registered with the appropriate authorities.


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