KUALA LUMPUR: The cost of flight tickets to Sabah and Sarawak is expected to decrease following the lifting of travel restrictions, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (pic).
“We hope that flight frequency and demand will increase, which will see prices of tickets coming down,” he said when replying to a question raised by Dr Kelvin Yii (PH-Bandar Kuching) in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday (Nov 2).
Dr Wee cited an example where the Sarawak state government had now lifted the 90-minute separation period between flights for airlines to manage passengers.
With the buffer period imposed, flight frequency was affected, he said.
“With the latest move to do away with this condition, we hope the situation will (improve),” he added.
He said that the Sarawak government had recently allowed more flights into the state beginning Monday (Nov 1), from 89 flights a week to 223.
On a proposal by Ahmad Hassan (Warisan-Papar) to set ceiling prices for flight tickets to Sabah and Sarawak, Dr Wee said this was not possible.
He said that the Cabinet decided in 2006 to adopt a non-intervention policy with regard to decisions by airlines on ticket prices, among others.
However, he said the government would usually appeal to the airlines to lower ticket prices during festive seasons.
Earlier, Dr Wee said the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) observed that most flights to Sarawak between Nov 2 and 8 recorded an increase in ticket prices from double to six-fold compared to 2019.
He said that this was due to flights to Sarawak being reduced by 86% compared to the pre-pandemic period.
As for Sabah, he said ticket prices had gone down between 30% and 62% between Nov 4 and 10, compared to 2019 fares.
He added that flight frequency to Sabah had also reduced by 49% compared to the pre-pandemic period.
Dr Wee urged the Sarawak and Sabah state governments to consider easing health protocols with regard…