Malaysia's Government Agrees to Subsidies Flight Tickets to East Territories During National Festive

Anthony Loke, Malaysian Transport Ministry's proposal to provide subsidies for one-way economy class flight tickets to Sabah, Sarawak, and Labuan during the Christmas holidays has been approved by the government. The subsidy policy will also be extended to other festivals such as Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Pesta Keamatan, Hari Gawai, and Christmas in 2024 for three days each. The government will pay the price difference between the original price and the maximum price for economy-class flight tickets that exceed a certain amount, while tickets that cost less than the specified amount will be sold at the original price set by the airlines. The price of the subsidized ticket does not include taxes and fees.


For example, if a person checks the price of an economy plane ticket at RM1,500 (USD 321) on December 23 from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu and the cost exceeds RM 599 (USD 128), the government will pay the price difference between the original price of the flight ticket and the maximum price. However, if the cost is less than the specified amount, the person will pay the original price set by the airline. The implementation of the subsidy for the purchase of flight tickets for this year's Christmas will start on December 16 at 12.01am and on January 1, 2024, for other festivals.


The public can purchase flight tickets starting from the dates mentioned through the websites of domestic airlines such as AirAsia, Firefly, Malaysia Airlines Berhad, and Batik Air. However, the terms and conditions of the flight ticket are strict, including not allowing any changes in date or flight, not allowing a change of passenger name on the ticket, and making the tickets non-refundable.

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The government decided to provide subsidies as those working in the peninsula had to pay more than RM1,000 (USD 214) for a one-way flight ticket to return to their hometown in Sabah, Sarawak, and Labuan, and flight services are the only mode of transportation. The Transport Ministry through the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) has facilitated a total of 114 additional flights this Christmas between the peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak and Labuan. As a result, the prices of flights from Kuala Lumpur to the main destinations in Sabah and Sarawak have dropped between 5 percent and 33 percent compared to last week.


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