SEPANG: A total of 291 additional flights to various domestic destinations have been approved by the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) for the Chinese New Year celebrations in a bid to overcome the issue of flight fare hikes during festive seasons.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook (pix) said the additional flights approved for the travel period from Jan 18 to 31 involved several airlines, such as Batik Air, AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines, MyAirline and SKS Airways.

“This (additional flights) is an effective approach to deal with the flight fare hike during festive seasons which has been an unsolved issue for quite some time.

“This approach will also be used during other festive seasons, including Hari Raya,” he told a press conference after launching Batik Air’s additional flights to Sabah and Sarawak and new destinations to Japanese cities, here today.

Also present were Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) chairman Tan Sri Mohd Khairul Adib Abdul Rahman, Mavcom executive chairman Datuk Seri Saripuddin Kassim, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) managing director Datuk Iskandar Mizal Mahmood and Batik Air chief executive officer Mushafiz Mustafa Bakri.

Batik Air today launched 35 additional flights to Sarawak and Sabah at a fixed fare of RM299 to Kuching and RM399 to Kota Kinabalu in a bid to ensure a balance of supply and demand for tickets while reducing high pricing.

The airline also offers 42 additional flights from Subang Skypark to Johor Bharu, Penang, Kota Bharu and Langkawi at a fixed fare of RM259 one way.

Meanwhile, Loke said the three new destinations introduced by Batik Air, namely Tokyo, Sapporo and Osaka, will strengthen bilateral ties in various sectors, including trade and tourism, between Malaysia and Japan. - Bernama

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