After the Election Commission (EC) announces the polling date of the 15th General Election (GE15), return flight ticket from Kuala Lumpur to airports in Sabah had spiked up to at least RM700 due to the rising demand.
A quick check on AirAsia’s and Malaysia Airlines’ websites reveals that the one-way air ticket from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu or Sandakan is priced at RM329 and RM395 respectively, while the one from Kuala Lumpur to Tawau would cost RM359 or RM543.
Even more, this fare excludes additional charges for luggage and insurance.
Speaking to The Vibes, Sandakan native Sheena Rashid Kamsiran, who is currently residing in Alor Setar, Kedah, said that it would cost her RM1,468 to return to Sandakan to vote and this does not include her family.
“If my husband and my child were to return to Sandakan with me, it would cost us over RM4,000 just to vote. I don’t think I want to go back to vote now,” she was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, Sandakan MP Vivian Wong had took it to her Facebook page to call out to the airline companies for the sudden spike in air fare.
Malaysia Airlines’ Jom Balik Mengundi
Last week, Malaysia Airlines (MAS) unveiled its Jom Balik Mengundi campaign, where it will offer discounts of up to 20% for voters who are booking travel from 11 to 27 November.
In a statement, the airline said that it has mounted 26 additional flights and has upgraded 16 domestic services to wide-body A330 aircraft to accommodate the surge in demand to several routes in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.
The 20% discount is applicable to all fare categories, including Lite, Basic, and Flex for Economy Class as well as Basic and Flex for Business Class and available for booking via www.malaysiaairlines.com.
On the other hand, MAS’s subsidiary Firefly Airlines said it will add 70 additional flights from Subang and Penang to selected domestic routes from 17 to 20 November. The airline is also offering discounts of up to 24% and 10% for jet and ATR-operated flights, respectively.
The group’s chief executive officer, Captain Izham Ismail said that the group, being the national airline, will support the people in travelling back to their hometowns to cast their votes.
“In view of this, all airlines under the Malaysia Aviation Group are pleased to mount additional capacities for certain sectors, where possible.”
“We are prepared to meet the increase in travel while offering smooth and reliable connectivity and ensuring our customers’ highest level of safety and security throughout their journey with us,” he said.