MATTA supports cap on domestic airfares during peak seasons

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Association of Tour and Trave l Agents (MATTA) supports the Ministry of Transport's initiative to put a cap on domestic airfares, as astronomical high fare s during peak seasons have placed a heavy burden on the people.

MATTA President Datuk Tan Kok Liang said Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Ab Aziz Kaprawi had voiced his concern tha t domestic airfares might balloon up to five times during festive seasons and was looking into capping fares at no more than 2.5 times higher than average.

"MATTA would like to see any ris e in fare s be capped to between 1.5 to 2.0 times, as air trave l is not a luxury but an essentia l servic e for travel between Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak, " he said.

Tan added tha t the return airfar e from Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur can range from RM500 to RM2,900 per person depending on the season and availability of seats based on the reservation booking system.

More affordable airfares across the South China Sea would be welcome news for thos e that return to celebrate with their families, relatives and friends.

"It will also encourage Malaysian s to trave l within the country and boost domestic tourism. High domestic
fare s have driven away many Malaysian s to overseas destinations flying on cheaper airfares, " he pointed out.

Airline s should review their pricing strategy during low and high periods so as not to victimise passengers travelling durin g peak seasons. Airlines have various classes and fares based on their Reservations Booking Designator to maximise revenue, he said.

"The authoritie s such as the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) and Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) should closely monitor and ensur e airlines do not form or behave like cartels to drive
up fares, especially during peak seasons, " concluded Tan.