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Anthony Loke: Two-week Aidilfitri flight ticket subsidy poses significant costs

Publish date: Tue, 27 Feb 2024, 04:50 PM

LANGKAWI, Feb 27 ― The request for the three-day period of RM599 maximum fare for one-way economy class flights from the peninsula to Sabah, Sarawak, and Labuan, in conjunction with Aidilfitri, to be extended to two weeks, will incur significant costs, says Transport Minister Anthony Loke.

Loke reiterated that the initiative, which also applies to other festive seasons, was undertaken by the Transport Ministry with no specific funding from the Treasury.

“...of course. That is what I want to do throughout the year (to provide subsidised fares).

“However, it is a cost that the ministry has to bear,” he told the media, after officiating the Routes Asia 2024 at the Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre, here today.

“Even for three days, it costs us a few million ringgit every time we cap (air fares). So, I understand the sentiment, but it is a limitation that we face, and in terms of financial resources, it won’t be enough to cover (the cost of subsidising the airfares for two weeks),” he added.

On Saturday (February 24), Loke announced that the government has set a maximum fare of RM599 for a one-way economy class flight from the peninsula to Sabah, Sarawak, and Labuan, applicable for travel three days before Aidilfitri.

He said that this initiative was part of the government's efforts to assist people in travelling back to their hometowns for Aidilfitri in April.

Yesterday, Consumers Front of Sabah appealed to the government for the three-day period of RM599 maximum fare to be extended to two weeks, to allow more residents from the three regions to enjoy reasonable flight ticket prices when returning to their hometowns.

It was also of the view that the three days set to implement the maximum price of flight tickets for Aidilfitri was not enough, because not everyone could take an early holiday, as some had to work during the festival and could only return to their hometowns afterwards. ― Bernama

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