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Malaysians see ‘painful’ flight fares to Sabah, Sarawak

KUALA LUMPUR (BERNAMA) – Increased flight fares to Sabah and Sarawak during festive seasons is not a surprise to Malaysians; in fact, it is an anticipated scenario annually.

With the re-opening of the country’s borders and the upcoming Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration, many individuals who have spent the two years staying put where they are due to many restrictions caused by COVID-19 are very much looking forward to returning to their hometowns for the celebration.

Local commercial airlines that provide flight routes from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu and Kuching offer tickets ranging up to MYR300 for return flights during non-festive seasons.

However, Bernama’s monitoring of commercial airline websites recently saw flight flares skyrocketing up to MYR2,000 (return flights), which is an increase of around 566 per cent, nearing the Hari Raya Aidilfitri festive period.

Lily Surianti Suardi, 23, a student from Sabah currently doing a degree programme at Universiti Selangor, opined that ailrlines should consider fixing separate rates for students who are furthering studies in the peninsula.

She said this is because not all students come from a well-to-do background and thus flight companies should not set prices that exceed the purchasing capability of all parties.

“If the ticket price is (about) MYR1,000, many parties cannot afford it, more so if the family’s income is low.

“Some people from the lower income group want to go home, but due to the soaring ticket prices, students like me have cancel our intention to go home,” she said when contacted by Bernama.