Transport ministry explores subsidy mechanism to tackle soaring flight prices between peninsula, East M’sia during festive seasons

Anthony Loke. Photo credit: Anthony Loke's Facebook page

KUCHING, Dec 6: The Ministry of Transport is currently exploring a mechanism to provide subsidies in order to prevent excessively high flight ticket prices between Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak and Sabah during festive seasons.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the move is one of the initiatives to reduce the burden on people who want to return to celebrate festive occasions with their families, TVS reported.

“The Ministry is very understanding regarding the price of flight tickets. The ministry certainly has some plans to help reduce flight tickets during festive seasons,” he said during the question session at the Dewan Negara in Kuala Lumpur today, as quoted by TVS.

According to the news outlet, Loke said this in response to Senator Abun Sui Anyit’s question about the government’s plan to lower the price of flight tickets between Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak and Sabah during festive seasons.

Loke added that another initiative is to increase the frequency of flights at night.

Meanwhile, regarding the Rural Air Service (RAS) in Sarawak and Sabah, the Transport Minister said the federal government will continue to allocate annual subsidies.

He noted that the 2024 Budget allocated RM209 million to cover operating costs and aircraft lease for the service.

According to him, even after MASwings is taken over by Hornbill Skyways, the Ministry of Transport will continue to be responsible for setting the RAS obligation policy.

The Ministry of Transport will continue to provide subsidies so that RAS can continue to be enjoyed by the people in the interior of Sarawak and Sabah.

“This commitment has been expressed through Budget 2024 through the sixth programme under the second agenda, the progress of Sabah and Sarawak where the government decided to continue subsidising RAS,” he added. — DayakDaily