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LETTER | In reference to Kinabatangan MP Bung Moktar’s comments in parliament over overpriced AirAsia tickets to Sabah, I for one would like to share my thoughts given my frequent flights between the peninsula and East Malaysia.

While his statement is true at face value, does his claim that AirAsia’s profiteering ploy hold water?

Instead, I would like to urge the Malaysian Aviation Commission’s (MAVCOM) to rethink their decision to implement higher passenger service charge (PSC).

AirAsia is a business and as such charging higher fees at peak hours is shrewd but not wrong. As a business, the company has the right to choose to service more profitable routes in order to achieve a healthy bottom line and satisfy shareholders.

Mavcom, on the other hand, is looking to charge passengers leaving KLIA and klia2 the same PSC, further increasing the cost of airlines tickets. 

Even though klia2 is a low-cost, bare-bones terminal, the standardisation of PSC is undoubtedly a bane to travelers. The fee increase from RM50 to RM73 also undermines Malaysia’s vision to be a low-cost airline hub in South-east Asia but instead, passes on more cost to the consumer.

Why is Bung Moktar not pointing his guns at Mavcom? These additional administration costs like PSC and airport taxes will add on to to the costs of air travel. While the Kinabatangan MP argued that AirAsia should carry out their corporate social responsibilities by allowing poor travelers a cheaper ticket, is it not the government’s duty to ensure the wellbeing of its people?

As a frequent traveler between the capital city and Kota Kinabalu myself, I personally have felt the pinch of pricey airline tickets.

So I urge Mavcom to look into maintaining or lowering PSC and other airport costs for passengers travelling to and from Sabah and Sarawak since it would have an immediate impact on the ticket prices. Bung Moktar would do us all a favour by shining light on this issue and parliament, rather than starting Twitter wars with a certain airline chairman.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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