SIBU, Jan 6 — Sibu MP Oscar Ling has called upon AirAsia to consider increasing the number of midnight flights to Sibu in view of the high demand during festive seasons.
He said he was made to understand that all the available seats for the midnight flights from Kuala Lumpur (KL) to Sibu for the Chinese New Year (CNY) period had been snapped up.
“The midnight flight airfare for KL-Sibu is cheaper at RM298 (one-way). Unfortunately, within two hours after the announcement, all tickets (for KL-Sibu route) had been snapped up already.
“I think the midnight flights between February 5 and 10, only coming back from KL to Sibu, all the tickets have been sold out at the moment.
“So, people are requesting for more flights to be arranged so that they can come back (to Sibu) this Chinese New Year,” Ling told reporters after the Sibu MP service centre’s goods subsidy programme at Star Mega Mall here today.
“I have already communicated with the officer in MOT (Ministry of Transport) on whether they can engage with AirAsia again to ask for more (flights) because of high demand from Sibu folk.
“This is because flights here are quite limited compared to Kuching and Miri.
“Hopefully, AirAsia can consider our request to increase more flights during CNY, especially the midnight flights, or alternatively use bigger aircrafts so that more Sibu folk can fly back to celebrate the festival with their families,” he said.
According to Ling, there is only one midnight flight daily for the KL-Sibu route from February 5 till 15.
Additionally, he said he had heard some folks grumbling about the fares for the midnight flights being higher this year.
“This year, they cannot give RM199 for one way (like last year). RM298 one way is what they can offer because this is their CSR (corporate social responsibility).
“Some people are complaining why midnight flights are more expensive this year compared to last year.
“This is due to the sum of factors, namely higher fuel prices and strengthening of US dollars,” he explained.
As for the pricier RM599 airfare for KL-Sibu flight, he believed seats are still available, but will be snapped up soon as there are no more cheaper fares available.
“So, don’t hesitate. And, if you think the price is reasonable then, quickly grab it,” he said.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke had said from now until February 15, AirAsia will offer travellers flying to Sabah and Sarawak fixed ticket prices for the Chinese New Year festival period.
Meanwhile, on the Central Database Hub (Padu) system, Ling urged those yet to register to do so promptly.
He explained that with the federal government preparing for subsidy transformation, it is important that the complete and accurate data for targeted groups are available to benefit them.
“I urge the public to fill up their details including financial status (for the government) to have more detailed data of M40 and B40 groups for the channelling of targeted subsidies.
“If they do not complete (their registration) the Padu system, we are worried that in the worst case scenario, you may not get the subsidy in future,” he said.
On that note, he said those having problems registering with the Padu system can approach his service centre or any other elected representatives’ centres here for assistance. — Borneo Post