MAS Asked To Revise Air Fares For International Flights
DUBLIN, Nov 2 (Bernama) -- Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor asked Malaysia Airlines (MAS) to revise its air fares for certain international routes as they were more expansive than other airlines.
He said the prices of MAS air fares on these routes which were between 30 and 50 percent more than other airlines could mar the government's effort to promote Visit Malaysia 2007 (VMY 2007).
"The Tourism Ministry has requested the Cabinet to ask MAS to review the exorbitant air fares. MAS is a national carrier. It portrays Malaysia's image and name... introducing Malaysia to the world.
"If the number of MAS passengers dwindle, how will the world know about Malaysia," he told Malaysian reporters accompanying him in conjunction with the launching of the VMY 2007 promotion on Thursday.
Tourism Malaysia had received complaints on the air fares especially in the economy class, he said, adding that a lot of people were confused because the prices kept changing.
"Following the complaints, the ministry had compared the air fare prices and found MAS tickets were expensive. Our study shows there is room for MAS to lower the air fares and it can still remain competitive especially against the national carriers of neighbouring countries," he said.
He said that the study conducted by 25 Tourism Malaysia offices abroad showed that the prices of MAS air tickets were higher than other airlines in 12 out of 17 sectors including those servicing West Asia, China and India.
Tengku Adnan said that MAS ought to be more concerned over the passengers preference for lower air fares in choosing their airlines.
"MAS ought to revise its air fare structure to stay competitive," he said, adding that he would discuss the matter with Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy soon to request MAS to offer attractive air fares during the VMY 2007.
He said the Tourism Ministry wanted to forge a cordial relationship with MAS in an effort to promote Malaysia abroad and stimulate the tourism industry.
Tengku Adnan also asked MAS to revise the air fares for domestic routes which was rather expensive causing Malaysians preferring to go for holidays abroad.
"For me, the air fares to Kota Kinabalu and Kuching are expensive. If MAS can reduce them, Malaysias would not want to miss the opportunity to visit their own places of interests.
"We have a lot of scenic tourist destinations. Sipadan (Sabah) is recognised by Unesco as an island with the most beautiful coral reef in the world.
"How many Malaysians have visited Sipadan or Mulu Caves (Sarawak). We don't want any hurdles due to the expensive tickets," he said.
Tengku Adnan said the Tourism Ministry would make a proposal to the Cabinet to introduce departure cards to Malaysians going abroad to find out why the do so.
"The information will help the Tourism Ministry to take various steps to promote domestic tourism," he said.
Tengku Adnan said MAS had agreed to retain the flights to Los Angeles, Paris dan Stockholm following a discussion with the Transport Ministry.
Previously, it was reported MAS was planning to discontinue several international routes as part of its austerity drive.