KUALA LUMPUR: Low-cost carrier AirAsia is offering additional flights to Sabah and Sarawak, with fixed fares starting from RM199 and RM249 one-way for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebration.

In a statement, the airline said there would be 52 special extra flights to six destinations in Sabah and Sarawak.

“Fly home from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri, as well as from Johor Bahru to Kuching, Sibu and Miri at only RM199 one-way, and from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu and Tawau, as well as Johor Bahru to Kota Kinabalu at only RM249 one-way.

“All seats will be available for booking starting Dec 28, 2022,” it said, adding that apart from the extra special flights, it also operates 274 flights weekly to the same destinations.

Minister of Transport Anthony Loke said the government is pleased to see AirAsia supporting its initiative to bring down fares during the important festive season, despite their operational constraints.

“While they are unable to further increase flight frequencies due to the shortage of aircraft, which is affecting all airlines, we applaud the airline’s hard work to add special extra flights at fixed low fares to reconnect families, especially those travelling to and from Sabah and Sarawak,” he said when officiating the promotion’s launch at AirAsia’s RedQ head office here today.

Loke also encouraged other airlines to emulate the same or introduce other initiatives that could reduce airfares, especially during festive seasons.

“As we usher in the new year, we look forward to continue working with industry players such as AirAsia to cater to the needs and welfare of the people,” the minister added.

Meanwhile, AirAsia Aviation Group Ltd group chief executive officer Bo Lingam said as the people’s airline, reconnecting guests with their loved ones at affordable fares is important to the company.

“We are doing our best within the current limitations in our operations. Undoubtedly, these last few years have been tremendously hard for everyone, and even as travel is rebounding fast this year, we are unable to put out as many extra flights as we would like, simply because of the ripple effect of the pandemic.

“However, despite the rising operational costs and leaner fleet size, we are doing all we can and remain committed to reuniting Malaysians for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebration,” he said.