ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Malaysia’s AirAsia eyes half of govt market
Malaysia’s low-cost airline operator AirAsia Bhd plans to capture half of the estimated RM500 million government air travel market in the next two to three years with the help of Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta), reported local daily the Edge.
The paper quoted AirAsia executive vice-president (commercial) Kathleen Tan as saying that the low-cost carrier would leverage on Matta’s 2,000 agents to promote air travel to government servants at an affordable price together with high flight frequencies for domestic and Asian routes.
She also said AirAsia expected government servants to take up some 100,000 seats to various destinations by year-end which would rake in about 50 million ringgit in revenue for the September to December period
“AirAsia and Matta will jointly promote the airline’s recently introduced ‘Government Fare Scheme’, which offers government servants between a 20 percent and 30 percent discount on our published fares,” she said at a press conference after the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between AirAsia and Matta.
The MoU, which was signed by AirAsia chairman Datuk Aziz Bakar and Matta president Ngiam Foon, would see the two working together to promote the scheme. Besides lower fares, the scheme also enables government servants to have Xpress boarding, check-in baggage of 15kg, and hot meals at no extra charge.
Aziz said the agreement would extend AirAsia’s reach further as well as make travel accessible for all. “As the people’s national airline, we are committed to supporting the government’s dedication to keep costs at a minimum,’’ he added.
Tan also said AirAsia would maintain its fuel surcharge rates for the rest of the year, adding that the low-cost carrier only increased the rates this year when crude oil hit 485.80 ringgit ($140) per barrel.
“Increasing fuel surcharges many times is like a drug. As a low-fare airline, the challenge for us is to get people flying,” she said. Tan added that AirAsia passengers could also enjoy savings for their travel as online check-in baggages and online booking for in-flight hot food items were given discounts.