KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s tourism industry may suffer from higher airfares during festive seasons.
Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew said with an increase in flight frequencies to Sabah, airline companies should keep their fares affordable, so as not to deter tourists from visiting Sabah.
Liew has received complaints from East Malaysians who are concerned that they may not be able to return home during the festive period due to expensive flight tickets.
Many students and Sabahans working in Peninsular Malaysia are affected by the high fares, said Liew during a fast breaking event.
She stresses the importance of airlines not ignoring East Malaysians, not just Sabahans, who want to come home during festivals.
The issue also affects domestic tourists planning to spend their holidays in Sabah.
Liew says that the high cost of airfare may deter tourists from choosing Sabah as their holiday destination.
She hopes that Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor will take the matter to the federal Transport Ministry.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke has announced that in conjunction with the upcoming Aidilfitri celebration, the frequency of domestic flights, including those to Sabah and Sarawak, will be increased.
Many additional flights have been approved, including for Malaysia Airlines, which will use larger aircraft to accommodate demand.
The increased frequency of flights and larger aircraft will help alleviate some of the concerns raised by Liew.