Airlines See Ticket Sales in Malaysian Election
Airlines are hoping to cash in on the huge interest in Malaysia’s upcoming May 5 elections by offering discounts and promotions to entice Malaysians living abroad to come home to vote. “Fly Home to Vote” kicked it off, with cheap tickets offered by discount carrier AirAsia Bhd. “We foresee many Malaysians will be making travel plans to return to [home], and we hope that our low fares will help provide convenience for people to fly back for the elections,” Aireen Omar, chief executive of AirAsia, said in a statement.
Malindo Air and national flag carrier Malaysian Airline System Bhd followed with their own enticements. There are over one million Malaysians living and working outside Malaysia, according to MyOverseasVote, a group set up to campaign for the right of Malaysians abroad to vote. Roughly 40% work in Singapore and 20% in other Asian countries, the group said.
Electoral watchdog group Bersih says it is important for overseas Malaysians to cast their ballots given persistent charges of voter fraud and the public’s lack of confidence in the electoral system. “We’re urging people to come back to vote and be sure that their votes will go to their preferred party because we’re gravely concerned about the possibility of fraud,” Bersih co-chairman Ambiga Sreenevasan told The Wall Street Journal.
National flag carrier Malaysian Airlines System Bhd isn’t offering any special fares, but it will allow Malaysians to change their flight schedules to around the election period free of charge, a company spokesperson said. Some travel will be domestic, as people work in one place but vote in another. The company’s low-cost offshoot, Firefly, is offering one-way fares of MYR66 for all domestic destinations.
Malindo Air, which received approval to begin commercial operations in February, said it will extend its special fares for travel around the peninsula and the two states in the Malaysian Borneo island.
Source: Wall Street Journal – http://blogs.wsj.com/searealtime/2013/04/12/airlines-see-ticket-sales-in-malaysian-election/