This RMCO was announced by Malaysia Prime Minister Yab Tan Sri Muhyuddin to revive the country’s economy. It is effective 10 June 2020.
As reported, AirAsia has resumed domestic flights following the suspension of all flights due to Covid-19. The airline also launched the ‘Save Our Shops’ initiative, which encourages travel retailers to sign up as merchants on the airline’s e-commerce marketplace Ourshop without paying any commission or listing fees.
Recently, countries worldwide have resumed domestic travel. According to the airline, countries are also gradually reopening international borders in recognition that air transport provides essential connectivity for the resumption of economic activities.
AirAsia also describes the formation of ‘travel bubbles’ and ‘green lanes’ with key economic partners, that have a low infection rate and proven Covid-19 curbing systems as a step in the right direction.
‘ONE OF THE SAFEST MODES OF TRAVEL’
Emphasising that the aviation and tourism sectors account for around 4% and 10% of world GDP respectively, the airline, which points out over 65 million jobs are supported worldwide in the aviation sector and one in 10 jobs are contributed by the tourism sector commented: “Air travel remains one of the safest modes of travel. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), evidence suggests that the risk of transmission on board is extremely low.
“Aircraft are equipped with features that will reduce the already-low risk of transmission onboard. Passengers are seated facing forward with the seat-back serving as a solid barrier, while the cabin air is fully filtered and renewed every two-three minutes through the hospital-grade HEPA filters, ensuring clean cabin air.
“Coupled with a layered approach of biosafety measures covering the entire passenger journey, the risk of transmission onboard is further minimised.”
The health and wellbeing of passengers is AirAsia’s prime concern. “Besides complying with the advice and regulations from government and health authorities, AirAsia has also implemented end-to-end contactless procedures and a series of new safety measures.
“The airline is also taking care of those most at risk to ensure the safety of all travelling guests.”
Meanwhile, Qantas and Jetstar are to increase domestic and regional services in Australia for June and July. Capacity will increase fro 5% of pre-Covid-19 levels to 15% by the end of June. This equates to around 300 more return flights per week.
Additional flights will likely operate in July, depending on travel demand and further relaxation of state borders. Should all go according to plan, the group could be operating at 40% of its pre-crisis domestic capacity by the end of next month.
‘PENT UP DEMAND’ FOR AIR TRAVEL
Alan Joyce, CEO, Qantas Group said: “We know there is a lot of pent up demand for air travel and we are already seeing a big increase in customers booking and planning flights in the weeks and months ahead.
“We are gradually adding flights in June as demand levels increase, which will go from 5% of pre-crisis levels currently to 15% by late June. We can quickly ramp up flying in time for the July school holidays if border restrictions have eased more by then. Normally, we plan our capacity months in advance, but in the current climate we need to be flexible to respond to changing restrictions and demand levels.”
He added: “The one million people who work in tourism around Australia have been really hurting over the past few months. These additional flights are an important first step to help get more people out into communities that rely on tourism and bring a much-needed boost to local businesses.
“Customers will notice a number of differences when they fly, such as masks and sanitising wipes and we’ll be sending out information before their flight so they know exactly what to expect and have some extra peace of mind.
“Importantly, the Australian government’s medical experts have said the risk of contracting Coronavirus on an aircraft is low.”