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Airlines offer six million free seats to fill covid-19 drought

By Wole Oyebade
13 March 2020   |   2:20 am
In a bid to fill cabins amid the coronavirus outbreak, AirAsia is offering jaw-dropping discounts – including zero-fare seats to passengers.

In a bid to fill cabins amid the coronavirus outbreak, AirAsia is offering jaw-dropping discounts – including zero-fare seats to passengers.

The Malaysia-based low-cost airline is offering six million heavily discounted seats in total for a promotion called the ‘Big Sale’.

The offer runs until Sunday March 15, with the deals available for travel through to July 1, 2021, to destinations including Australia, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.

The zero-fare deal includes seats on domestic flights from Kuala Lumpur to other destinations in Malaysia such as Johor Bahru, Penang, Langkawi, Alor Setar and Kota Bharu.

All the passengers have to pay are taxes and a passenger service charge of 12 Malaysian Ringgit or £2.17/$2.83.The Big Sale free-seat offer also includes one-way short-haul international flights from the Malaysian capital to the likes of Singapore, Phnom Penh, Jakarta and Phuket for just 44 Malaysian Ringgit or £7.95/$10.38.

Meanwhile, pocket-money free-seat fares are available for long-haul flights from Kuala Lumpur to destinations such as Seoul, the Gold Coast, Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Taipei from just 71 Malaysian Ringgit or £12.83/$16.76.

For those wanting to travel in more comfort, Big Sale seats are also available in AirAsia’s premium flatbed cabins from Kuala Lumpur to the likes of Bali, Okinawa and Ahmedabad from just 599 Malaysian Ringgit or £108/$141 one-way.

There is also a deal on checked baggage, which can be pre-booked for 10 percent less than normal.AirAsia Indonesia president director, Veranita Yosephine, told the Jakarta Post that the airline was looking at ways it could help stimulate tourism and maintain Indonesia’s economic growth, “especially in this challenging period”. CEO, Karen Chan, said: “Our first Big Sale for 2020 is here. AirAsia understands the current sentiments of our customers, that is why we’re providing ample opportunity to book in advance for an affordable getaway as travel period is up to July 2021.

“The best way to snap the lowest fares and best-value travel deals is to plan ahead and book early – as with this latest Big Sale.
“We are on track in transforming into a household travel and lifestyle brand across Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with all you need to complete your holiday planning including flights, accommodation, activities and more, all available now on”

Airport passenger traffic in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to take a 24 per cent hit in the first quarter of the year from coronavirus, according to Airports Council International (ACI) Asia-Pacific.It said that this would lead to a $3billion decline in airport revenue and would place pressure on any growth projects.

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