KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 — A total of 50,096 higher education students are eligible for the FLYsiswa subsidised assistance to purchase flight tickets for domestic routes between the peninsula, Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said today.
And as of last Tuesday, a total of 35,994 or 72 per cent of students have already claimed their digital voucher from the airlines, leaving just 28 per cent or close to 14,000 students who have yet to do so, Utusan Malaysia reported the minister adding.
“I hope to publicise this initiative so that the students would redeem the aid before December 31, but they can collect their flight tickets any time next year whether it be during festive season or holiday season.
“We hope that there will be a 100 per cent redemption, and as we promised this initiative will continue,” he was quoted as saying as saying at the FLYsiswa launch at the Universiti Malaya Perdanasiswa Auditorium here.
Loke said the subsidised flight ticket vouchers will not be a one-off programme but will be made available yearly as mentioned by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim previously.
The Cabinet agreed to the FLYsiswa plan on July 12, and it was rolled out on August 15 with the distribution of digital vouchers worth RM300 to eligible students to purchase flight tickets for routes involving the peninsula, Sabah, Sarawak dan Labuan.
Apart from public university students, the initiative is also expanded to students in Polytechnic and Community Colleges that are under the Higher Education Ministry, matriculation students and Teachers Learning Institute that is under the Education Minister starting last October.
The FLYsiswa plan is a collaboration between major airline companies including Malaysia Airlines Berhad, Air Asia dan Batik Air.
A special portal is set aside for this initiative to ease flight bookings that utilises the FLYsiswa vouchers online and can be accessed at https://subsidiudara.mot.gov.my.
Loke also advised students to make their travel plans in advance as demand outstrips the supply of available seats on the airlines with countries opening up their borders to visitors.
“Compared to the pre Covid-19 period in 2019, the flight capacity for the route between the peninsula and Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan only reached 75 per cent as of August 2023.
“However, the recovery of the number of passengers reached more than 100 per cent as of April 2023, compared to the pre-pandemic period in April 2019,” he was quoted as saying. Loke said the mechanism to claim the FLYsiswa as all processed can be done online.
“As of now, we fixed it as RM300 first,” he was quoted as saying, adding that the government will look at its financial abilities before deciding it if can increase the amount in future.
Apart from that, Loke said he is aware that there are requests to expand the category of people who benefited from the aid.
“For us, if there is a huge financial source surely we want to help more people including the private higher education sector, but the number is quite huge,
“Let’s start it first this year and with our experience this year we will improve for years to come,” he was quoted as saying.