PETALING JAYA, MALAYSIA: Malaysia Airlines has denied that its new product 'Everyday Low Fares' is meant to cut into the business of other carriers.
"Our Everyday Low Fares, launched on Monday to offer zero fares to all domestic destinations, is meant to create new demand and to encourage people who are not planning to travel to do so," said MAS managing director/chief executive officer Datuk Seri Idris Jala.
He added that the new product was also aimed at boosting domestic tourism and countering inflation.
"Response to 'Everyday Low Fares' has been excellent with a total of 50,000 tickets sold in the first two days."
MAS has 1.3 million zero-fare seats up for grabs until the end of the year, but the booking period is only until May 19. Travellers need only pay the airport tax and surcharges.
For travel between the peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak, the total charge is RM120 one-way while for travel without crossing the South China Sea, it is RM76.
Yesterday, AirAsia's group chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes claimed that MAS was unfairly venturing into his budget airline business.
Fernandes claimed his company should also now be allowed to fly freely to Singapore "now that MAS was into low-cost travel business".
Jala said AirAsia should take advantage of the several open skies agreements the country had with the United States, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Taiwan and the Scandinavian countries.
"AirAsia is free to fly to any of these destinations. Malaysia has also liberalised agreements with countries such as China, the Maldives, Britain and Germany, and AirAsia is also free to fly to these destinations," the MAS boss said in a statement.
On promoting Malaysia to Australians, Jala said MAS and Tourism Malaysia were jointly investing more than RM1.3mil for this year's marketing campaign.