All forms of public transport, including flights, e-hailing, and express bus services, are now allowed to operate at full capacity, announced the Malaysian government on Thursday.
It is also no longer necessary for airlines to enforce compulsory social distancing. Malaysian transport minister Wee Ka Siong shared that the airlines’ manifestos showed exactly where each passenger was seated, making it easy to locate an individual should the need arise.
He was quoted by The Star as saying: “Airlines have also been implementing various SOPs to ensure the safety of both crew and passengers in light of Covid-19.”
Welcoming the government’s decision to allow airlines to operate at full capacity, Malaysia Airlines said it would be able to price fares more competitively for the benefit of customers, while balancing the need to cover operational costs.
Uzaidi Udanis, president of Malaysian Inbound Tourism Association, hailed the removal of the in-flight social distancing measures, saying it would make airfares more affordable, thus, encouraging domestic travel.
He added: “We don’t want a trip to Langkawi from Kuala Lumpur to cost RM$1,000 (US$230). Air travel is especially important to Sabah and Sarawak, which are now depending even more on domestic tourists from Peninsular Malaysia. We hope airlines will comply and enforce the strict SOPs as we don’t want to see a relapse, as there is still no vaccine for Covid-19.”