Online checks by the New Straits Times today revealed that the airline tickets for KUL-LHR via Malaysia Airlines (MH) have surged rapidly due to encouraging demand for the travel period, beginning Thursday until March 31.
MH’s flight (KUL-LHR) single journey bookings for the period mostly had been fully taken up.
It is learned that travellers would need to fork out nearly RM17,000 for economy class on a single-journey (KUL-LHR) via a codesharing programme with Etihad Airways, Emirates and British Airways.
Meanwhile, return flight (LRH-KUL) flight tickets were almost sold out, giving only a few expensive options for travellers returning to Malaysia.
However, other MH destinations to/from Australia and New Zealand were offered at cheaper prices due to lack of demand as airlines were facing travel restrictions from governments globally to contain the Covid-19 spread.
Regional airlines such as Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways and Emirates were offering cheaper one-way flights (KUL-LHR) with fares from RM2,600 to RM6,000.
Aviation experts believe the sudden hike in air fares was due to airline’s ticketing algorithm system that detects high demand from travellers, citing that dynamic pricing comes into play.
“All airlines works the same. It has a dynamic pricing. Prices go up when the demand is more then capacity available,” a source told NST today.
Quoting an example, he said when there was one seat left and 100 travellers wanted it, the price would increase.
That’s how the system works.
“However, there is no human intervention in airlines ticketing system. It is run automatically by computers,” he said.
He said if flights in an airline wereas fully taken up, the system would give travellers other options with its codeshare partners.
Similarly, he said if an airline has 100 seats available and no one wants to fly, prices will automatically be reduced.
“This allows people to afford to fly or be interested to fly with the airline,” he said.
Bloomberg Intelligence transport analyst James Teo said supplies were severely down after airlines cut flights or capacities, thus prompting demand to surge.
“Arlines have automated pricing systems that raises fares when demand is strong, so fares will rise progressively as seats get bought up,” he said.