Wednesday August 15, 2012
Unimas wishes to work out deal with AirAsia for students
By VANES DEVINDRAN
KUCHING: Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) is still hoping to strike a deal with low-cost carrier, AirAsia, to have special packages for its students from Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah.
These packages sought not only to include lower prices but also chartered flights for students and their parents during the university’s four major events namely convocations, Hari Raya, university registration and semester breaks.
Unimas deputy vice-chancellor for student affairs and alumni, Prof Mohd Fadzil Abdul Rahman believed the deal would create a win-win situation between both parties as it would solve seat availability issues during peak seasons as well as ensure a good load for the airline.
“If AirAsia could assist us to come up with a programme or package that will benefit our students, surely it (airline) can get a good number of passengers from this group alone,” he told reporters after officiating at the university’s student affairs and alumni division’s “Bubur Lambuk Merdeka” event here yesterday.
He said during convocations for instance, parents were willing to come down for their children’s gra-duation but were often caught in a dilemma of flight availability.
He said it would help if AirAsia could have a chartered flight for students and parents during these special occasions.
“Personally, I have been trying to negotiate a deal with the airline some eight years back. We did have some form of understanding at first to maintain ticket prices below RM400 but somehow that did not work out.
“So now, I’m hoping we could work out a fresh arrangement that would benefit both sides,” he added.
Mohd Fadzil said in the meantime, Unimas was trying to negotiate for debit card deals with a bank so students could easily purchase tickets online.
He said this was also to ensure students did not fall prey to ticket scalpers.
Although such cases were isola-ted, he said there were still some students who would buy from these sources just to get tickets to go home.
“Last year, we had a case where a female student claimed she could get cheap tickets and collected money from the other students. In the end, she did not buy any.
“We got the word on it and immediately caught up with her,” he said.
He said it was university’s policy that no student was allowed to collect money from others for such a purpose.
As such, the particular student was referred to the Unimas students’ court.
“However, she didn’t show up. Instead she left the university and never returned. The good thing that came out of this was that she did pay back the other students their money,” he said.
Following this, he said Unimas had sent out a circular and also notifications via social media, warning students against buying air tickets this way.