Crazy: AirAsia Is Offering Free Seats To Fill Aircraft

AirAsia is taking its slogan to the next level. Now everyone can fly… for free! In an attempt to encourage people to continue flying amidst the Coronavirus outbreak, the airline is offering huge discounts. And by huge, we mean absolutely massive. Over six million seats are on offer for heavily discounted prices, including some for free!

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AirAsia is offering free seats as coronavirus impacts passenger numbers. Photo: Getty Images

Destinations on offer

If you’re looking for a cheap getaway, AirAsia is offering some very impressive deals right now. The promotion, called the Big Sale, runs until Sunday the 15th of March. It includes deals for flights up until the 1st of July 2021. While many routes are heavily discounted, some are even free. You’ll have to pay the tax charge but that’s it. On one flight that’s just $2.83.

So, if you are looking to snap up a good deal, where can you go? Well, if you want a free flight, then you’ll have to get yourself to Malaysia. Domestic flights from Kuala Lumpur to Johor Bahru, Penang, Langkawi, Alor Setar, and Kota Bharu are going totally free.

There are also super cheap flights one-way short-haul international flights from the Malaysian capital to the likes of Singapore, Phnom Penh, Jakarta, and Phuket. Slightly longer flights from Kuala Lumpur to Seoul in Korea, and to Australia’s Gold Coast, Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, and Taipei in Taiwan cost just $16.

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Flights on offer include those to Australia’s gold coast. Photo: Getty Images

If you want a little more of a luxurious experience then AirAsia is also offering deals on their premium flatbed cabins. Flights include those from Kuala Lumpur to Bali, Okinawa in Japan and Ahmedabad in India.

But be quick; people are jumping at the offer. So much so that AirAsia’s website is having difficulties and is still offering some supposedly discounted routes at full price. So if you’re thinking of getting a good deal then patience is going to be key.

Government help

AirAsia has taken a big financial hit because of the global coronavirus outbreak. It is suspected that passenger numbers traveling through Asia-Pacific are down 24% for the first quarter of the year. The airline told the Jakarta Post that it hopes the massively discounted rates will “help the Indonesian government to stimulate tourism and maintain the country’s economic growth”. The impact of the virus is estimated to be at $3 billion in the region.

The airline opened its sale last weekend after the Indonesian government announced a $742 million rescue package for the tourism industry. A portion of this was due to go to airlines in the region.

However, on Monday as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Indonesia grew, the government announced it would put the help on hold. If the Malaysian carrier was hoping to receive some financial aid from the Indonesian government, it’s going to have to wait.

Struggling airlines

AirAsia isn’t the only airline offering cheap flights as incentives for travelers. Ryanair, United, Frontier, Qantas, and many other carriers are having to flog seats at cheaper prices than normal just to fill places. In China, the government is even willing to help pay airlines money to get people to fly again.

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As passenger demand drops airlines are being forced to fly empty planes. Photo: Getty Images

But it isn’t just prices which are being slashed. Planes themselves are being grounded as demand continues to fall. As passengers stop traveling, airlines are cutting capacity to save money. Staff are being asked to take unpaid leave as planes are not needed. This in itself is causing issues. Airlines concerned about losing their slots are now being forced to fly empty planes in order to keep slots even though no one wants to fly.

As the impact of the virus continues to grow, we may well see more airlines following AirAsia’s example and offering free seats. But would you be willing to risk coronavirus for a free trip? Let us know in the comment section.