AirAsia offering free and discounted flights during coronavirus outbreak

As airlines are reducing domestic and international service, waiving change fees and even being forced to operate “ghost flights” during the coronavirus outbreak, AirAsia is taking a different approach, offering free and discounted plane tickets.

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The airline’s “Big Sale” is offering six million promotional seats to help send passengers "on your next exciting adventure.” Included among the promotional spots are free (or "zero-fare") seats to “many popular destinations across AirAsia’s network, spanning over Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Australia, India, Japan, Korea and Taiwan,” according to a press release.

The airline’s CEO Karen Chan made mention of the current climate surrounding air travel, and explained passengers are able to book their tickets is as far advance as July 2021.

The airline’s CEO Karen Chan made mention of the current climate surrounding air travel, and explained passengers are able to book their tickets is as far advance as July 2021. (iStock)

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Though AirAsia routinely offers its Big Sale promotional fares, the airline’s CEO Karen Chan made mention of the current climate surrounding the airline travel, and explained that passengers would be able to book their tickets as far in advance as July 2021.

“Our first BIG Sale for 2020 is here! AirAsia understands the current sentiments of our customers, that's why we're providing ample opportunity to book in advance for an affordable getaway as travel period is up to July 2021. The best way to snap the lowest fares and best value travel deals is to plan ahead and book early - as with this latest Big Sale.”

Taxes for AirAsia's "zero fare" flights will still apply.

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Among the cheap flights, AirAsia is also offering discounted checked baggage and other perks during its promotional period, available to book on its website.

The airline is also currently offering change-free waivers for passengers wishing to rebook flights to destinations including "China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Korea and Taiwan."

AirAsia's Big Sale comes as planes are being forced to fly with reported hundreds of seats not being used, as fear over coronavirus and its rampant spread continues.

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As of Wednesday morning, there had been 4,290 deaths from the virus worldwide and more than 118,000 confirmed cases.