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Skyscanner Travel Advisory – Boracay Island Closure, Japan Levy, and Malaysia GE

This article is brought to you by Skyscanner.

With recent events, we want to make sure Skyscanner travellers know what to do should any of them affect you. What’s inside: 1. Boracay closure 2. Japan travel levy 3. Malaysia General Elections.

1) Boracay Closure: 26 April to 26 October 2018

The Philippine Government announced that Boracay Island will be closed to tourists for six months beginning 26th of April to 26th of October 2018 to make way for its rehabilitation.

What it means for travellers If you have an existing flight to either Kalibo or Caticlan airports during the closure dates, contact the airline you’re flying with to find out your options.

Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and Air Asia have all announced changes to its flight schedule following the government order. Some will be increasing flights to other popular Philippine island destinations such as Palawan, Bohol, Cebu, and Davao.

You can also check out our round-up of Asia’s top 10 beach destinations.

2) Sayonara Tax for Japan travellers

The Japan Parliament enacted a bill that introduces a departure tax to travellers. The new tax, dubbed Sayonara Tax, will kick into effect on 7th of January 2019, for both Japanese and foreign travellers leaving the country by plane or ship.

What it means for travellers The ¥1,000 tax (around MYR 36) will be added to airfares and ship fares specifically. So keep an eye out for added tax whenever booking your Japan flights.

3) Malaysian General Elections

On 10 April, it was announced that Malaysia’s 14th General Election (GE14) will be held on 9 May. Campaigning will run from 28 April to 11.45pm on 8 May. On 9 May, more than 14 million voters will be casting their ballot papers at their respective polling stations throughout the country.

What it means for travellers These airlines have announced that they will waive all flight change fees for Malaysians:

  • AirAsia – Flight date changes to be made from 10-20 April for travel dates that fall on 9 May. Read more about the waiver here. Email AirAsia via their customer support section on their site here.
  • Malaysia Airlines, Firefly and MASwings – Flight date changes to be made from 10-20 April for travel dates that fall between 8 and 10 May, inbound or outbound. Full terms here. Changes can be made via the Malaysia Airlines ticket office or their call centres. Malaysia Airlines/MASwings Call Centre: 1300-88-3000. Firefly Call Centre: +603 7845 4543.
  • Malindo Airways – Flight date changes to be made from 10-17 April for waiver of both the change fee and fare difference for travel dates that include 9 May, inbound or outbound. Contact their call centre at +603 7841 5388 or visit any of their ticketing offices here.
  • Cathay Pacific – Flight date changes to be made from 10-17 April for waiver of rebooking/rerouting charges for travel dates that include 9 May, inbound or outbound. Full terms here. Contact their call centre at +603 6207 4989

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