AirAsia sees no necessity to respond to the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) to produce documented details of congestion at klia2 immigration counters. The onus is clearly on the commission, which is funded by the rakyat, to get on the ground to inspect and investigate the highlighted issue.
AirAsia Berhad CEO Riad Asmat said: “Why do we need to provide evidence when the issue has been highlighted publicly in the news and on social media platforms? It only further proves Mavcom’s inaction, indolence and blatant disregard of its responsibility in protecting the rights of aviation consumers.
“It only takes Mavcom officials a few hours off from their KL Sentral office for a quick visit to klia2 to see for themselves how severe the situation is at immigration counters during peak hours. They can come on any day, as it is a daily occurrence and not an isolated incident as alleged.
“No one from Mavcom for that matter, including its Executive Chairman, has ever visited AirAsia’s head office RedQ which is just right next to klia2, when we have streams of visitors including foreign regulators and policymakers visiting us to better understand the low cost carrier (LCC) model of AirAsia. And mind you, we are talking about AirAsia here, the main LCC from Malaysia that is now the 13th largest airline group in the world. Are we not important to Mavcom, and Malaysia?”
Mavcom has, since May 2018, collected RM1 from each air passenger flying out of airports in Malaysia. It is estimated that Mavcom has earned as much as RM30 million, if not more, from the regulatory service charge. To date, Mavcom has yet to publish its annual report for 2018.
Former Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Aziz Kaprawi, in announcing the collection of the RM1 regulatory fee by airlines on behalf of Mavcom in 2017, was quoted as saying: “The regulatory charge is only justified to be imposed on passengers, owing to the services rendered by Mavcom to them, which includes complaints management and consumer awareness activities which need to be conducted from time to time.”
AirAsia X Berhad CEO Benyamin Ismail said: “All Malaysians need to hold Mavcom accountable for their blatant disregard in upholding and protecting the rights of aviation consumers who, without fail, contribute to their coffers to pay the extraordinary salaries for Mavcom commissioners and executives. In the meantime, the immigration congestion at klia2 worsened by the day, badly affecting our guests. Out of frustration, we wrote to Mavcom asking that they step in and help resolve the impasse.”
“This is not the first instance of Mavcom’s reluctance to act on complaints and issues, and I am sure it won’t be the last. The RM480 million lawsuit that AirAsia filed against MAHB for operational losses at klia2 two weeks ago was a result of Mavcom’s refusal to decide on the dispute as requested in our earlier notification to them. Mavcom also refused to mediate in the klia2 passenger service charge (PSC) dispute between AirAsia and MAHB, and it took the Cabinet to decide on a lower PSC for klia2 and other airports. All this clearly goes contrary to Section 75 of its own Mavcom Act 2015.
“Mavcom will go down in Malaysia’s history as the one commission that needs to be spoon fed despite its members and employees being paid handsome salaries. Mavcom must remember that it is highly funded by the rakyat but unfortunately, chose to fail them – big time.”