Mavcom imposes penalties on AirAsia, AirAsia X and MA Sepang

by BERNAMA/ pic by TMR

The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) has imposed on AirAsia Bhd and AirAsia X Bhd, a penalty of RM200,000 each for charging credit card, debit card and online banking processing fees separate from their base fare.

In a statement, Mavcom said AirAsia and AirAsia X were found to have contravened subparagraph 3(2) of the Malaysia Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016 (MACPC), which requires full disclosure of the final price of the airfare.

“The Commission has been monitoring from June 1, 2019 for compliance with the new provisions of the MACPC.

“As part of the due process to determine whether a contravention had been committed, Mavcom issued show cause letters to both airlines and afforded opportunities to them to provide factors to mitigate the quantum of the penalties,” it said.

Section 69(4) of the Malaysian Aviation Commission Act 2015 [Act 771] together with paragraph 22 of the MACPC empowers the Commission to impose a financial penalty for non-compliance of the MACPC of an amount not exceeding RM200,000, and in the case of a second or subsequent non-compliance, an amount ten times of the financial penalty imposed for the first non-compliance.

Upon thorough evaluation and taking into consideration the written representations by the airlines, the Commission imposed the penalty for the first violation of subparagraph 3(2) of the MACPC, for the period commencing June 1, 2019 to Aug 9, 2019.

The MACPC came into effect on July 1, 2019, and was published in line with Mavcom’s aim to protect the rights and interests of consumers.

Meanwhile, Mavcom also imposed a penalty of RM1,179,889 on Malaysia Airports (Sepang) Sdn Bhd (MA Sepang), a subsidiary of Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, for failing to meet several requirements of the Airports Quality of Service (QoS) Framework from January to March 2019.

The Airports QoS Framework commenced implementation at KLIA and klia2 on Sept 1, 2018 to improve airport service level for users including passengers, airlines and ground handlers.

Pursuant to section 98A(3)(b) of Act 771, the Commission is authorised to impose an amount not exceeding five per cent of MA Sepang’s annual turnover.

AirAsia, AirAsia X and MA Sepang received letters from the Commission on the imposition of the financial penalties on Sept 6, 2019.

Mavcom’s executive chairman Dr Nungsari Ahmad Radhi said given the large consumer base of over 100 million passengers per annum, the Commission had set the MACPC and Airports QoS Framework to protect the rights and interest of aviation consumers.

“These actions (regulations) are also intended to move the aviation industry in Malaysia towards an improved level of service, integrity, and transparency, in line with Mavcom’s long term objectives for the industry,” he added.