Mavcom fines AirAsia, AirAsia X for consumer rule violations


THE Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) has penalised budget carrier AirAsia Group Bhd and its long-haul affiliate AirAsia X Bhd for violating consumer protection rules.

Both AirAsia and AirAsia X are fined RM200,000 each for charging credit card, debit card and online banking processing fees, separate from their base fares for the period between June 1 and Aug 9.

In a statement issued yesterday, Mavcom said the two companies have been found to disregard subparagraph 3(2) of the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016 (MACPC) which requires full disclosure of the final price of the airfare.

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

“Section 69(4) of the Mavcom Act 2015 (Act 771) and paragraph 22 of the MACPC empower the commission to impose a financial penalty for a non-compliance of the MACPC, an amount not exceeding RM200,000 and in the case of a second or subsequent non-compliance, an amount 10 times the financial penalty which was imposed for the first non-compliance,” it said. 

The regulator had also imposed a RM1.18 million penalty on Malaysia Airports (Sepang) Sdn Bhd (MA Sepang), a subsidiary of Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, for not meeting selected quality of service targets set by Mavcom in the first quarter of 2019.

Mavcom said MA Sepang failed to meet several requirements of the Airports Quality of Service (QoS) Framework during the period of January to March 2019. The introduction of the Airports QoS Framework by Mavcom is to improve airport service levels for airport 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 5% of MA Sepang’s annual turnover.

“Upon taking MA Sepang’s written representation, as well as factors submitted by MA Sepang for the purposes of mitigating the quantum of the financial penalty into consideration, the commission has imposed a penalty of RM1.18 million on MA Sepang,” it said.

All three parties received letters from the commission on the financial penalties last Friday.

Mavcom CEO Dr Nungsari Ahmad Radhi (picture) said: “Air traffic in Malaysia today numbers at over 100 million passengers per annum. Given this large consumer base, the commission has set in place the MACPC and Airports QoS Framework, which are regulations designed to protect the rights and interests of the aviation consumers, as well to increase the level of services in the industry.

“These actions 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.”