Mavcom slaps AirAsia, AAX and MAHB’s unit with non-compliance penalties

by RAHIMI YUNUS/ pic by BLOOMBERG

THE Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) has imposed financial penalties on AirAsia Group Bhd, AirAsia X Bhd (AAX) and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd’s (MAHB) unit, Malaysia Airports (Sepang) Sdn Bhd (MA Sepang) for non-compliances.

The civil aviation regulator said AirAsia and AAX are slapped with a RM2 million penalty each for continuing to charge credit card, debit card and online banking processing fees separate from their base fares.

The acts are a breach of the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016 (MACPC) for the period from Aug 10 to Sept 11 last year — the second time the companies violated the MACPC.

Meanwhile, MA Sepang is penalised with RM856,875 due to subpar airport quality in the second quarter of 2019 against the Airports Quality of Service Framework (Airports QoS Framework) standards.

“AirAsia, AAX and MA Sepang were informed of their respective financial penalties on Jan 16, 2020,” Mavcom said in a statement yesterday.

Both AirAsia and AAX were fined for the offence for the first time in September 2019 with RM200,000 each for the period from June 1 to Aug 9 last year.

The MACPC came into force on July 1, 2016, and was subsequently enhanced with amendments that took effect on June 1, 2019, to further protect consumers’ interests.

One of the amendments, sub-paragraph 3(2) of the MACPC, imposes disclosure requirements for airline fares.

The Mavcom Act 2015 (Act 771) together with the MACPC empower Mavcom to impose a financial penalty for non-compliance of the MACPC, an amount not exceeding RM200,000 and in the case of a second or subsequent non-compliance, an amount of 10 times the financial penalty which was imposed for the first non-compliance.

“As both AirAsia and AAX have been found to contravene subparagraph 3(2) of the MACPC again, even after the imposition of financial penalty for their first non-compliance, Mavcom decided to impose both airlines a penalty of RM2 million each, being 10 times the financial penalty imposed in September 2019, for the period from Aug 10 to Sept 11, 2019, as prescribed by the Act 771,” the commission said.

For MA Sepang, Mavcom said it found that the company failed to meet several requirements of the Airports QoS Framework during the period of April 1 to June 30 last year.

“In accordance with Section 98A(3)(b) of Act 771, the commission imposed a financial penalty amounting to RM856,875 on MA Sepang,” it said.

The Airports QoS Framework came into effect at both the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and KLIA2 on Sept 1, 2018.

The framework was introduced to ensure airport operators provide consumers good standards of infrastructure and services at airports.