Kuching MP slams AirAsia for flight delays

by S BIRRUNTHA / pic by TMR FILE

CAPITAL A Bhd’s (AirAsia) excuses on the frequent and constant delays and rescheduling of domestic flights is unacceptable, DAP’s Bandar Kuching MP Dr Yii Lee Wuen said.

He added that the issue had caused all kinds of inconvenience and even economic loss to the public, especially during the festive season.

He also called out the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) to hold airlines accountable to the mishap in order to protect the rights of consumers.

“AirAsia released a statement apologising for the problem and giving the excuse that they had insufficient aircrafts, as many of the aircrafts needed necessary repairs and maintenance after not being used for a long time, especially during the lockdown period.

“The delay was also due to the long waiting queue for aircraft maintenance facilities for Malaysia and the region, and these aircrafts must be repaired before they could be flown again,” he said in a statement today.

Dr Yii noted that while safety and security of the planes and passengers were of utmost importance, AirAsia should have anticipated the aircraft shortage and should not have sold the tickets to the public.

“If they know they cannot meet the demand, they should not have allowed the tickets to be sold, which ended up causing so much inconvenience, delay and even economic loss to the public.

“In my view, for consumers, it can be interpreted as a form of ‘misrepresentation’ if they purchase a certain flight at a certain time, but yet get rescheduled to a different time,” he said.

He added that customers did not only suffer losses. Many of them had other connecting flights with other airlines which had to be changed due to the alterations in their AirAsia flight schedule.

Therefore, he stressed that necessary actions must be taken and Mavcom must be more proactive in taking actions and not allowing this to happen again, as the problem has been happening since April this year.

“I reiterate my call yesterday for quick actions on the matter as well as a long-term policy in place to ensure this does not happen again and airlines are kept accountable towards their set schedule.

“While the government said that there would be an investigation, such an investigation should not be an excuse to delay the necessary action,” he noted.

Dr Yii also said there is no need for lengthy investigation or research into the issue as the flight records and data are readily available as evidence of constant delays and rescheduling.