13% of AirAsia flights delayed over an hour during Aidilfitri: Mavcom

by AZREEN HANI / graphic by TMR

THIRTEEN percent or 368 flights out of 2,954 flights operated by AirAsia have been delayed for more than one hour during the recent Aidilfitri travelling period.

Malaysia Airlines which operated 1,447 flights, saw 3% or 44 flights delayed out of its operations.

In addition, MASwings operated 656 flights, with 10% or 64 flights delayed while Firefly operated 680 flights, with 2% or 15 flights delayed. Batik Air (previously known as Malindo Air) operated 555 flights with 1% or four flights delayed.

The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) said this is based on the initial findings of its investigation of flight delays by airlines during the period.

It added that more than 6,000 domestic flights were operated by Malaysian carriers from April 29 to May 9 this year than over 8,000 domestic flights operated during the pre-pandemic festivity period in June 2019.

“Of the total flights operated during Aidilfitri travelling period in 2022, 8% or 495 flights recorded delays beyond one hour,” Mavcom said in a statement on Monday.

As for the flight delays beyond two hours, Mavcom’s initial analysis revealed that 71% or 119 flights were delayed due to operational factors including lack of standby aircraft, unscheduled night

stops due to crew legality hours, and consequential late arrivals, among others. 

This was followed by technical factors such as damage to aircraft, non-scheduled maintenance and lack of spares or maintenance equipment, which collectively contributed to 25% or 41 flights delayed beyond two hours. 

The commission said that both operational and technical factors combined contributed to 96% or 160 flights of the total flight delays beyond two hours during the travelling period. 

The other factors were related to bad weather conditions.

The commission is undertaking a further investigation on the provision of care for 160 flight delays beyond two hours to ascertain if the necessary care as stipulated under the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code (MACPC) was provided to consumers.

Mavcom executive chairman Datuk Seri Saripuddin Kassim said that the commission is currently validating the justifications provided by relevant airlines regarding the provision of care during flight delays within the period under review.

“Mavcom will not hesitate to exercise its powers if the justifications provided do not fulfil the requirements of the MACPC,” he said in the same statement. 

“The MACPC was put in place to ensure that the rights of air travel consumers are protected and airlines must abide by the law. Consumers should be automatically offered care as per the MACPC and not be expected to request care from the airlines,” he added.

Depending on the nature and extent of any non-compliance, airlines may be imposed a financial penalty of up to RM200,000 for the first offence, and 10 times the fine of its previous offence for a second or subsequent non-compliance of the MACPC, said Saripuddin.

Consumers affected by flight delays due to operational and technical factors require the provision of meals, telephone calls and Internet access for delays of two hours or more, as well as accommodation, and transport, if a stay becomes necessary, for delays of five hours or more.

“Mavcom aims to support a commercially viable and resilient civil aviation industry while empowering consumers to protect their rights as air travel consumers. The commission also urges all airlines to play a role in educating consumers on their air travel rights as per paragraph 19 of the MACPC,” Saripuddin added.