Mavcom to enhance consumer protection code

by ANIS HAZIM / Pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

THE Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) is enhancing the Malaysia Aviation Consumer Protection Code (MACPC) based on consumer feedback and key learnings during the pandemic to better protect the consumer.

Mavcom executive chairman Datuk Seri Saripuddin Kasim (picture) said the MACPC is constantly being reviewed and amended to ensure the continuous protection of consumer rights.

“The enhancements include increased consumer protection in the case of unprecedented circumstances, as well as new provisions to regulate travel passes, along with the restructuring or liquidation of airlines and its impact on passengers,” Saripuddin said at the Mavcom inaugural international aviation webinar on customer protection on Tuesday.

The MACPC was first introduced in 2016 and was further enhanced in 2019 to better safeguard travellers’ welfare and to improve the service levels of the industry.

Meanwhile, he told a press conference that the latest MACPC in regards to the pandemic is expected to be completed by the end of 2022 and will apply the key aspects and discussion from the webinar.

“Our target is to be completed this year. So, that is why we are getting input from this webinar and we will strengthen it. With God’s will, by the end of this year we will come out with something,” he said.

According to him, the webinar featured key topics including the evolution of consumer protection regulations for air travel before, during and after Covid-19.

When asked regarding the refund by AirAsia X Bhd for flights affected by the pandemic, he said that Mavcom stance that AirAsia should not include consumer refund in its restructuring plan, however, the commission needs to follow the court’s order on this matter.

“Mavcom’s stance is clear, the refund shouldn’t be part of the restructuring but we have to abide by the court order.

“The court decided that the refund is part of the restructuring. We hope the public understands our stance,” he said.

Separately, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong urged the airline industry to rethink aviation consumer protection and devise new and innovative solutions for air travel.

“We need to hear more exchanges between government authorities and regulators in ensuring a greater balance between the protection of consumers and industry competitiveness, and how best to achieve this, considering different economic, commercial and social factors,” Wee said in his keynote speech at the webinar.

On the industry players and policymakers, he sees the importance of constant revisions and updates being made to legislation and other specific regulations governing consumer rights to maintain the competitiveness within the industry.