Friday 23 Feb 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 1): The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) on Wednesday suspended MYAirline Sdn Bhd's air service licence (ASL) with immediate effect, after reviewing the written submission submitted by the budget carrier on Oct 27.

In a statement, the economic and commercial regulator of the Malaysian civil aviation industry said the representations made by MYAirline were "not satisfactory to the show cause letter" issued to the airline on Oct 13.

“Although the revocation of MYAirline’s ASL was highly considered, the potential implication of that could result in halting efforts in initiating refund payments to the affected passengers,” said Mavcom executive chairman Datuk Seri Saripuddin Kassim.

The regulator said it made the decision with the view to safeguard the interests of passengers and employees affected by MYAirline’s suspension of operations, as well as taking into consideration the challenges faced by the aviation industry post-Covid-19.

Mavcom pointed out that MYAirline is still liable to refund its affected passengers as per the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016, even though its ASL has been suspended.

For the record, a total of over 117,000 passengers are affected by MYAirline’s suspension of operations, with a total value of over RM22 million in forward sales for scheduled flights from October 12, 2023 until March 31, 2024.

Some 58% (RM12.8 million) of the forward sales are from travel agencies, followed by 41.8% (RM9.2 million) from payments made by credit or debit cards.

“Mavcom will continue to engage with Bank Negara Malaysia in finding possible avenues of recourse for affected passengers to obtain refunds for unfulfilled flight bookings,” the commission said.

It added that its task force has been mandated to look into the affected passengers’ refunds and to provide recommendations on the way forward.

Separately, Mavcom said its task force will also be reviewing the licensing approval framework for enhancement.

“This decision is in line with Mavcom’s functions which include among others, to provide a mechanism for aviation passengers’ protection and promote timely investments in the civil aviation industry to meet Malaysia’s evolving demand and development needs.

“Hence, Mavcom’s role requires a balancing act for commercial activity to promote the sustainability and progress of the industry, while ensuring passengers are protected,” said chairman Saripuddin.

Edited ByS Kanagaraju
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