Mavcom awaits AirAsia, AirAsia X to pay up fines as deadline looms

Chief operations officer Azmir Zain said that Malaysia Airports (Sepang) Sdn Bhd (MA Sepang) had already paid its RM856,875 penalty due to failure in meeting targets set by Mavcom. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana
Chief operations officer Azmir Zain said that Malaysia Airports (Sepang) Sdn Bhd (MA Sepang) had already paid its RM856,875 penalty due to failure in meeting targets set by Mavcom. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 11 ― The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) today said that it is expecting budget airline AirAsia and its sister company AirAsia X to pay up their due RM2 million fines respectively, as the deadline for such payments draws closer.

Mavcom chief operations officer Azmir Zain said that Malaysia Airports (Sepang) Sdn Bhd (MA Sepang), a subsidiary of Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB), which was jointly fined with the two said companies, had already paid its RM856,875 penalty due to failure in meeting targets set by Mavcom, in its Airports Quality of Service Framework (Airports QoS Framework) during the second quarter of 2019.

“So every time we impose a financial penalty on one of the industry players, we give them a certain period of time to settle the penalty.

“So in the case of Malaysia Airports, those penalties have been settled. In the case of AirAsia, AirAsia X, it’s going to approach the date of that (due) quite soon, so we would expect a settlement of the payment at that point of time,” Azmir said.

The penalties imposed on AirAsia and AirAsia X, amounting to RM4 million jointly, were due to the low-cost carrier’s continued charging of credit card, debit card and online banking processing fees separate from their base fares, in contravention of the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016 (MACPC), between August 2019 and September 11, 2019.

In a statement posted on its website on January 20 last month, Mavcom said that this is the second time the two companies have been found to not comply with the MACPC requirement.

“The commission had previously in September 2019 imposed financial penalties of RM 200,000 each for AirAsia’s and AirAsia X’s first contravention of subparagraph 3(2) of the MACPC for charging credit card, debit card and online banking processing fees separate from their base fares, in contravention of subparagraph 3(2) of the MACPC, for the period from 1 June 2019 to 9 August 2019.

“As both AirAsia and AirAsia X 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 has decided to impose both airlines a penalty of RM 2,000,000 each, being ten times the financial penalty imposed in September 2019, for the period from 10 August 2019 to 11 September 2019 as prescribed by Act 771,” the commission said

Azmir was responding to a question on Mavcom’s role in claiming the penalties as it is due to be disbanded and absorbed by the Civil Aviation Authority Malaysia (CAAM).

Mavcom executive chairman Nungsari Ahmad Radhiwho, who was also at the press conference, said the commission remained functional until this was put into effect.

“My answer to your question is, until the (Malaysian Aviation Commission) Act is repealed, everything that we do is by the force of law, according to the law.

“The licences are still valid, we can still take action if anyone violates any one of the regulations and the rule of law applies, until such time,” he said during a dialogue session at Mavcom’s office, after the unveiling of its report titled “Economic Way Forward for the Civil Aviation Industry in Malaysia”.  

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