KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 16 — Local airlines' performance in being on time for domestic flights slightly fell by three percentage points in the third quarter (Q3) of this year compared to the previous period, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said today.

The Seremban MP told the Dewan Rakyat that overall, Malaysian carriers recorded an on-time performance of 79 per cent in Q3 2023 compared to 82 per cent in Q2 in the same year.

“The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) is also in the process of determining the performance standards for the achievement of accuracy and flight cancellation rates for local airlines.

“This process is estimated to be completed in the first quarter of 2024,” he said during the Minister's Question Time (MQT) in the Parliament here.

Loke said Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia had the lowest proportion of flights on time at just 74 per cent.

SKS Airways recorded the best performance of being on time 95 per cent of the time, followed by MASwings (93 per cent), Batik Air Malaysia (82 per cent), and Firefly (77 per cent).

Sibu MP Oscar Ling asked a supplementary question whether these airlines will face disciplinary action over the decline, Loke said flight delays have a variety of factors to be taken into account.

“There are things that are beyond the airline's control. The weather, how do you control the weather? If the weather isn't good, how do you fly? That needs to be understood. It's not that airlines deliberately delay their flights,” Loke said.

However, Loke agreed that there are many things to be improved to boost the on-time performance of local airlines.

“Not only from airlines, but also airports and air traffic management that are not under the authority of airlines.In terms of improving the on-time performance of airlines, the government through Mavcom will take action if the airline fails to comply with Malaysia's aviation consumer protection code.

“It's something we're going to find an approach on how to put an on-time performance target and if they can't reach that target, then it's likely that action will be taken,” he added.

During the MQT, Loke also said that the recovery level of flight volume between January to October 2023 was at 74.1 per cent or 381,475 flights compared to 514,896 flights for the same period in 2019, or before the movement control order (MCO) started.

“The overall recovery rate of passenger numbers was at 77.5 per cent between January to September 2023 compared to the same period in 2019.

“The best recovery was domestic passengers at 84.4 per cent followed by Asean passengers at 77.5 per cent and 63.4 per cent for passengers of other international destinations,” he added.