AirAsia to maximise revenue from under utilised space for cargo. Photo: Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia yesterday said there is no need for the airline group to respond to the Malaysian Aviation Commission’s (Mavcom) request for documented details of congestion on a daily basis at the klia2 immigration counters.

AirAsia Bhd chief executive officer (CEO) Riad Asmat said the commission should get to the ground to inspect and investigate the highlighted issue.

“Why do we need to provide evidence when the issue has been highlighted publicly in the news and on social media platforms? It only proves Mavcom’s inaction, indolence and blatant disregard of its responsibility in protecting the rights of aviation consumers.

“It only takes Mavcom
officials a few hours off from their Kuala Lumpur Sentral office for a quick visit to klia2 to see for themselves how severe the situation is at immigration counters during peak hours.

“They can come on any day, as it is a daily occurrence and not an isolated incident as alleged,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Riad said no one from Mavcom for that matter, including its executive chairman, had ever visited AirAsia’s head office RedQ which is just right next to klia2.

Mavcom has, since May 2018, collected RM1 from each air passenger flying out of airports in Malaysia.

“It is estimated that Mavcom has earned as much as RM30 million, if not more, from the regulatory service charge. To date, it has yet to publish its annual report for 2018,” he said.

Former Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Aziz Kaprawi, in announcing the collection of the RM1 regulatory fee by airlines on behalf of Mavcom in 2017 was quoted as saying: “The regulatory charge is only justified to be imposed on passengers, owing to the services rendered by Mavcom to them, which include complaints management and consumer awareness activities which need to be conducted from time to time.”

Meanwhile, AirAsia X Bhd CEO Benyamin Ismail said: “All Malaysians need to hold Mavcom accountable for their blatant disregard in upholding and protecting the rights of aviation consumers who, without fail, contribute to their coffers to pay the extraordinary salaries of its commissioners and executives.

“In the meantime, the immigration congestion at klia2 worsened by the day, badly affecting our guests.

“Out of frustration, we wrote to Mavcom asking that they step in and help resolve the impasse.”

Benyamin said this was not the first instance of Mavcom’s reluctance to act on complaints and issues, and it wouldn’t be the last.

The RM480 million lawsuit that AirAsia filed against Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) for operational losses at klia2 two weeks ago was the result of Mavcom’s refusal to decide on the dispute as requested in AirAsia’s earlier notification to the commission.

Mavcom also refused to mediate in the klia2 passenger service charge (PSC) dispute between AirAsia and MAHB, and it took the Cabinet to decide on a lower PSC for klia2 and other airports. All this is clearly contrary to Section 75 of the Mavcom Act 2015.

“Mavcom will go down in Malaysia’s history as the one commission that needs to be spoon-fed despite its members and employees being paid handsome salaries.

“Mavcom must remember that it is highly funded by the people, but unfortunately, chose to fail them — big time,” he added. – Bernama