Mavcom fines AirAsia, MAHB

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

KUCHING:  The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) has imposed financial penalties on AirAsia Berhad (AirAsia), AirAsia X Berhad (AirAsia X) and Malaysia Airports (Sepang) Sdn Bhd (MA Sepang), a subsidiary of Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB).

The financial penalties imposed on AirAsia and AirAsia X, amounting to RM2 million each, were due to the airlines’ 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), for the period from Aug 10, 2019 to Sept 11, 2019.

“This is the second time AirAsia and AirAsia X have been found to not comply with the MACPC requirement. MA Sepang, on the other hand, was penalised RM856,875 due to its failure to meet targets set by Mavcom in its Airports Quality of Service Framework (Airports QoS Framework) during the second quarter of 2019.

“AirAsia, AirAsia X and MA Sepang were informed of their respective financial penalties on Jan 16,” said Mavcom in a media release emailed from Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

According to Mavcom, the MACPC came into force on July 1, 2016, and was subsequently enhanced with amendments that took effect on June 1, last year to further protect consumers’ interests.

One of the amendments, subparagraph 3(2) of the MACPC, imposes disclosure requirements for airline fares.

“Section 69(4) of the Malaysian Aviation Commission Act 2015 [Act 771] together with paragraph 22 of the MACPC, empower the Commission to impose a financial penalty for non-compliance of the MACPC, an amount not exceeding RM200,000 and in the case of a second or subsequent non-compliance, an amount ten times the financial penalty which was imposed for the first non-compliance.

“The Commission had 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 June 1, 2019 to Aug 9, 2019,” it added.

As both AirAsia and AirAsia X had been found to contravene subparagraph 3(2) of the MACPC again, even after the imposition of financial penalty for their first non-compliance, Mavcom said it had decided to impose both airlines a penalty of RM2 million each, being 10 times the financial penalty imposed in September 2019, for the period from Aug 10, 2019 to Sept 11, 2019 as prescribed by Act 771.

It said the Airports QoS Framework, which came into effect at both KL International Airport Terminals 1 and 2 (KLIA and klia2) on Sept 1, 2018, was introduced to ensure that airport operators provide consumers good standards of infrastructure and services at airports.

Mavcom found that MA Sepang failed to meet several requirements of the Airports QoS Framework during the period of April 1, 2019 to June 30, 2019.

In accordance with section 98A(3)(b) of Act 771, the Commission imposed a financial penalty amounting to RM 856,875 on MA Sepang, it said.