No need for Mavcom, says Tony Fernandes

(Reuters pic)

BANGKOK: The transport ministry is more than capable of helping the local airline industry grow, without the need for the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom), AirAsia Group chief executive officer Tony Fernandes said today.

Expressing his disappointment with the commission, Fernandes said Mavcom should remain independent and treat all industry players fairly.

“I’ve always wanted (for the industry) to be treated fairly. It’s not about (being) good to AirAsia and bad to Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB), or good to MAB and not to AirAsia. Do what is good for Malaysians.

“We (at AirAsia) wanted Mavcom because we thought it would be great for the industry, and for them to be independent and look at the industry fairly.

“But I think it’s better to not have Mavcom,” he told Malaysian reporters at the airline’s #HalfABillion Guests Flown Celebration here today.

Fernandes was responding to questions on the police report lodged by Mavcom today over his claim that the aviation regulatory body told AirAsia to cancel all additional 120 flights it requested during the 14th general election.

The AirAsia head said dealing with Mavcom was difficult and resulted in AirAsia deputy group CEO (digital, transformation, corporate services) Aireen Omar, AirAsia Malaysia CEO Riad Asmat and AirAsia X Malaysia CEO Benyamin Ismail facing difficult situations.

“Airene, myself, Ben and Riad had nothing short of torture when dealing with Mavcom.

“AirAsia and I will never stop fighting for fair industry practices and demand decisions to be made for the benefit of all Malaysians,” he said.

Shortly after Mavcom said it lodged the report, AirAsia issued a statement saying it has evidence and facts to back Fernandes’ allegations.

“We would like to emphasise that the video released by Fernandes on Sunday, May 13, 2018 is fully supported by evidence and facts, including direct communication between Riad and Mavcom executive chairman Abdullah Ahmad.

“We will divulge the evidence and facts to the appropriate authorities, at the right time,” the airline said.

We have proof to back Tony’s claim, says AirAsia