Mavcom defends itself after fierce criticism from Fernandes

Mavcom executive chairman Nungsari Ahmad Radhi says the commission’s role is to ensure its work benefits the industry overall and not any one specific player. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) defended itself today following criticism from AirAsia Bhd group CEO Tony Fernandes, saying it has succeeded in promoting transparency and helped passengers save money.

Mavcom executive chairman Nungsari Ahmad Radhi said the aviation body’s Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016 ensured passengers only paid for services they had selected while eliminating hidden charges such as the RM3 “klia2 fee”.

“We believe these measures, resulting in greater transparency, will allow consumers to enjoy monetary savings and make more informed decisions.

“We also believe aviation consumer complaints are now being taken more seriously, and refunds will be reimbursed to passengers within 30 days from the date of request,” he said in a statement today.

Earlier this week Fernandes said Mavcom had failed the aviation industry, claiming that Mavcom had rejected several route applications even though bilateral traffic rights were available with other countries, calling it a “blatantly unfair practice”.

He said Mavcom had failed to execute its duties fairly and effectively, and that its functions could be assumed by other bodies, including the transport ministry and the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia.

Nungsari said 93% of air traffic rights applied by airlines had been issued, with more than half of the rights awarded going to AirAsia. He said the process was transparent and was drawn up in consultation with airline companies, including AirAsia.

“The Mavcom team, who are former employees of airlines (including AirAsia), airports, other regulatory bodies, private sector and civil service, are ably qualified professionals comprising, among others, aviation professionals, financial analysts, economists and lawyers.

“Despite external pressures, we believe they have delivered much good to the consumers and industry,” said Nungsari.

He said the commission’s role was to ensure its work benefitted the industry overall and not any one specific player. “We have consciously worked towards that objective and will continue to do so.”