Loke: Mavcom reviewing framework to prevent recurrence of MYAirline saga

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) is reviewing its framework to further safeguard the rights of passengers in the future.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke said this was to ensure that incidents such as passengers being left in the lurch following the suspension of MYAirline Sdn Bhd (MYAirline) do not recur.

"Mavcom is currently in the process of reviewing the framework and undertaking preliminary investigations to explore other alternatives and options to protect passengers in case the company (airline) suspends its operations.

"The review is to also protect passengers who purchase flight tickets, as what happened in the case of MYAirline, and to ensure a similar incident does not repeat," he said during the question-and-answer session in Dewan Negara, today.

Meanwhile, in terms of evaluating air service licenses (ASL) for local airlines, Loke said it was a requirement for airline companies to have positive equity that could sustain their operations for at least three to six months based on proposed business plans submitted to the commission.

He said the same was carried out for MYAirline, where the assessment process carried out to obtain the license was meticulous.

"In terms of evaluating this (MYAirline) company or license holders, the assessment process is very thorough before they obtain the ASL license.

"They are audited and their assessments are scrutinised by various levels within Mavcom. (And) after obtaining the license, various aspects are also considered when they renew it every year, including their financial capabilities.

"Hence, as mentioned, if the cash flow is not sufficient or robust, there is a possibility that the license will not be renewed, or only a short-term renewal will be granted," he said.

Last month, Mavcom suspended MYAirline's ASL with immediate effect after considering that the local airline's response to a show-cause letter issued the previous month was unsatisfactory.

The commission said under Section 43(1) of the Malaysian Aviation Commission Act 2015 (Act 771), the suspension would safeguard the interests of passengers and employees affected by MYAirline's suspension of operations.

Mavcom said MYAirline is also liable to refund its affected passengers as per the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016 (MACPC) despite having its ASL suspended.

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