KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia Bhd and AirAsia X Bhd have today filed a judicial review application challenging the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) for declining to decide on the disputes between Malaysia Airports (Sepang) Sdn Bhd (MASSB) and the airlines.
In a statement released today, the airlines said the judicial review filed was pertaining to passenger service charge (PSC) and the poor level of service at the second terminal of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (klia2).
The low-cost airlines have tried to engage both MASSB and Mavcom to resolve the disputes through the statutory dispute structure provided by the Mavcom Act.
However, Mavcom has through two letters dated 28.2.2019 and 18.3.2019 refused to decide on the disputes on the basis that ‘the interpretation and applicability of sections 74 and 75 of the Malaysian Aviation Commission Act 2015 [Act 711] are currently pending disposal by the Court’.
AirAsia and AirAsia X maintain that under the Mavcom Act, Mavcom has a statutory duty to commence to decide on the dispute once mediation between parties has failed, or is deemed to have failed.
It added that the refusal to decide on the disputes is therefore contrary to sections 74 to 78 of the Mavcom Act.
Meanwhile, the airport operator has also filed several court actions including defamation against the AirAsia group’s top executives for making press statements against it, demanding the airlines to pay for the uncollected amounts of PSC.
The airlines had maintained that the increased PSC was arbitrary, burdening the travelling public and was unjustified as the levels of service at klia2 were inferior to that of KLIA where passengers pay the same charges.
The airlines have argued that the charges for low-cost airports were significantly lower than that of airports which cater to full-service airlines.
AirAsia and AirAsia X both dispute Malaysia Airports’ claims and have applied to strike out the actions as they are filed in breach of sections 74 to 78 of the Malaysian Aviation Commission Act 2015 (Mavcom Act).
Both airlines have also made a claim of RM 480 million against MASSB for damages incurred as a result of the poor level of service at klia2.
In this regard, AirAsia and AirAsia X are also asking for a mandamus to compel Mavcom to adjudicate on the disputes between AirAsia, AirAsia X and MASSB in accordance with its statutory duty under the Mavcom Act.
In a separate statement released today, Mavcom said the commission has yet to be served with any legal documentation on legal action.
“Therefore we are unable to provide any comment at this time,” it said.