Finance Minister Anthony Loke delivers his speech during the launch of FlySmart in Sepang. Bernama pic.

SEPANG: Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) has been tasked to check on airlines operators that impose hidden charges on its passengers, Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook said today.

He said the commission would look into the matter, adding that passengers should not be made to pay for hidden charges.

“If such claims are true, we will take necessary actions,” he said, without elaborating on the actions that will be taken against these airline operators.

Loke said in line with Mavcom’s aim to ensure the protection of consumers’ rights, the commission had introduced the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code (MACPC) in July 2016.

“As a result, consumers now enjoy increased protection and rights to compensation and care before and after flights.”

The minister said Mavcom has resolved 99.3 per cent of the 3,504 complaints received since its establishment, with most related to refunds, mishandling of baggage and flight delays.

Loke said this at the launch of FlySmart, a consumer-centric initiative by Mavcom to provide a platform for consumers to obtain information and learn about their rights.

On calls to abolish Mavcom, he said the commission would continue operating as per normal.

On complaints of mistreatment by Mavcom from certain airlines, Loke stressed that all airline operators must comply with the regulations.

“(On actions taken against these airlines) Mavcom has to stand by them (its actions),” he said, adding the commission had informed him that all actions taken were in line with its regulations.

“If the said airlines feel they have been unfairly treated, it is up to them to take the next course of action.”

It was reported that Eaglexpress Air Charter Sdn Bhd president Captain Azlan Zainal Abidin and Suasa Airlines Sdn Bhd managing director Captain Sheikh Salleh Abod have jointly called for the commission to be abolished.

The suggested that Mavcom’s duties be taken over by the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), which they said had helmed the responsibilities “efficiently” and cost-effectively before Mavcom came along.

On recent report of a possible third airport dubbed as LCCT2, Loke said the idea had been forwarded to the previous government.

“Under the current government, there is no such study. So, they have to re-submit (the proposal). Any fresh proposal will be studied,” he added.

The idea of a new airport, the third after the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and klia2, was first announced by then-deputy transport minister Datuk Abd Aziz Kaprawi in 2015.

It was reported the proposed new airport in Sepang would be used for budget airlines, while klia2, the current low-cost terminal neighbouring KLIA whose anchor airline is AirAsia, would serve as a premium terminal.

Loke also reiterated the government’s stand that it would not ban e-hailing (or e-taxi) services, despite calls from several quarters particularly taxi driver groups.

He again stressed the government was committed to ensure there is a “level-playing field” for both sides, and that e-hailing services would be regulated.

“We will enforce the amendments made in the existing laws (which have been passed in Parliament) to regulate the e-hailing operators.

“There will be no new amendments. We want to enforce what have been amended,” he said, acknowledging that whatever that the government would decide could not please everyone.

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