KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) on Monday revoked Rayani Air’s Air Service Licence (ASL).
The commission said it found Rayani Air had breached the conditions of its licence and it also lacks the financial and management capacity to continue operating as a commercial airline.
“As a consequence, Rayani Air can no longer operate as a commercial airline with effect from today,” it said.
On May 25, Mavcom had issued a show-cause letter to Rayani Air after it had completed its evaluation of Rayani Air’s commercial standing and capabilities to determine whether it could continue as an ASL holder.
Mavcom required the airline to submit its representation in writing within 14 days before the commission decides on whether Rayani Air should be allowed to continue to hold the ASL or whether it should be revoked, or suspended.
Rayani Air submitted its representation in writing to Mavcom on the last day of the stipulated time.
“After reviewing Rayani Air’s written representation, MAVCOM has decided to revoke the ASL as the representations made by Rayani Air are not satisfactory responses to the show cause letter dated May 25, 2016,” it said.
The commission also said Rayani Air was still liable to refund its customers. Customers who have purchased tickets with Rayani Air but were not able go on their journey may lodge a complaint with the company and seek a refund. In the event consumers are not able to obtain their refunds, consumers can file a civil suit for those refunds.
Alternatively, affected consumers may lodge a formal complaint with the Commission, who can hear and determine the complaint, with a view of protecting legitimate consumer interests. The Commission may apply for its decision to be registered as a judgement of the Malaysian High Court.
The Star reported that on April 11, Rayani Air's air operations certificate (AOC) was suspended for three months after the airline temporarily halted operations following a strike by pilots.
It was reported that Rayani Air's operations were suspended for allegedly breaching the Civil Aviation Regulations 1966.
As for Mavcom, it was set up an independent economic regulatory body set up under the Malaysian Aviation Commission Act 2015 (Act 771).
Its mission is to promote a commercially viable, consumer-oriented and resilient civil aviation industry that support’s Malaysia’s growth.
Mavcom executive chairman Gen. Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad said this episode serves as a reminder that operating a scheduled commercial airline is an exceedingly challenging undertaking and requires a high degree of planning, financial depth, operational know-how and execution capability to stand any chance of succeeding.
“This is especially so considering the highly competitive environment in which today’s airlines operate under. Strong commercial foundations and depth are therefore necessary prerequisites to be a player in this industry. Mavcom shall strive to ensure only enterprises that are equipped and ready will be allowed to participate,” he said.
Mavcom started operations on March 1, 2016 and it is also responsible for airline licensing, airport charges, route allocation, dispute resolution and consumer protection, among others.
“Mavcom intends to safeguard the integrity and reputation of the Malaysian civil aviation industry, and will work closely with our partners to create impactful and sustainable work that will benefit air passengers and industry players,” concluded Abdullah.