PETALING JAYA: AirAsia Bhd and AirAsia X Bhd have filed a judicial review challenging the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) for declining to decide its disputes with Malaysia Airport (Sepang) Sdn Bhd (MASSB) pertaining to the passenger service charge (PSC) and poor level of service at KLIA2.
In a statement yesterday, AirAsia said the airlines had also made a claim of RM480mil against MASSB for damages incurred as a result of the poor level of service at KLIA2.
“The airlines maintain that the increased PSC is arbitrary, burdens the travelling public and is unjustified as the levels of service at KLIA2 are inferior to that of KLIA where passengers pay the same charges.
“The airlines have argued that in most countries where low-cost travel has mushroomed, resulting in multiplier effects through tourism spend to these countries, the charges for low-cost airports are significantly lower than that of airports which cater to full-service airlines.”
AirAsia said MASSB has filed several court actions. This, it said, included a defamation lawsuit against the AirAsia group’s top executives for making press statements against MASSB and demanding the airlines (which have refused to collect the increased charges from passengers) pay the uncollected amounts to them.
“AirAsia and AirAsia X both dispute MASSB’s 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).”
AirAsia said 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 Feb 28, 2019 and March 18, 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. The refusal to decide on the disputes is therefore contrary to sections 74 to 78 of the MAVCOM Act.”