PETALING JAYA: In light of the Covid-19 outbreak, airlines will be given more time to provide refunds to its customers than the previously established time frame of 30 days, says the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom).
While the commission did not specify how much extra time would be given over the 30 days stipulated by the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code (MACPC), it said the refunds should be "as timely as possible".
Mavcom said this in response to a statement by the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) on Wednesday (April 8) which expressed disappointment in the authorities for remaining silent regarding the probability of airline passengers and travel agents having their cancelled flights refunded with the movement control order (MCO) in place.
Mavcom acknowledged that with passenger travel having plummeted, airlines had suffered significant revenue loss and this made it challenging to manage resources and cashflow.
“As such, the airlines may take longer than usual to respond to consumers.
"The financial challenges currently faced by the airlines have also coincided with them needing to adopt varying forms of refunds, including cash, vouchers, credit shell or, alternatively, deferment of travel, ” the statement said.
Mavcom also forecast that passenger traffic in Malaysia would decrease between 36.2% and 38.1% year-on-year in 2020 due to the Covid-19 situation.
It said approximately 13.6 million seats or 12.3% of annual scheduled operations in Malaysia had been cancelled this year.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has also projected that Asia Pacific countries would see passenger demand reduce by 34% and 44% this year.
Malaysia Airlines announced last month that it had cancelled more than 4,000 flights, while AirAsia said it had limited the number of flights in and out of the country, as well as domestically.
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