‘Let down’ by investors

Sudden closure: People reading a notice outside the MyAirline ticketing office at KLIA2 in Sepang, Selangor. — GLENN GUAN/The Star

SUBANG JAYA: MYAirline says it has been unable to take off since Oct 11 as investors pulled the rug from under the company. Despite that, the airline has promised to refund all passengers and pay its employees’ salaries this year.“We will issue all the refunds and pay the salaries of our over 900 employees this year,” its interim accountable executive Datuk Seri Azharuddin Rahman said.

A total of about 125,000 passengers are awaiting refunds amounting to RM22mil for tickets they purchased.

Azharuddin said the company and its staff were “let down” by investors who had pulled out without prior notice.

“We did not see this coming. We were let down by the pullout of our investors on Oct 11 at 4.30pm. They came a few days before and talked to us, but on that day, they just said ‘no deal’ and left us in the lurch,” he said.

Azharuddin said the company did not have a contingency plan, leading to the halt of operations.

“I am not going to dwell on it anymore, but that’s the story behind it. We understand everyone’s frustration,” he told a press conference at the MYAirline headquarters here yesterday.

Asked why the investors pulled out, he said: “We don’t know.”

On when MYAirline would secure new investors, Azharuddin said the company was in the final stage of negotiations. “It’s just a matter of time,” he said.

Azharuddin said once the airline received funding from its new investors, it would issue refunds to passengers and pay the salaries.

“Staff welfare remains our top priority. We will prioritise statutory payments and the staff’s September salaries.

“All staff members remain under MYAirline employment. No one has been put on unpaid leave or terminated,” he added.

On the air service licence (ASL), Azharuddin said MYAirline’s licence was due to be renewed in middle of November and it has submitted an application to extend the licence.

He said the company had yet to receive an official letter on its licence suspension.

Azharuddin said MYAirline had acknowledged its communication shortcomings with both the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM).

The airline had failed to engage with authorities and passengers before deciding to suspend operations.

“The abrupt action was taken out of a genuine concern for the safety of our passengers and employees on flights that operated from Wednesday night to early Thursday morning.

“We issued the suspension notice at 5.30am on Thursday. We accept that some passengers on later flights were already at the airport, and this was an oversight on our part,” Azharuddin said.

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