AIRLINES that do not abide by their set flight schedules may soon be faced with a fine or other actions in line with license and permit conditions, said Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook.
He noted that the proposal is currently under the consideration of the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM), the body that is responsible for regulating economic and commercial matters relating to civil aviation.
Loke, who is also Seremban MP, said the suggestion – which is part of Putrajaya’s efforts to ensure airlines always stick to their schedules – can be implemented through an amendment to the existing license and permit conditions.
“Stern action like this can be taken to ensure that instances of flight cancellations or rescheduling do not persist,” he said in a written parliamentary reply.
Loke was responding to a query by Tuaran MP Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau on the measures taken by the government to put a halt to the common occurrences of flight rescheduling.
Loke further noted that MAVCOM had, on Jan 5, 2023, reminded all airlines to improve their handling of flight delays and cancellations and to improve their communication with passengers while attending to the care and needs of passengers in line with the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016 (MACPC).
Meanwhile, the Transport Minister said companies that postpone or cancel any flights due to technical issues or unsatisfactory capacity must compensate passengers within 30 days or offer alternative flights.
“If an airline fails to comply with MACPC, MAVCOM can impose a financial penalty of not more than RM200,000, with any ensuing offence to be punished with 10 times the penalty issued the first time,” he asserted.
According to Loke, MAVCOM has issued RM4.72 mil in penalties over airlines’ failure to abide by the MACPC from 2018 to January 2023.
“As part of the ongoing effort to improve the consumer protection code, MAVCOM is currently in the process of improving the MACPC based on user feedback and important lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.
Loke estimated that the entire process will be completed in the second quarter of this year. – March 3, 2023
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