LOW-COST carrier MYAirline’s announcement that it will suspend its operations from Oct 12 until further notice due to “significant financial pressures” should serve as an eye-opener especially for industry players, said Pahang MCA Youth chairman Wong Siew Mun.
This is especially as financial uncertainties post-pandemic, coupled with global economic challenges and inflation, among others, will certainly have an impact on all parties.
“However, the interests and welfare of consumers cannot be ignored at all. MYAirline should have conveyed the notification earlier so that the affected passengers can make alternative plans as best as possible,” Wong said in a statement on Thursday (Oct 12).
“At the same time, the company must maintain open communication with the related passengers to create a win-win situation for both parties.”
Describing the announcement as another “black spot” in the country’s aviation industry, Wong said it is distressing that people have taken to social media to express their displeasure at not being informed earlier about the company’s decision.
“The swift action by the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) instructing that MYAirline be accountable for refunds to travellers who have purchased tickets with the airline but are unable to continue their flights following (its immediate decision to suspend its operations) is commendable.
“It is expected that the company will comply with MAVCOM’s directive,” she added.
In a statement on the matter, MAVCOM said that MyAirlines need to pay refunds to affected customers after they abruptly stopped operations today.
“The Commission stands firm that MYAirline is still liable to refund consumers who have purchased tickets with the airline but are unable to travel,” it said.
“MAVCOM has instructed MYAirline to immediately manage affected consumers which include amongst others, notifying them of the suspension, and publishing the said notification in the airline’s available communication channels.”
The cash-strapped low-cost carrier’s announcement earlier today makes it the first Malaysia-based airline to collapse post-pandemic, even as the industry regains its footing after years of COVID-19.
This comes as the airline on Sunday said it was in advanced stages of finalising strategic partnerships.
It had also received an extension for its air operator’s certificate from the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia on Monday, allowing it to operate commercial passenger flights for another two years until 2025. – Oct 12, 2023
Main pic credit: Facebook/MYAirline