Mavcom lodges police report against Tony Fernandes
16 May, 2018, 09:25 | Author: Wade Massey
Low-priced carrier AirAsia claimed today it can refute the Malaysian Aviation Commission's (Mavcom) denial that it pressured Tan Sri Tony Fernandes to cancel fixed-fare flights for the 14th general election.
On Sunday, Fernandes released a Facebook video apologising for "buckling under the pressure" after receiving flak for endorsing Barisan Nasional during the election campaign period.
The commission is mandated under the Malaysian Aviation Commission Act 2015 (or Act 771) to act as an independent regulator for economic and commercial matters related to civil aviation in Malaysia.
The government's challengers had criticised the mid-week polling date as a bid to dampen voter turnout and make it harder for Malaysians living overseas to return home to vote.
"Within 24 hours, we were summoned by MAVCOM, and told to cancel all those flights. That put us under again, tremendous pressure".
Earlier, Mavcom refuted Tony's claims that the airline was pressured to cancel an additional 120 flight during the GE14 period.
The commission said it had never issued any directive to AirAsia or any other airline to reduce or cancel any flights where regulatory requirements were met.
Mavcom said it viewed the claims seriously and had lodged a police report against Tony over the allegation.
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"The Commission categorically refutes the accusation that it told AirAsia to cancel all 120 additional flights applied for by AirAsia during the 14th Malaysian General Election period", MAVCOM has said.
It added that it will divulge the evidence and facts to the relevant authorities at the appropriate time, as well as fully cooperate with the police on the investigation.
Mr Fernandes declined to comment to reporters in Bangkok, where he attended an AirAsia event.
This angered Netizens and Malaysians at large, where calls to boycott AirAsia were issued. It relies on government approvals to back growth plans in a highly regulated industry where state-owned Malaysia Airlines is its main rival.
"Inclusive of AirAsia, the commission approved additional flight application of the various Malaysian-based airlines as of April 24, 2018 totalling 166 flights (83 return journeys with a maximum volume of 26,434 passengers)".
It noted that it approved all additional flights requested by AirAsia and said Abdullah contacted the airline simply to confirm that it had passengers for those flights. The airline had also specified that its previous applications should be disregarded, said Mavcom.
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