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MAVCOM investigates Tony Fernandes’ allegations, AirAsia stocks tumble

The Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) is currently investigating AirAsia group CEO Tony Fernandes’ claims of being asked to cancel 120 flights during the election period.  This was mentioned in his recent seven-minute long apology video. In a statement on its website, MAVCOM said it considers Fernandes’ claims “serious allegations”.

“We have immediately commenced an investigation into these claims. We will keep members of the public informed,” the statement added. Since the apology, AirAsia Group’s shares tumbled by approximately 10%, Reuters reported.

Fernandes was previously quoted to owing the company’s success “to the government” led by the former PM Najib Razak, and having an AirAsia aircraft sport the livery “Hebatkan Negaraku” (Make My Country Greater). This copped a fair amount of flak from consumers which resulted in Fernandes creating a reactionary video stating that said he “foolishly” thought that by doing the first video, and having a plane carry the livery of Barisan Nasional, the government would be appeased.

He has since apologised for buckling under “intense pressure”, adding that the decision was made at the spur of the moment to protect the company.  According to him, the Prime Minister’s Office requested him to remove AirAsia X’s chairman Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz from the board when she got involved with the opposition. However, he fought to keep her position as Fernandes did not feel it was a fair move.

He also reduced ticket prices during the election period despite knowing the decision would not be a popular one with the government. Even so, reactions to his apology video were mixed, as some netizens remained sceptical of his intentions, while others praised him for being forthcoming.

Read also:
Will Tony Fernandes’ heartfelt apology navigate AirAsia out of the PR storm?
Tony Fernandes’ explicit political stance runs AirAsia brand into turbulence

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