AirAsia and AirAsia X have filed a judicial review challenging the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) for declining to decide on its disputes with Malaysia Airports Sepang (MASSB) regarding the passenger service charge (PSC) and poor level of service at klia2. Both airlines have also made a claim of RM480 million against MASSB for damages incurred as a result of the poor level of service at klia2.
Meanwhile, MAVCOM said in a press statement that it has yet to be served with any legal documentation on this matter and is unable to comment.
According to AirAsia, MASSB has filed several court actions, including defamation against the airline’s top executives for making press statements against it. The court actions demanded that the airlines, which have refused to collect the increased charges from passengers, pay the uncollected amounts to them.
“The airlines maintain that the increased PSC is arbitrary, burdens the travelling public and is unjustified as the levels of service at klia2 are inferior to that of KLIA where passengers pay the same charges,” AirAsia said in a press statement. It added that in most countries where low-cost travel has gained popularity, resulting in multiplier effects through tourism spend to these countries, the charges for low-cost airports are “significantly lower” than that of airports which cater to full-service airlines.
Additionally, both AirAsia and AirAsia X dispute MASSB’s claims and have applied to “strike out” the actions as they are filed in breach of sections 74 to 78 of the MAVCOM Act 2015, the press statement read.
AirAsia said it has tried to engage both MASSB and MAVCOM to resolve the disputes through the statutory dispute structure provided by the MAVCOM Act. However, MAVCOM said in two separate letters earlier this year that it refused to decide on the disputes on the basis that “the interpretation and applicability of sections 74 and 75 of the Malaysian Aviation Commission Act 2015 [Act 711] are currently pending disposal by the Court”.
“AirAsia and AirAsia X maintain that under the MAVCOM Act, MAVCOM has a statutory duty to commence to decide on the dispute once mediation between parties has failed, or is deemed to have failed. The refusal to decide on the disputes is therefore contrary to sections 74 to 78 of the MAVCOM Act,” the airline said.