MAVCOM fires warning letter to Scanda Sky to cease marketing as commercial airline

The Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) has issued a warning letter to Scanda Sky, a new airplane charter company, instructing it to cease marketing its services as well as advertising itself as a commercial airline. MAVCOM said in a statement that Scanda Sky is not an airline licensed under the Malaysian Aviation Commission Act 2015 [Act 771].

According to news articles, MAVCOM said the airline launched its inaugural flight on 27 November from Ipoh to Guangzhou. The airline also advertises and promotes commercial scheduled flights in its website, thus suggesting it is an airline, MAVCOM said. It added in the statement that Scanda Sky has allegedly entered into a charter agreement with Malaysia Airlines (MAB) and the flight in question was in fact operated by MAB.

“The Commission wishes to make clear that Scanda Sky is neither a holder of an Air Service License (ASL) nor Air Service Permit (ASP)  issued either by the Commission under Act 771 or issued under the Civil Aviation Act 1969 [Act 3],” it said.

MAVCOM explained that an ASL or ASP is required for the carriage of passengers, mail or cargo by air, for hire or reward whether it is on a scheduled or non-scheduled journey between two or more places, of which at least one location is in Malaysia.

As such, Scanda Sky may have misrepresented itself to the public via the said news reports and its website that it is a Malaysian carrier permitted to operate such services.

“MAVCOM urges consumers to exercise caution accordingly when making their flight and travel arrangements to avoid inconvenience in their travel plans,” it said. A+M has reached out to Scanda Sky for comment.

According to Scanda Sky’s website, the new airplane charter company flies twice a week between the cities of Ipoh, Perak and Guangzhou every Wednesday and Saturday, returning on Thursdays and Sundays. A pop up on the website also stated that its first two weeks of “Try out our charter flight” promotion is ending soon, and interested consumers should contact its sales representatives. A quick check by A+M found that there are no flights available on Scanda Sky’s website. Scanda Sky is currently offering a discount for all Perakians and free insurance for all passengers until 31 December.

The company explained that it is led by “young, experienced and energetic entrepreneurs with a vision of becoming an innovative boutique airline in the next two years”. It strives to “build a standout charter airline with snazzy service, active social network and a fun corporate personality” by offering passengers unique experiences in the sky. It also wants to distinguish itself from “stodgy airline culture with fun, flair, forward thinking”, Scanda Sky said.

Shortly after MAVCOM’s statement, Scanda Sky’s CEO Stanley Hu clarified that while it advertised and promoted scheduled flights, “it is not doing so like a commercial airline company such as MAB would do”, reported The Star. According to him, the airline has always been clear in stating that it was was not an airline company, but rather a provider of tour packages that included flight services at premium pricing, The Star said.

Hu added that the sale of tickets shown “is a no-commitment two-week promotion gimmick” to allow consumers to experience what it is like to join tour packages that included chartered flights. Hu explained that following the first two weeks, all seats on Scanda Sky chartered flights can only be obtained from affiliated tour agencies, tour groups or other licensed entities. He also clarified that the company was “never properly contacted and given reasonable time and opportunity” to clarify MAVCOM’s suspicions, The Star said.

(Photo courtesy: 123RF)

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