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Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code introduced for consumers in Malaysia

18 Jul, 2016

Kuala Lumpur – 18 July 2016 – The Malaysian Aviation Commission (“MAVCOM”), an independent body set up under the Malaysian Aviation Commission Act 2015 (“Act”), today announced that a newly gazetted Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016 (“MACPC” or “Code”) has come into effect.

The Code, the first in Malaysia’s aviation industry and the result of extensive engagement with relevant stakeholders, was designed with consumers in mind and adapted from international guidelines such as the Montreal Convention 1999 as well as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s Core Principles on Consumer Protection.

“What this means for consumers is that when they travel by air in and from Malaysia, their rights are clearly defined and protected under the national law. These rights cover dealings with airlines, airports and other aviation service providers, including foreign airlines operating into and out of Malaysia,” said Pushpalatha Subramaniam, Director of Consumer Affairs, MAVCOM.

“A key objective of MAVCOM as envisaged by the Act is the protection of aviation consumer rights and interests. Consumers are important to us and a consumer-oriented aviation industry is part of our mission. Pursuant to our consumer affairs work, we are partnering key stakeholders – especially airlines and airports – to ensure consumer rights are continually safeguarded and progressed,” added Pushpalatha in her presentation at the MACPC launch in Kuala Lumpur today.

These minimum service levels and standards as captured within the Code will benefit consumers directly. For instance, one of the key highlights of the Code is that airlines and airports are now given 30 days to resolve consumer complaints. Additionally, the Code provides for increased protection of consumer rights including compensation and care for flight delays of two hours or more, flight cancellations and lost or damaged luggage. The Code also provides for more transparency and clearer guidance on consumer rights and how to exercise these rights when it relates to flight changes, pricing, baggage and various other matters.

To facilitate the implementation of the Code, MAVCOM has also set up a Consumer Management System which came into effect on 5 May 2016. If consumers are dissatisfied with a complaint resolution offered by an airline or airport, consumers may escalate the complaint to MAVCOM through the Consumer Management System found on its website at  Consumers can also view the details of the Consumer Protection Code on MAVCOM’s website.

The principal role of MAVCOM, which commenced operations on 1 March 2016, is to regulate economic and commercial matters related to civil aviation in Malaysia. Some of MAVCOM’s responsibilities in addition to consumer protection include commercial licensing of airlines and ground handlers, setting airport charges and air traffic rights allocation.