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MAVCOM Prepares the Aviation Industry for Chinese New Year

10 Jan 2023


The Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) instruct airlines to immediately improve the management of flight disruptions in anticipation of high passenger traffic and increased flight capacity


KUALA LUMPUR, 10 January 2023 – The Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) has instructed all airlines to better manage flight disruptions with immediate effect and reminded airlines of their obligations toward consumers under the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016 (MACPC). The requirements were issued as a measure by the Commission in anticipation of the increased flight capacity and passenger traffic during the Chinese New Year (CNY) festive season, one of the nation’s peak travel periods.

Moreover, the instructions urge airlines to immediately rectify any issues experienced by passengers following the recent flight disruptions.

MAVCOM reminds airlines of their obligations to consumers

While MAVCOM notes that airlines have Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for handling flight disruptions, the management of these flight disruptions must be further strengthened and requires urgent attention. As such, the instructions aim to immediately address concerns regarding airlines’ management and handling of flight delays and cancellations, especially during important festive holidays when air travel is expected to increase.

Amongst other requirements, MAVCOM has instructed airlines to deploy dedicated Delay Handling Teams on ground for any flight delay of 2 hours or more. The ground staff deployed, must be empowered to assist, and guide consumers at all Malaysian airports in the event of a delay or any flight disruption. This obligation is in place to ensure airlines improve passenger communication and provide the necessary care and requirements as per the MACPC.

Airlines shall apply these obligations whenever a flight disruption occurs and more importantly, during festive seasons such as the upcoming CNY and other peak travel periods. MAVCOM has approved all the additional flights applied by the airlines for the upcoming CNY period. Therefore, airlines must be operationally ready to implement these obligations effectively, ensuring consumer comfort is being prioritised.

MAVCOM approved all 291 additional flights applied by airlines for CNY

To further facilitate the increase of overall flight capacity between 18 to 31 January 2023, the Commission has approved all 291 additional flights applied by airlines in an effort to meet travel demand and curb soaring airfares during the CNY festive period.

As of 6 January 2023, the breakdown of the 291 additional flights applied by airlines and approved by the Commission comprise AirAsia (134), Malaysia Airlines (53), Batik Air (44), SKS Airways (44) and Firefly (16) to all destinations in Malaysia during the period mentioned.

Routes with the highest number of extra flights for the season would be between routes to Sabah and Sarawak with 205 additional flights. The additional flights from Peninsular Malaysia to Sabah comprise 50 flights to Kota Kinabalu, followed by 21 to Tawau, and 2 to Sandakan. Meanwhile, 52 additional flights from Peninsular Malaysia were approved to Kuching, followed by 41 to Sibu, 23 to Miri, and 16 to Bintulu.

This is on top of 1,253 regular scheduled flights between Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah, 1,594 between Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak as well as 3,261 within Peninsular Malaysia, operated by all carriers during this period.

In total, the Commission has approved an additional 33.5 per cent extra domestic flights for 2023 compared to the 2022 CNY festive period.