Newsroom / News Releases / MAVCOM Updates Regarding Investigations on AirAsia X and Batik Air Flight Disruptions
MAVCOM Updates Regarding Investigations on AirAsia X and Batik Air Flight Disruptions
KUALA LUMPUR, 13 January 2023 – The Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) wishes to provide an update on its investigations regarding the cancellation of flight D7 219 by AirAsia X Berhad (AirAsia X) from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur on 2 January 2023 as well as the delay of flight OD 7634 from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching operated by Batik Air Sdn. Bhd. (Batik Air) on 22 December 2022.
Findings on AirAsia X’s Flight D7 219 from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur on 2 January 2023
MAVCOM has received the information required from AirAsia X and the consumer who lodged a complaint regarding the incident (affected consumer) to MAVCOM on the cancellation of flight D7 219. The affected consumer purchased 2 flight tickets on flight D7 219 which was scheduled to depart from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur on 2 January 2023. On 30 December 2022, the affected consumer received a flight cancellation notification from AirAsia X that the flight was cancelled due to operational reasons. The affected consumer was rebooked on flight D7 213 which departed for Kuala Lumpur on 6 January 2023.
MAVCOM’s investigation revealed that all affected consumers were notified by AirAsia X of the cancelled flight via SMS as well as via e-mail on 30 December 2022 which offered 3 service recovery options – namely, a free flight change to a travel date of the consumer’s choice, converting the cost of the ticket to a Credit Account, or a refund of the unutilised ticket.
Based on the reports and evidence obtained from AirAsia X and the affected consumer, the airline had communicated the flight disruption to the affected consumer and provided options to rebook their flight from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur from 1 January 2023 until 31 December 2023 subject to availability. AirAsia X was also able to reallocate other affected consumers of flight D7 219 on flights between the 3rd and 7th of January 2023.
These findings indicate that AirAsia X had offered options to mitigate the flight disruption for the affected consumer in accordance with the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016 (MACPC) which is to offer consumers a refund or an alternative flight at the earliest opportunity or at a later date at the passenger’s convenience, in the event of a flight cancellation.
At the same time, MAVCOM also encourages consumers to exercise caution when posting information online relating to their flight issues and to escalate their complaints through the official channels, providing sufficient information and documentation to ensure a thorough investigation is conducted.
Update on Batik Air’s Flight OD 7634 from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching
Batik Air OD 7634 was a scheduled flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching on 22 December 2022 and was to depart from Kuala Lumpur at 11.35pm. The flight was delayed by 8 hours and eventually departed on 7.45am on 23 December 2022, affecting 170 passengers.
Following from MAVCOM’s investigation on this flight disruption, subparagraphs 8 (1) and 12 (6) of the MACPC require an operating airline to provide to the passengers and public, information about any change in the status of a flight, as soon as practicable and the burden of proof on whether and when passengers were informed of a delay rest with the operating airline. Batik Air did provide the information to MAVCOM pertaining to the flight disruption of OD 7634 from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching. However, evidence to substantiate the information was insufficient to conclude if Batik Air took all measures to communicate to affected consumers about the flight delays that occurred on that day.
MAVCOM is dissatisfied with Batik Air’s explanation regarding the flight disruption communication to consumers and it has issued a show cause letter to Batik Air on 12 January 2023. Batik Air is required to submit its representation in writing to MAVCOM.
It is MAVCOM’s duty to ensure that an objective, in-depth investigation is carried out to form a definitive conclusion that determines the appropriate enforcement action. Hence, it must take stringent measures in validating all information from the airline and consumer affected, ensuring that the next course of action is justified.
Depending on the nature and extent of any non-compliance with the MACPC, airlines may be imposed a financial penalty of up to RM200,000 for the first offence, and 10 times the penalty for a second or subsequent non-compliance with the MACPC.
To date, the Commission has imposed a total of RM4.7 million in financial penalties on airlines for non-compliance with the MACPC.
What can consumers do when a flight issue occurs?
MAVCOM urges affected consumers to first provide the opportunity to the airline to provide a resolution to their complaint. For those who did not receive a reply or are dissatisfied with the resolution provided by the airline, their complaints can be escalated to MAVCOM through its website at www.mavcom.my.
Consumers may also submit their complaints via the Commission’s consumer sub-brand, FlySmart at www.flysmart.my, or the FlySmart mobile app which can be downloaded for free via the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
Consumers may also contact MAVCOM’s consumer hotline at 1800-18-6966 for calls within Malaysia or +603-7651 2777 for calls outside of Malaysia.