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Newsroom / Announcements / MAVCOM’s Initiatives Enhance Passenger Protection and Improve Airports Quality of Service in Sabah

MAVCOM’s Initiatives Enhance Passenger Protection and Improve Airports Quality of Service in Sabah

9 Oct 2023


Enhancement of the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016 (MACPC)

The Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) is proud to share that the Commission will soon conclude its exercise in enhancing the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016 (MACPC).

Over the years, the MACPC has consistently served as a reliable framework safeguarding the rights and interests of air travellers in Malaysia. Leveraging lessons learned in the post-COVID-19 period, as well as insights from consumer complaints received by MAVCOM, these updates are designed to address evolving consumer needs more effectively.

The planned enhancement of the MACPC includes improvement of existing and insertion of new provisions on key consumer issues such as refunds, airline advertisements, as well as flight delays and cancellations. The implementation of the enhanced MACPC is targeted in the first quarter of 2024 (Q1 2024).

The enhanced MACPC will serve as another step toward increased transparency and greater accountability within the aviation industry, making it more in line with global best practices in consumer rights protection. 

Successful implementation of MAVCOM’s Airports Quality of Service at Kota Kinabalu International Airport 

In the first half of 2023, MAVCOM has completed the development and implementation phase of the Airports Quality of Service (QoS) at Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI). The Airports QoS serves as a guide for airport operators to evaluate, monitor, maintain, and enhance their services based on the standards and key performance indicators set by MAVCOM.

Under the Airports QoS in BKI, MAVCOM has developed and subsequently enforced 19 quality-of-service elements for airports to adhere to. MAVCOM also conducts regular inspections to ensure that the airport operator complies with these elements. 

The 19 elements implemented at BKI are based on 4 key service quality pillars consisting of Passenger comfort and facilities, Queuing times, Passenger and baggage flows, and Operator and staff facilities. MAVCOM is pleased to note that BKI has been meeting its respective targets for its quality-of-service elements from May 2023 onwards. 

Aside from BKI, the Airports QoS targets will also be implemented at other airports in Sabah including the state’s second-largest airport, Tawau Airport. The implementation phase for Tawau Airport will commence in the first quarter of 2024.  

Monitoring of airfares for the forthcoming Christmas holidays

In response to economic dynamics, MAVCOM has observed notable airfare changes. In 2022, domestic average fares surged by 48.1 per cent when compared to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels, driven by rising fuel prices and currency fluctuations.  In April 2023, MAVCOM began monitoring airfares for the Christmas 2023 travelling period for flights between Peninsular Malaysia to Sabah. The observation indicated an increase in average fares for travel during the festive period from RM338 in April 2023 to RM490 in September 2023 as most of the cheaper tickets are sold out.

As of 27 September 2023, one-way direct economy class airfares for routes from the Peninsular to Sabah and Sarawak ranged between RM279 and RM1,398, with 27 per cent of airfares being below the average fare. 

Given this scenario, with the expected scarcity of more affordable tickets due to heightened demand and limited flight options and the festive season approaching, MAVCOM encourages consumers to book their Christmas/Year-end flights in advance. Consumers are also encouraged to take the opportunity in purchasing flight tickets in advance for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebration and school holidays in February 2024, as this will result in more affordable fares, availability of flight tickets, as well as various offers and promotions.

MAVCOM has worked together with the Ministry of Transport Malaysia (MOT) on the “FlySiswa” initiative which offers flight ticket subsidy worth RM300 to public university students. The subsidy is available for economy flight tickets between the Peninsular, Sabah, Sarawak, and Labuan. Recently, the initiative has been extended to students who are currently enrolled in polytechnics, community colleges, matriculation centres, and IPG (teachers’ training institutions). Students in those categories may claim their FlySiswa travel vouchers until 31 December 2023. 

MAVCOM remains steadfast in its mission to promote a robust and sustainable commercial environment for Malaysia’s civil aviation industry whilst championing consumer rights, making air travel in Malaysia more convenient, efficient, and enjoyable for all.