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The Malaysian Aviation Commission Suspends MYAirline’s Air Service Licence

1 Nov 2023


KUALA LUMPUR, 1 November 2023 – The Malaysian Aviation Commission (“MAVCOM” or the “Commission”) has announced its decision to suspend the Air Service Licence (“ASL”) of MYAirline Sdn. Bhd. (“MYAirline”) effective immediately pursuant to section 43(1) of the Malaysian Aviation Commission Act 2015 [Act 771]. 

The Commission issued a show cause letter on 13 October 2023. In the show cause letter, MAVCOM ordered MYAirline to provide its written representation within 14 days. The show cause letter among others, highlighted MYAirline’s failure to comply with its ASL conditions and sudden suspension of operations on 12 October 2023.  

MAVCOM received MYAirline’s written representation on 27 October 2023. After reviewing the written representation, MAVCOM has decided to suspend MYAirline’s ASL as the representations made by the airline are not satisfactory to the show cause letter. 

“Although the revocation of MYAirline’s ASL was highly considered, the potential implication of that could result in halting efforts in initiating refund payments to the affected passengers,” said YBhg. Datuk Seri Hj. Saripuddin Hj. Kasim, Executive Chairman of MAVCOM. 

As the economic and commercial regulator of the Malaysian civil aviation industry, the Commission made this decision with the view to safeguard the interests of passengers and employees affected by MYAirline’s suspension of operations, as well as taking into consideration the challenges faced by the aviation industry post-COVID-19 pandemic.

Assessment of MYAirline’s Air Service Licence

Prior to MAVCOM’s decision to suspend MYAirline’s ASL and the airline’s announcement of its operational suspension, MAVCOM had conducted its assessment of MYAirline’s ASL application before granting a Conditional Approval (CA) for an ASL and full ASL to the airline. As part of the Commission’s due process, a CA for an ASL is required by any airline to apply for an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM). MAVCOM issued a CA for an ASL to the MYAirline on 22 December 2021 effective from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2022.

Subsequently, MAVCOM granted a full ASL to MYAirline after the airline had fulfilled all the ASL requirements and conditions set forth by the Commission, including its Fit and Proper criteria. During this period of assessment, MYAirline demonstrated that it has financial competence, and all its statutory declarations were found to be in order. 

MYAirline’s Affected Passengers

MYAirline is still liable to refund its affected passengers as per the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016 (MACPC), even though its ASL has been suspended.

A total of over 117,000 estimated passengers are affected by MYAirline’s suspension of operations, with a total value of over RM22million in forward sales for scheduled flights from 12 October 2023 until 31 March 2024. Majority of the forward sales are from travel agencies by 58 per cent (RM12.8 million), followed by 41.8 per cent (RM9.2 million) from payments made by credit or debit cards. MAVCOM will continue to engage with Bank Negara Malaysia in finding possible avenues of recourse for affected passengers to obtain refunds for unfulfilled flight bookings. 

MAVCOM’s Task Force has been mandated to look into the affected passengers’ refunds and to provide recommendations on the way forward. This may potentially include refining or expanding the mechanism for aviation consumer protection. In the meantime, MAVCOM will continue to engage with Bank Negara Malaysia in finding possible avenues for affected passengers to get their money back. 

MAVCOM’s Way Forward

While MAVCOM’s existing licensing approval framework that applies to all new and existing licence holders is comprehensive, the Task Force, among others, will also be reviewing the framework for enhancement. 

“This decision is in line with MAVCOM’s functions which include among others, to provide a mechanism for aviation passengers’ protection and promote timely investments in the civil aviation industry to meet Malaysia’s evolving demand and development needs. Hence, MAVCOM’s role requires a balancing act for commercial activity to promote the sustainability and progress of the industry, while ensuring passengers are protected,” added YBhg. Datuk Seri Hj. Saripuddin.