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KUALA LUMPUR, May 30 (Bernama) -- Eight per cent or 495 flights recorded delays beyond 1 hour during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri travelling period, said the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM).
MAVCOM today released the initial findings of its investigation on flight delays by airlines during the recent Hari Raya Aidilfitri travelling period.
The investigation involved the analysis of data on flight schedule disruptions submitted by airlines and airport operators.
Based on MAVCOM’s initial findings, it said more than 6,000 domestic flights were operated by Malaysian carriers throughout the Hari Raya Aidilfitri travelling period from April 29 to May 9, 2022 compared with over 8,000 domestic flights operated during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri travelling period in June 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“During the travelling period, AirAsia operated a total of 2,954 flights, out of which 13 per cent or 368 flights experienced delays of more than one hour. This was followed by Malaysia Airlines which operated 1,447 flights, with three per cent or 44 flights delayed.
“In addition, MASwings operated 656 flights, with 10 per cent or 64 flights delayed, and Firefly operated 680 flights, with two per cent or 15 flights delayed. Whereas Batik Air (previously known as Malindo Air) operated 555 flights with one per cent or 4 flights delayed,” it said.
MAVCOM said that for flight delays beyond two hours, the initial analysis revealed that 71 per cent or 119 flights were delayed due to operational factors including lack of standby aircraft, unscheduled night stops due to crew legality hours, and consequential late arrivals, among others.
Additionally, the commission said this was followed by technical factors such as damage to aircraft, non-scheduled maintenance and lack of spares or maintenance equipment, which collectively contributed to 25 per cent or 41 flights delayed beyond two hours.
“Both operational and technical factors combined contributed to 96 per cent or 160 flights of the total flight delays beyond two hours during the travelling period. The other factors were related to bad weather conditions,” it said.
The commission is undertaking a further investigation on the provision of care for 160 flight delays beyond two hours to ascertain if the necessary care as stipulated under the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code (MACPC) were provided to consumers.
It said consumers affected by flight delays due to operational and technical factors require the provision of meals, telephone calls and Internet access for delays of two hours or more, as well as accommodation and transport, if a stay becomes necessary, for delays of five hours or more.
MAVCOM executive chairman Datuk Seri Saripuddin Kasim said the MACPC was put in place to ensure that the rights of air travel consumers are protected and airlines must abide by the law.
“Consumers should be automatically offered care as per the MACPC and not be expected to request for care from the airlines.
“The commission is currently validating the justifications provided by relevant airlines regarding the provision of care during flight delays within the period under review.
“MAVCOM will not hesitate to exercise its powers if the justifications provided do not fulfil the requirements of the MACPC,” he said.
Saripuddin said depending on the nature and extent of any non-compliance, airlines may be imposed a financial penalty of up to RM200,000 for the first offence, and 10 times the fine of its previous offence for a second or subsequent non-compliance of the MACPC.
“As an economic and commercial regulator for the aviation industry, it is our duty to ensure that an objective and in-depth investigation is carried out before any action is undertaken by the commission.
“In line with our mandate, MAVCOM aims to support a commercially viable and resilient civil aviation industry, while empowering consumers to protect their rights as air travel consumers,” he said.
The commission also urges all airlines to play a role in educating consumers on their air travel rights as per paragraph 19 of the MACPC.
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