Irresponsible act by MYAirlines affected 125,000 passengers - Loke

12 Oct 2023 08:29pm
Transport Minister Anthony Loke - BERNAMA PIX
Transport Minister Anthony Loke - BERNAMA PIX

KUALA LUMPUR - The Transport Ministry and the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) only learned last night that MyAirline Sdn Bhd has suspended its operations from today (Oct 12).

Transport Minister Anthony Loke admitted that he was taken by surprise by the matter and said he himself was disappointed by the airline's irresponsible action, which was damaging to the country's reputation as international passengers were also affected.

"Mavcom was caught completely off guard. They did not even officially inform Mavcom. I checked with Datuk Seri Saripuddin Kasim. As the executive chairman of Mavcom, he was not informed by MYAirline until we enquired and they confirmed that the suspension took effect at 6 am this morning," he told a press conference at Parliament Building today.

MYAirline Sdn Bhd, in a statement early this morning, said its operations were suspended effective today until further notice due to significant financial pressure.

Loke said the action, described as the first in the country, affected up to 125,000 passengers with ticket sales value of more than RM20 million as MYAirline had sold tickets until next March.

Disappointed by the incident, Loke said MYAirline should publicly apologise to all affected passengers, including those who were stuck at the airport today because they were not informed in advance of the suspension of services.

Loke said the ministry had directed Mavcom to set up a special committee to look into the matter and liaise with Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to ensure that all affected passengers receive refunds for their purchased tickets.

"MYAirline has assured Mavcom that it will honour its obligations to the affected passengers and make refunds as soon as they have financiers.

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"We understand that many passengers bought the tickets using credit cards. We are looking into cooperating with BNM to see if they (the bank) can make the refunds as soon as possible." Loke said.

MYAirline, which has only been operating for 10 months, operates eight aircraft and has about 900 employees, operating flights from KLIA Terminal 2 to eight domestic destinations (Penang, Kota Bharu, Langkawi, Kota Kinabalu, Sibu, Tawau, Kuching and Miri) and one international destination (Bangkok).

Loke also thanked Malaysia Airlines, Firefly, Batik Air and AirAsia for offering assistance and discounted fares to affected passengers who sought alternative flights.

Malaysia Airport Holdings Bhd will also assist the affected passengers by providing special counters and waiting areas and by issuing meal vouchers, he said.

Mavcom had approve the issuance of an Air Service Licence (ASL) to MYAirline Sdn. Bhd for a period of 12 months effective Nov 15, 2022. - BERNAMA

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