Tuesday, 29 May 2018

(The Star) Mavcom reviewing airfare service charges

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) is reviewing passenger service charge (PSC) rates and the viability of setting ceiling prices for airfares during festive seasons, says Transport Minister Anthony Loke.

“If possible, we would like to implement the new rates by next year,” Loke said after meeting Mavcom representatives at their office here.

Currently the PSC for domestic, Asean, and international destinations outside Asean, is set at RM11, RM35 and RM73 per person.

Loke said the implication of setting ceiling prices for airfares, for those returning home during festive seasons, must be studied first.

“This cannot be done immediately. The impact on the industry must be studied,” he said.

Loke also said that after paying off Mavcom’s operational costs, the remaining amount collected from the RM1 Regulatory Service Charge (RSC) would be used to develop the aviation industry.

The estimated collection from RSC is about RM35mil a year while Mavcom’s operating expenditure stands at about RM25mil.

“The collection raised is enough to fund Mavcom’s operational costs, and the remaining money would be put into a fund to develop the aviation industry, such as for training,” he said.

“On the search for MH370, a decision will be made after it is discussed at the Cabinet meeting,” he said.

On AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes’ allegations that Mavcom had ordered the cancellation of 120 additional flights in the run-up to the general election, Loke said the issue would be handled by the police.

He said any directive to cancel flights would not come from his ministry.

In George Town, the Consumer Association of Penang (CAP) pointed out that Mavcom has been efficient in handling passenger complaints and keeping airlines in check.

Its president S.M. Mohamed Idris said all of Mavcom’s data could be found on its website and claims that it was not transparent is untrue.

He added the RM1 RSC is a reasonable charge considering Mavcom is no longer being funded by the Government.

He said the consumer group has received numerous complaints from consumers against airlines over the years on matters like lost baggage, no refunds given, uninformed flight time changes and more.

“Since Mavcom was established, there has been a drastic drop in such complaints. Mavcom needs to stay for the sake of airline passengers,” he said in a statement.