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MAVCOM fines AirAsia carriers and Malaysia Airports

The Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) has imposed fines on local AirAsia carriers and a Malaysia Airports (MAHB) subsidiary for various infringements.

AirAsia and AirAsia X were each fined MYR2 million ($491,000) for charging payment processing fees separately from base fares, which contravenes local laws on consumer protection.

This is their second violation, which attracted a tenfold increase on the MYR200,000 they were each fined in September 2019.

Separately, MAHB’s subsidiary MA Sepang was fined MYR856,900 for failing to meet service standards at Kuala Lumpur International airport between April and June 2019.

MAVCOM did not specify whether this was for the main KLIA terminal or the KLIA2 terminal that primarily services low-cost carriers.

Since the start of 2018, the AirAsia carriers have been involved in a dispute with MAHB over equalising passenger charges for southeast Asian passengers departing from the main and KLIA2 terminals.

AirAsia Group’s chief executive Tony Fernandes has argued that KLIA2 is a low-cost facility and should have lower passenger charges than the main KLIA terminal. This was repeatedly rejected by MAVCOM.

In December 2018, MAHB filed a lawsuit against the two airlines after they failed to remit the higher charges owed to the airport operator.

This was followed by a MYR480 million counterclaim by AirAsia and AirAsiaX against MA Sepang in January 2019, relating to losses and damages. This, they said, were caused by MA Sepang’s “negligence in the management, operation, maintenance, and provision of airport services and facilities at KLIA2” terminal building.