KUALA LUMPUR- The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) today refuted AirAsia chief executive officer Tony Fernandes’ claims that the airline was pressured to cancel an additional 120 flight during the 14th General Elections period.
In a statement today, Mavcom said it viewed the claims seriously and has lodged a police report against Fernandes over the allegation.
Mavcom said they had in fact approved all 66 additional flights which Air Asia had applied for on Apr 23 itself.
“We view Tony Fernandes’ accusation against Mavcom of asking AirAsia to cancel ‘120 extra flights which would have carried 26,000 people on top of our normal flights’ as baseless and malicious.
“The Commission has never issued such directive to any airlines including AirAsia to reduce or cancel any flights where regulatory requirements had been met,” it said referring to a video of Fernandes justifying why he endorsed Najib’s administration just before the recent general election.
In the statement, Mavcom also explained that initially, AirAsia had on April 13 and 18, requested for a total of 54 additional flights, which it approved.
On Apr 20, the low-cost airline requested for an additional 86 flights.
“However, on Apr 23 at 8.17am, the commission received a revised flight application for 66 additional flights for the period of May 6 to May 13, 2018, from AirAsia, superseding its earlier applications.
“In its e-mail submission, AirAsia specified that its previous applications should be disregarded. The commission took note of this revision and subsequently approved this revised request on the same day,” the statement read.
Mavcom said that it considers these claims to be “serious allegations” and reassured an immediate investigation is underway.
It was reported that Fernandes claimed that he was under a lot of pressure from the Barisan Nasional-led government.
He had uploaded a video on his Facebook page, which saw him attributing the low-cost carrier’s success to the BN government.
This angered Netizens and Malaysians at large, where calls to boycott AirAsia were issued.
On May 13, Fernandes released another video to apologise.- New Straits Times