Mavcom lodges police report against Tony Fernandes, calling his claims ‘baseless and malicious’

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes had claimed that his airline was summoned by Mavcom and told to cancel additional flights scheduled to fly home voters.
Reuters

The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) has lodged a police report against AirAsia boss Tony Fernandes for his claims that the body had instructed AirAsia to cancel all 120 additional flights scheduled to fly home thousands of voters in time for the recent elections.

Mavcom called Fernandes’ accusations “baseless and malicious” and denied that it had summoned AirAsia, reported The Star.

“Mavcom has never issued any directive to AirAsia or any other airline to reduce or cancel any flights where regulatory requirements are met,” it said in a statement on Tuesday (May 15).

Mavcom said that on April 13 and 18, AirAsia had applied via the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia for a total of 54 additional flights which totalled 27 return flights with a maximum capacity of 13,660 passengers, to be operated during the GE14 period.

AirAsia also requested for an additional 86 flights on April 20, according to Free Malaysia Today.

Three days later, Mavcom said it had received a revised flight application for 66 additional flights from AirAsia superceding its earlier applications. The airline had also specified that its previous applications should be disregarded, said Mavcom.

“The Commission took note of this revision and subsequently approved this revised request on the same day,” said the statement.

On Sunday, Fernandes released a Facebook video apologising for “buckling under the pressure” after receiving flak for endorsing Barisan Nasional during the election campaign period.

He explained in the clip that the low-cost carrier had added 120 flights, which would have carried 26,000 people, on top of its regular flights and reduced its ticket prices as well.

He said: “The rakyat was overjoyed and unfortunately that put me under more pressure when it was realised by the government that we were ferrying so many voters.”

“Within 24 hours, we were summoned by the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) and told to cancel all those flights. That put us under again, tremendous pressure.”