There's a new airline in the country
It is said to be operating from the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport in Ipoh with two flights weekly to Baiyun International Airport in Guangzhou, China every Wednesday and Saturday.
The airline had its inaugural flight from Ipoh to Guangzhou on Wednesday, 27 November, where prior to take-off, the flight was given a customary "water salute", Bernama reported.
The airline's flight then flew back from Guangzhou to Ipoh earlier today, 1 December.
The airline is named Scanda Sky
While on its website it lists itself as "a new airplane charter company", Scanda Sky has been marketing its services as well as advertising itself as a commercial airline in Malaysia, reported New Straits Times.
On its maiden flight on Wednesday, it carried 40 passengers and "about 44 passengers flew back" from China on Sunday, according to Scanda Sky's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Stanley Hu, reported The Star.
The airline's website says that all "Perakians are entitled to an RM200 discount".
Who is behind Scanda Sky?
Scanda Sky came into being in May this year when the company signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Amal, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG).
Back then, The Star had reported Perak Exco Chairman of Tourism, Culture, and Art Tan Kar Hing saying that a Boeing 737 with a capacity of between 150 to 180 passengers will be used by Scanda Air
"The pricing is not fixed yet, but just like other airlines, there will be seasonal and hot seat prices available as well," Tan was quoted as saying by the English daily.
Its founder is a woman named Tengku Faizwa Tengku Razif, according to her LinkedIn profile.
However, Scanda Sky not a licensed airline
According to a report in The Borneo Post Online, the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) has issued a statement advising the public that Scanda Sky is not a licensed airline company.
Mavcom also issued a warning letter to the airline company to stop marketing its services as well as any advertising which depicted it as a commercial airline company, the report said.
The Malaysian Aviation Commission has alleged that Scanda Sky may have misrepresented itself to the public that it is a Malaysian carrier
In its statement on Friday, 29 November, Mavcom said Scanda Sky does not hold an air service licence (ASL) or an air service permit (ASP) issued either by the commission under the Malaysian Aviation Commission Act 2015 [Act 771] or under the Civil Aviation Act 1969 [Act 3].
"An ASL or ASP is required for the carriage of passengers, mail or cargo by air, for hire or reward whether it is on a scheduled or non-scheduled journey between two or more places of which at least one location is in Malaysia," the Mavcom statement read.
"As such, Scanda Sky may have misrepresented itself to the public via the said news reports and its website that it is a Malaysian carrier permitted to operate such services."
According to the aviation regulator, Scanda Sky advertises and promotes commercial scheduled flights in its website, thus suggesting it is an airline.
Scanda Sky has now denied portraying itself as an airline company
The airline's denial comes after Mavcom's warning on Friday.
A report in The Star quoted the airline's CEO Stanly Hu saying that they merely chartered flights from existing licensed airline companies including Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAS) for tour packages.
The CEO claimed that while the airline "did indeed advertised and promoted that scheduled flights would be provided", it wasn't meant to be like a commercial airline company.
"The sale of tickets currently shown on the website is a no-commitment two-week promotional gimmick offered by Scanda Sky to the public to experience what it is like to take up tour packages that included the chartered flights," Stanly Hu said in a statement, as reported by The Star.
"After the first two weeks, all seats on the flights that Scanda Sky charter from the existing airlines could only be procured from affiliated tour agencies, tour groups or other entities licensed to provide tour packages. These companies will have their payment gateway or their site linked to our site."
Hu alleges they were never properly contacted and given reasonable time and opportunity to clarify the suspicions raised by Mavcom
"Mavcom had not used a proper manner to clarify the matter with Scanda Sky before releasing a statement that is damaging to the reputation of Scanda Sky," Hu was quoted as saying.
According to Hu, about nine passengers did not board the airplane in Ipoh yesterday, 30 November, after Mavcom realised its statement to media on Friday.
"We hope Mavcom will take more precaution before releasing future statements. We shall also meet with them to discuss their statement and how both parties can work together."
Meanwhile, the Scanda Sky website now displays this pop-up