Tony Fernandes, through his Twitter account today, accused the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) of hindering progress
According to the AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), the reason behind the substantial increase in airport taxes and the difficulty in getting route clearances while having the capacity restricted has been there since the existence of Mavcom.
Tony took the Malaysian Aviation Commission to task in his tweets earlier this morning.
Recently, Mavcom rejected AirAsia's applications to add more flights for Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan route and the KL to Haikou route
According to a report in Malay Mail, Mavcom declined AirAsia's application to increase its route frequency for Haikou and for Sandakan on the grounds of current market conditions, urging the airline to re-apply for the additional scheduled services to the locations when market demands had "significantly changed."
In defending its decision, the Malaysian Aviation Commission said that it looks to facilitate orderly growth, competition and consumer choice over the long term, and the prevention of consumer inconvenience, in the allocation of air traffic rights (ATRs).
The reasons the applications were rejected, Mavcom said in a statement, was due to the risk of overcapacity, where the supply of seats far exceeds passenger demand.
"In allocating ATRs, the Commission facilitates orderly growth and is concerned for the risk of overcapacity as this could lead to flight cancellations and merging of flights, which will inconvenience consumers," Mavcom said.
"In addition, overcapacity gives rise to a risk of a carrier exiting a route, and therefore lessening competition and consumer choice on that route in the long-term."
However, the AirAsia GCEO, in his series of tweets, argued that if commercial airlines want to fly in routes that would stop taxpayers' money from going to subsidised routes then it should be allowed
"Makes no sense to subsidise a route if commercial airlines are ready to do the route," Tony tweeted, before adding that AirAsia's role has been to increase tourism and connectivity and lower fares. "We do this by increasing frequency."
Tony also retweeted a subtweet by an individual named Dr Paul Chan, who listed his base in Sandakan. Dr Paul Chan, in his subtweet, said that there is "no issue of overcapacity" in Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan flights.
"My team uses this route frequently and the current available flights are NOT enough," the Sandakan based individual tweeted while tagging Transport Minister Anthony Loke in his subtweet, asking the Ministry to take a look into the matter.
Mavcom and AirAsia have been entangled in a war of words after the 14th General Election (GE14) with allegations of the Malaysian Aviation Commission acting against the lowcost airline during GE14
More recently, Mavcom was in the limelight after it was revealed that the aviation governing body's executive chairman earns a whopping salary of RM85,000 a month, paid by flight passengers