Updates at 3:00 pm on 21-1-2015: The Indonesian Minister of Transport, Ignasius Jonan told BBC today that: “Now route permits must be obtained four months before the flight and airlines will not be allowed to sell tickets before that.”, HERE. In the light of this statement, lets see whether AirAsia will remove the Melbourne – Bali route from its booking engine HERE.
Updates on 21-1-2015: In 2014 AirAsia X had set its launching date for Melbourne – Bali route on 26-12-2014. Now it had postponed it to 30-1-2015 because there was no approval from Australian and Indonesian aviation authorities. The delay in getting the approval was not due to the crashed of QZ8501 because delay happened before the disaster on 28-12-2014. It would appear that the impending approvals may not see the light of the day for a very long time due the the fragrant breach of rules and regulations as shown by AirAsia QZ8501. However, it is still selling flight tickets for this unapproved route.
On 19-1-2015 Herald Sun Australia had reported that AirAsia X, which is part of the AirAsia Group, has been selling flight tickets in advance for Melbourne to Bali. The said routes have not been approved by the Australian and Indonesian Civil Aviation Authorities.
The said flight was supposed to commence on Boxing Day (26-12-2014), just 2 days before the ill fated AirAsia QZ 8501 that crashed into Java Sea on 28-12-2014. Thousands of travellers bought A$99 tickets on the new routes. All flights for the said routes were cancelled at short notice.
The Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) confirmed it was considering AirAsia X’s request for a foreign air operator’s certificate. “Indonesia AirAsia X is part of the AirAsia group, but is not the same airline that operated QZ8501,” CASA spokesman Peter Gibson said. For full report please read HERE.
Yours truly would like to say Thank you to a reader and contributor by the name of Can of Worms for alerting and sharing the above news report with other readers.
In fact, on 27-12-2015 it has already been reported in The Age Australia with the headlines “Holidays thrown into chaos after AirAsia cancels direct Bali flight”. AirAsia X, which is part of the AirAsia Group and sharing the same booking engine with AirAsia under Booking.AirAsia.Com. The said Age report had already stated that:
Holidaymakers have had travel plans thrown into disarray after budget airline AirAsia X cancelled direct flights from Melbourne to Bali with only days’ notice.
The Malaysian budget airline was forced to cancel the flights after it failed to gain approval for the new route, which was due to start on December 26, from Australian and Indonesian aviation authorities.
This is despite the airline advertising and taking bookings for the direct flight as recently as this month. …
Angela Menz, also from Melbourne, was due to fly direct to Bali at 6.30 pm on Saturday, only to learn she would not depart until 1.45 am on Sunday.
“On Christmas Day I got a text to say the flight had been changed and that it was now going via Kuala Lumpur,” Miss Menz said.
“I’d pre-booked my hotel accommodation and paid for it and airport transfers, so that’s all gone to waste.
“We were originally arriving just after 10 pm tonight, but now I’m not arriving until the next day at midday.”
When Miss Menz, who was travelling to Bali for a one-week holiday with her boyfriend, called the airline, she was told the last-minute change was due to an “administrative issue”.
For full report please read HERE.
It is most unacceptable that an airline knowingly allow un-suspecting travelers to book tickets for routes that were not approved by the aviation authorities in Australia and Indonesia.
It is most obvious that innocent travelers were misled by the aggressive publicities by AirAsia X in Australia. Until this very day any innocent travelers going into the AirAsia booking engine to search for cheap fare from Melbourne to Bali would have been tricked into paying for the cheap fare and later to discover that there will be no such flight because the Melbourne – Bali route was never approved by Australian and Indonesian aviation authorities.
The above picture is the screenshot of the Booking.AirAsia.com (the AirAsia’s booking engine) that was taken by yours truly last night. This is the booking page for the AirAsia X flight from Melbourne to Bali departing on 21-1-2015 and returning on 30-1-2015.
Please look at the two red arrow signs. Both red arrows pointed to “5 more seats left or less. Grab it now.” This is most misleading. There was no approval for this route and yet AirAsia X had an almost sold out record for the ticket sales.
It is most unfortunate that innocent travelers were misled by the aggressive publicities by AirAsia X in Australia. Until this very day any innocent travelers going into the AirAsia booking engine searching for cheap fare from Melbourne to Bali they would have been tricked into paying for the cheap fare and later to discover that there will be no such flight because the Melbourne – Bali route was never approved by Australian and Indonesian aviation authorities.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
In December 2012 AirAsia was fined A$200,000.00 by Australian Court for publishing misleading advertisements. Perhaps the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission might want to look at all the advertisements by AirAsia X in Australia promoting the non-existence route of Melbourne – Bali and the above AirAsia’s booking engine and determine whether it is fair for AirAsia X to practice forward selling of route that is non-existence under the law.
Such unethical business practice must be weeded out because it will only cause untold miseries for the consumers. Malaysian Government should also be looking into this unethical trade practice or business model, which will no doubt bring Malaysia into disrepute in the international scene because AirAsia/AirAsia X is based in Malaysia.
ADMINISTRATIVE ISSUE & ADMINISTRATIVE NEGLIGENCE
It would appear that when faced with problem of any kind, AirAsia has a special liking to camouflage the mistakes or problems caused by themselves with the word “ADMINISTRATIVE … “. What a convenience words for spinning purposes!
In the above case, when faced with the above problem the Australian travelers, who have booked on Melbourne – Bali flight, have been told by AirAsia X that the last minute cancellation of the flight was due to “ADMINISTRATIVE ISSUE” as reported in the Herald Sun above. It was not an administrative issue but part of the business model of AirAsia to entice travelers to part with their money without caring whether it was ethical or not.
You will recall that when AirAsia flight QZ8501 crashed into Java Sea on 28-12-2014. On 6-1-2015 the Indonesian Minister of Transport, the Honourable Ignatius Jonan, had made a public announcement that AirAsia flight QZ 8501 operated on 28-12-2014 (Sunday) from Surabaya to Singapore. The Minister had also said that the CEO of AirAsia, Tony Fernandez, had admitted to him that AirAsia flight QZ 8501 operated without permit. The Minister had also stated that AirAsia was allowed to fly from Surabaya to Singapore four days a week , Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Flight QZ8501 flew on Sunday. Please read HERE, HERE, HERE.
Of course, Tony Fernandez strongly denied that he had made the above admission to the Indonesian Minister of Transport and categorically stated that AirAsia had approval from the Indonesian Aviation Authority to fly seven day a week from Surabaya to Singapore. On 7-1-2015 Tony Fernandez had been quoted to have said:
We have the right to fly Surabaya-Singapore. We had flown that schedule and had rights for seven days a week.
For full report please read HERE.
On 13-1-2014 AirAsia director Sunu Widyatnoko has the audacity to admit before the Members of the Commission V of the Indonesian House of Representatives that AirAsia was allowed to fly four times a week and he admitted that “Administrative Negligence” occurred when AirAsia VERBALLY request for approval and such request did not reach the Indonesian Ministry of Transport, HERE.
For the background stories of AirAsia and AirAsia X please read HERE.