Is Captain Loke the “Minister of AirAsia”?

Captain Loke was seen in public together with his buddy Tan Sri Tony Fernandes of AirAsia recently. They must be discussing about the weather!

Last year YB Anthony Loke a.k.a “Captain Loke” was seen in an AirAsia’s aircraft to announce Chinese New Year greetings to the Sabahans on their ‘balik kampung’ trip. No other ministers in history had ever done this before and no present Minister could emulate him. He is the greatest Minister of all times. Unfortunately he chose to greet only passengers of AirAsia.  We thought that it was just a one off thing. It was not.

The “Shiok Sendiri” Captain Loke was making announcement in AirAsia’s aircraft. He is the greatest Minister of all times!

As early as in December 2018, Captain Loke was already showing sign of his vision of wanting to become the “Minister of AirAsia”.   Many thought that was not the case.

When the PSC for international travellers flying out from our airports was increased to RM73, AirAsia was the only airline that was unhappy with the said decision of MAVCOM.  MAVCOM had done careful evaluations and plannings before arriving at the RM73 PSC.  No airline in Malaysia and for that matter in the world, had ever opposed the implementation of the gazetted PSC of airports. One thing good about Captain Loke’s favourite airline, AirAsia, is that it  only dare to protest against the increased in PSC in Malaysia but not in other foreign airports. In foreign airports AirAsia quietly accept all PSC rate, which are much higher than ours, and paid them on time too! What a good corporate citizen! In Malaysia it had protested the use of aerobridge but it happily used aerobridges in the overseas airports.

PSC Are Paid By Passengers In Advance – Airlines Have No Reason To Owe

PSC are paid in advance by passengers and airline including AirAsia are the collecting agents for MAHB. However, AirAsia refused to collect the gazetted PSC of RM73 for passengers flying out from Malaysia airports. MAHB had instituted legal actions against AirAsia and AirAsias X to recover the outstanding PSC and other charges amounting to more than RM40 mil.  Well, this was not the first time that AirAsia Group owed PSC and other charges to MAHB.

On 14 December 2018, Captain Loke had announced that he will mediate in the claims by MAHB against AirAsia, HERE.  Captain Loke had no business to interfere by trying to “mediate” the outstanding PSC and other charges which were due and payable to MAHB.  It is unheard of the Minister of Transport in other countries involved themselves in airline refusal to collect and pay up gazetted PSC. Captain Loke stands out against all ministers of other countries.

AirAsia Was Demanding For the Reduction Of RM23 PSC

Ever since the implementation of the increased of PSC to RM73 year AirAsia had been screaming and demanding for the reduction of RM23 PSC but MAVCOM didn’t entertain their demand. When MAHB sued them for outstanding PSC and other charges amounting to more than RM40 million. AIrAsia demanded MAVCOM to to mediate in the so-called dispute, which MAVCOM had turned in down.

May 2019 AirAsia Applied To Court To Order MAVCOM To Mediate

On or about 15 May 2019, AirAsia had the audacity to file an action in court for judicial review asking the High Court to order MAVCM to intervene to mediate in the said “dispute”, HERE.   On 25 June 2019, the High Court had rightly dismissed the AirAsia action for judicial review, HERE.  In the mean time Captain Loke’s great enthusiasm to “mediate” the so-called “dispute” had also fizzled out in thin air.

Captain Loke Had Unilaterally Announced The Reduction Of RM23 PSC

On 30 August 2019, the greatest Minister of Transport coincidentally made an announcement that the reduction of RM23 PSC for international flights from all airports in Malaysia , except KLIA. The said reduction will be effective on 1 October 2019, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE.  It must be noted that Captain Loke’s said announcement was made without consulting MAVCOM, when he knew very well or he ought to have known that the power to impose or reduce or increase the rate of  PSC lies exclusively with MAVCOM and not the Minister of Transport. The said powers have been enshrined in the MAVCOM Act. The legal advisors in Ministry of Transport knew  about the MAVCOM Act and must have advised Captain Loke accordingly but due to his arrogance and great obsession for AirAsia that may have caused him to usurp the power of MAVCOM under the said Act.

After Captain Loke’s said ill-thought-out announcement, on 30 September 2019 AirAsia had announced that it will follow Captain Loke’s order on the reduction of RM23 PSC and that it will collect only RM50.00 PSC.  No one was surprised by this announcement as the said reduction of RM23 in PSC was the exact sum that Tony Fernandes and/or AIrAsia had been campaigning for.  Perhaps it was a mere coincident that the reduction of RM23 PSC was also the exact sum as  demanded by AirAsia!  Great men think alike!  Captain Loke is the undisputed greatest Minister of Transport of all times.

However, 1st October came and gone, the reduction of RM23 PSC was not gazetted until this day. No other airlines followed Captain Loke’s order except AirAsia. Well, may be other airlines have been advised by their respective legal advisors that airline had to follow the law and collect the gazetted PSC, which is RM73.  MAHB will have to collect the PSC as gazetted as that is the regulated PSC. All ticketing processes are controlled by IATA and IATA will not alter any changes on PSC without proof of the government gazette.  Surely as from 1 October 2019, under the law all airlines were duty bound  to collect the RM73 PSC from all international passengers departing from all airports in Malaysia until MAVCOM has gazetted a new rate.

It is without doubt that MAHB will collect from AirAsia Group the full RM73 PSC regardless of Captain Loke’s announcement and/or AirAsia had collected a lesser sum.  MAHB will have to take legal actions to recover the outstanding PSC  like what it did last year.  On 18 July 2019 the High Court had ordered AirAsia to pay up RM40 million unpaid airport charges to MAHB, HERE!

AirAsia’s Imposition Of Hidden Charges like KLIA-2 & Other Processing Fees

The Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) had announced that starting June 1 2019, it is compulsory for all airlines in Malaysia to remove processing fee in accordance with the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016 (MACPC). The total fares must be shown from the very outset and not be added before the passengers make payment.  On 5 August 2019, the excerpt of the report of The Edge, stated as follows:

“It has been airlines’ practice in the past where the price increases after selections are made due to additional charges which were not disclosed from the outset,” the regulator said.

As such, it may seem that AirAsia and AAX would be liable for contravening the MACPC as they will still be charging a processing fee on passengers until Sept 30.

Currently, AirAsia and AAX passengers have to pay a processing fee of RM4 for debit cards and as much as RM16 for paying with UnionPay. However, if a passenger opts to make payment using AirAsia’s e-wallet application BigPay, there is no processing fee involved.

In January, AirAsia also had to stop charging a RM3 fee on its passengers departing from klia2, after Mavcom made it illegal for airlines and airport operators to impose unnecessary charges on passengers under the enhanced consumer protection code. The fee was introduced on May 9, 2014, when the carrier moved its operations to klia2 from the former low-cost carrier terminal in Sepang. AirAsia had said the charge was imposed to offset the group’s cost of being compelled to use the terminal’s facilities such as aerobridges and the SITA check-in/boarding systems.

Based on Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd’s (MAHB) annual report for 2018, AirAsia Group carried 30.16 million domestic and international passengers at klia2. Assuming half of them were departing passengers, a back-of-the-envelope calculation indicates that RM45.24 million was collected by AirAsia from the RM3 klia2 fee alone.

AirAsia did not disclose the amount it had collected through the processing fee or the RM3 klia2 fee in its 2018 annual report.  

For full report of The Edge, please read HERE.

It would appear from the said Edge’s report that with a stroke of the pen, MAVCOM had immediately stopped AirAsia Group from making RM45.24 million (according to the above report by The Edge) which derived from its collection of the ridiculous “KLIA-2 Fees”, which no other airlines using KLIA-2 charged. More appropriately put, the consumers/travelling public have been saved the sum of RM45.24 million on “KLIA-2 Fees” alone. How about other “Processing Fees” imposed by AIrAsia Group? It should be more than RM45.24 million.

On 11 September 2019, MAVCOM had fined AirAsia and AirAsia X RM200,000.00 each for violating the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016 (MACPC). Please read the full Malaysian Reserve Report, HERE.

Rumour has it that MAVCOM will be taking more serious action against unscrupulous airlines for violating the MACPC. Lets buy our pop corns and wait to see which airline will be fined in the near future or imposing hidden charges.

AirAsia Sued Yours Truly For Defamation & It Ended Up Paying RM50,000 Cost

On April 2015 yours truly wrote an article in this blog entitled “Why Liow ( the former Minister of Transport) Encouraged AirAsia to owe RM50 million PSC/Airport Tax?”   In the same article yours truly also accused of AirAsia charged its passengers with hidden charges like ‘RM3 KLIA-2 Fees’. AirAsia sued your truly for defamation in the High Court. The trial went on for several days. The Learned High Court Judge found that yours truly’s said article complained of “was true or substantially true” and ordered AirAsia to pay cost of RM50,000.00. Please read: “Now Everyone Can Know The Truth – Part 1” & “Now Everyone Can Know The Truth – Part 2”.

MAVCOM had already found AirAsia Group had violated the MACPC for imposing hidden charges including the “RM3 KLIA-2 Fees” and other processing fees and fined AirAsia and AirAsia X RM200,000.00 each.  The said decision had now confirmed what yours truly had written about hidden charges was true and reinforced the said High Court decision.  ‘Now Everyone Knew The Truth’ except the child like Captain Loke, who is still indulging in obsession and wilful blindness! What a curious habit for an adult and a minister at that.

Consumers Must Support MAVCOM Against Captain Loke

The consumers must support the earnest efforts made by MAVCOM to protect consumer rights and interests from unscrupulous airlines that imposed hidden charges and exploited the consumers. Instead of Captain Loke applauded and encouraged the MAVCOM’s said actions to stop the said hidden charges, he went on a rampage to attack MAVCOM to the extend of abolishing it. Thanks God that MAVCOM was NOT under the purview of Ministry of Transport, so he could not at his whim and fancy abolished MAVCOM.  MAVCOM was set up by an Act of Parliament, so it will not be so easy for Captain Loke to abolish it after all. He will have to introduce a Bill in Parliament, which is not that easy.  It will take months. By which time many things may have happened and Captain Loke may not be around to do his nonsense no more. Lets pray that a new Minister of Transport be appointed to protect the consumers.

It is evident that throughout Captain Loke’s tenure in Ministry of Transport he has never spoke out against airlines which imposed hidden charges in their fare structures and/or for violating the MACPC.

All consumers must campaign against Captain Loke’s very ill-thought-out idea to abolish MAVCOM which decision was affront to consumer rights and interest. Surely it can not be part of the manifestos of the parties in the PH to abolish a body set up by Parliament to protect public interests.

Captain Loke’s Ministry Works With AirAsia On Fixed Rate Tickets

Extreme right: Captain Loke, the AirAsia’s ‘Super Salesman’, was happily pointing his finger on the advertised fixed rate fare of RM99! What a brilliant salesman Captain Loke is!

A few days ago Captain Loke is true to form. He is in the lime light with AirAsia again. On 3 January 2020 he cannot wait to announce that his Ministry is working together with AirAsia to offer fixed rate tickets for Sabahans in KL flying back to Sandakan and Tawau before Chinese New Year. Why not Kota Kinabalu? He had also announced the same for AirAsia flights from KL to Kuching but not for Sabu and Miri. Why can the fixed rate be extended for those Malaysians flying from KL to all airports throughout Malaysia. Why is the Ministry of Transport practices discrimination?

Why is the Ministry of Transport not working together with other airlines like MAS, Firefly, Malindo and others? Why the discrimination and bias?

Why was there a need to abolish MAVCOM? Is Captain Loke is trying to help someone to fulfil his agenda by abolishing MAVCOM?

Captain Loke also asked Malaysians to wait until this today (7 January) for him to announce the so-called goodies or a.k.a. “The Captain Loke’s SPECIAL” – “the fixed rate fares”!

Malaysians are paying the monthly salaries and perks for Captain Loke.  Why is Captain Loke is not looking after the interest of the consumers?

Captain Loke:  You are only fit to be the “Minister of AirAsia” period!!!

P/s YM Raja Azmi Raja Nazuddin‘s (the CEO of MAHB) abrupt’s departure is definitely a cause for our attention to follow the latest development in MAHB and/or the aviation industry.  Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh, the former COO, is now the new CEO.  By coincident again that Dato Mohd Shukrie was formerly from AirAsia. Let observe the development, the movements from Khazanah, which its the main shareholder in MAHB.  The abrupt resignation of Raja Azmi is a subject that deserves a separate posting. Lets hope that Raja Azmi had been given a good Golden Handshake, that he cannot refused! 

Now Everyone Can Know The Truth!

AirAsia was the only airline that charged KLIA2 fees!

AirAsia’s press statement seemed to suggest that the RM3 KLIA2 fees was imposed by MAHB. Its statement prompted an immediate respond from MAHB which had categorically denied that it had imposed the RM3 KLIA fees, HERE.

Since 9 May 2014 AirAsia (AA) when AA moved to KLIA2 it had been collecting RM3 KLIA2 Fees from its passengers. In 2017 it had been reported that AA had ferried 15 million out bound passengers.  Therefore, AA had netted at least RM40 million of KLIA2 fees (15 mil X RM3). It will not be wrong to say that for the past 4 years (from 2015 to 2018) AA had netted more than RM100 million for KLIA2 fees. It will be much more if we were to include the credit card processing fees of RM8 per transaction!

AA was in great pain to justify the collection of KLIA2 fee by stating that it had to pay for SITA (the common passengers check-in system used in KLIA2 and KLIA) and aerobridge. Hence the charge of RM3. It must be noted that SITA and aerobridge are used in many international airports including Singapore Changi Airport.  In fact the charge for aerobridge in KLIA2 is RM85 for 3 hours and it is the cheapest in the region. In Singapore Changi Airport the aerobridge charge is S$220 for an aircraft load of 251-350 seating capacity.

AA should also imposed a similar KLIA2 fees for being compelled to use SITA and aerobridge in Singapore Changi Airport and other airports like Bangkok, Chiangmai and others!  I bet AA will not dare to compalin let alone impose such fees in other airports.   AA dares to could only bully Malaysians and MAHB because we have a Ministry of Transport which suffers from willful blindness or ‘mabuk’ with … !

Aerobridge is for convenience of passengers especially for the handicaps, elderly and children.

SITA charge is about US$0.27 per passenger/transaction which is equivalent to RM1.12 (based on current exchange rate of RM4.15). It is part of the airlines operating cost.  The charge for aerobridge in KLIA2 is RM85 for 3 hours. In the case of AA, it could use the aerobridge for disembarking and embarking passengers. Based on the load of the AA aircraft of 300 per flight, a rough estimate cost for the use of the aerobridge is about 28 Sen per passenger.

Therefore, the total cost/charge for SITA and aerobridge is about RM1.40 per passenger. Assuming that it was proper for AA to collect RM3 KLIA2 fees, AA had “profited” RM1.60 (RM3 – RM1.40=RM1.60) per passenger for the past 4 years. It must be noted that no other airlines operating at KLIA2 imposed KLIA2 fees for SITA and aerobridge, which they are also using.

It must be noted that MAVCOM had came out with new regulations to ban hidden charges imposed by airline. It is awaiting to be gazetted. Out of a sudden AA announced that it will stop the collection of the RM3 KLIA2 fees, HERE.

The cancellation of KLIA2 fees at this eleventh hour is an afterthought and more of a face saving exercise.

 

The “Handling Fees”

Below are the “HANDLING FEES” by AA.  We hope that MAVCOM will examine these handling charges especially the “processing fees’ for credit card.

Handling Fee
Processing Fee (direct debit) (per guest per booking) MYR 4
Processing Fee (debit card) (per guest per sector) MYR 6
Processing Fee (credit and charge cards) (per guest per sector) MYR 8
Refund (per guest per sector) MYR 15
Booking service fee (per guest per booking) MYR 20

PSC for No-Show Passengers

Lets look the refund of PSC paid by passenger and the handling fees for the refund for no show passengers. PSC is not part of the cost of the ticket. It should be automatically refunded to no show passengers because AA has no right to forfeit it. In August 2011 the Minister of Transport had informed parliament that AirAsia had collected about RM6,432,697.00 and AirAsia X RM498,00.00, HERE.  By now the total figures should be much higher. The PSC for no-show passengers should be automatically refunded or hand over to the Registrar of Unclaimed Money Department.  In the High Court AA’s Chief Financial Officer, Mr Shin Kok Leong, had testified that AA had treated the PSC for no show passengers as part of its income.  Minister of Transport and MAVCOM must investigate this.

Below is the MAHB chart for PSC.

Revised PSC,
effective 1 July 2018 (RM)
Domestic ASEAN International
(Excluding ASEAN)
KLIA 11 35 73
klia2 11 35 73

Assuming that a no-show passenger wants to claim back the PSC fro domestic flight, he or she will have to pay RM15 as the so-called “handling fees” to AA in order get back RM11.  What a joke!

How could the Ministry of Transport allow the KLIA-2 fees to be collected since May 2015 until 7 January 2018 and the so-called “handling fees”?

Lets hope that the Ministry of Transport, YB Anthony Loke (Minister of Transport) and/or MAVCOM will look into these so-called “HANDLING FEES” with the view to ban them in the aviation industry.

Does AirAsia deserve to be the “Golden Child” / “Ibarat Anak Mas”?

Rt: Tan Sri Tony Fernandes must be pleased that the Government has declared that AirAsia is the "Golden Child".
Rt: Tan Sri Tony Fernandes. He must be pleased that the Government has declared that AirAsia is the “Golden Child” / “Ibarat Anak MAS”.

AirAsia has been complaining so much about the delay and the escalating costs of KLIA2. The said complaints were  highlighted by YB Tony Pua as usual.  Please “Tony Spins, Tony takes it up”. Continue reading “Does AirAsia deserve to be the “Golden Child” / “Ibarat Anak Mas”?”

MAHB should ignore “Low Cost Mentality”!

YB Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, the chairman of AirAsia X Sdn Bhd. By the way, has AirAsiaX/AirAsia refunded all the airport taxes collected from the un-traveled passengers totalling more than RM6 million?

“Timeliness and a concrete black and white commitment on fixed airport charges in the new low-cost carrier terminal is needed to cool down the ongoing tension between AirAsia Chief Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), says Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz. Continue reading “MAHB should ignore “Low Cost Mentality”!”