Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Mavcom truly in a quandary

Mavcom has been very quick to act to close down smaller airlines in the past for the slightest reasons but appears to be a passive bystander when it comes to bigger players.

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It just warms the heart to see our corporate figures being so nice and responsible, but what makes your heart warmer is the response from the authority that is supposed to manage all these, when they issued a tough, loud and ferocious letter “to urge” the company to reconsider.

What the CEO of the troubled airline was saying in the Nov 25 news report was basically blackmail. He was saying that if he is closed down, passengers get nothing, hoping that Mavcom will not close him down, and Mavcom duly responded with the “to urge” letter.

Mavcom is in a real quandary now.

On the one hand Mavcom has been claiming in a not-so-quiet manner that it exists to protect the flying public, among other things. Those “other things” are as murky as a glass of teh tarik but that’s another story. On the other hand here is a situation that is obviously not in the best interest of the consumer and which involves blatant blackmail. Mavcom is now between a rock and a hard place. Not a very enviable position.

Now, what is a commission to do?

Looking at Mavcom’s fine history over the years, they have passed down their learned judgments to close down quite a number of smaller and start-up airlines for far lesser offences as is the case now. What about the interest of passengers back then? Or the creditors. Or the staff and their families. Never mind all those collateral casualties. Mavcom knows best.

Now along comes a major player, public listed no less. This airline has been bleeding from day one, did Mavcom not see that?

Everybody worth his salt in aviation knows that long-haul low-cost doesn’t work, cannot work and no amount of make-believe can make it work. That concept has been tried and tested and it has failed. Freddie Laker tried it in the 70s plus several others in between then and now. All failed including the Icelandic WOW Air to mention one of the recent casualties.

Giving them a licence and allowing them to operate is one thing but watching it bleed year after year and not doing anything until something like this happens is sad.

Mavcom has been very quick to act to close down (nothing less) those smaller airlines in the past for the smallest and easily rectifiable reasons but in this case it has been a passive bystander. Mavcom has been so ineffective that a company that it is supposed to oversee now dares to come around and blackmail it in the popular press.

But at long last it managed to issue a letter to urge to the airline to re-consider its decisions. One wonders if that is all that a commission can do with all the laws and legislations backing it. When once upon a time it was very quick to hand down judgments, one still wonders what changed. At the very least that is a clear misappropriation of authority, if not incompetence. Nobody knows what the higher end of that narrative is.

So in the end, it’s the flying public who pays. Pays to Mavcom and pays the price. The very pitch that Mavcom has been shouting is now bare for all to see.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of MalaysiaNow.

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