Airlines to add RM1 surcharge for intl passengers to cover Mavcom costs

KUALA LUMPUR: All airlines will include RM1 in their air fare on all passengers departing from Malaysian airports next year.

The charge is expected to cover the Malaysian Aviation Commission's (Mavcom) operational cost as the government will not fund its activities from next year onwards.

Stating this, Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Ab Aziz Kaprawi told the Dewan Rakyat that it spent almost RM30 million on Mavcom's operational cost last year alone.

"We will table everything in this sitting. The annual report and audit including the financial statement of Mavcom.

"So the budget and operation cost will be included in the annual report. This will also answer all the queries on maintenance and operation," he said in his winding speech during the debate on the amendments to the Mavcom bill today.

Ab Aziz was responding to questions raised on the management and operational costs by opposition MPs during debate.

Meanwhile, Ab Aziz added he will ensure that Mavcom will look into the high flight cost issues faced mostly by East Malaysians who want to travel between Sabah and Sarawak, and from East Malaysia to the peninsula.

"As mentioned, Mavcom was formed to protect consumers' rights. So the commission will take proper action to ensure that (it) will protect the consumer rights.

"I will inform Mavcom to look into the profiteering problem. I will ensure that Mavcom takes action on all the issues raised here," he said.

These statements were in response to Alice Lau (DAP–Lanang), who said the price of Malaysian Airlines, even when booked now for travel in June next year is still expensive.

"The cost to fly from Sibu to Kota Kinabalu was never controlled, especially in festive seasons. We are told to book tickets earlier for cheaper cost but when I checked on Oct 5 the ticket from Sibu to KL to travel in June next year, the cost was RM1,698 on Malaysia Airlines. This is not even overseas.

"And now, when I checked it has increased to RM1,880 and this is not even a festive season. It is during school holidays. So what can Mavcom do to control the flight cost?" she said.