TTDI, 10 Nov: You hardly hear Tony Fernandes' long-time business partner Kamarudin Meranun whine about anything. Least of all in public. The AirAsia X group CEO's complaint in the media about the Malaysian Aviation Commission's move to give Malindo two traffic rights to Bangalore that AAX had "battled and fought" for, therefore, has got people talking.
Was Mavcom unfair to have given the two slots to AAX's competitor, when AAX - not Mavcom nor Malindo - was the one who had gotten the Malaysian government to negotiate for those extra flights with the Indian authorities?
It sure looks that way from where Din's coming from:
“We battled and fought to get those additional slots, but now it is being allocated to another airline that is not even using them,” Kamarudin said in Air Asia questions Mavcom over Bangalore flight slots - The Edge Financial Daily.
To its credit, Mavcom responded to Kamarudin immediately. The same Nov 7 Financial Daily quoted Mavcom as saying that it allocated the flight slots or air traffic rights based on criteria set out under the Malaysian Aviation Commission Act 2015, with key considerations including the effect on consumers, the industry and public interests. So in the case of the Kuala Lumpur–Bangalore route, it allocated 360 seats to Malindo Air and 24 seats to AirAsia in June. Following these allocations, Malindo Air operates 360 seats, AirAsia 744 seats per week, and Malaysia Airlines 1,920 seats.
“This translates into approximately two times weekly for Malindo Air, four times weekly for AirAsia and 12 times weekly for Malaysia Airlines. Mavcom’s rationale for the allocations performed in June 2017 include: widening the choice for consumers by granting two weekly services to Malindo Air as a new entrant on this route; and facilitating competition and preventing excessive market dominance by any single carrier,” said Mavcom.
I can see that Mavcom is going strictly by the book in trying to be equitable. Be that as it may, Kamarudin has a point. If Malindo isn't planning to use those slots, Mavcom should give them "back" to AAX. It's only right.