Mavcom admits can’t ground Eaglexpress outside Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 28 ― Local charter airline Eaglexpress Air Charter Sdn Bhd can still fly outside the country even though its Air Service Permit (ASP) has been revoked, the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) said.

The charter airline that was barred from operating domestically last week was recently discovered to have flown between Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to Algiers, Algeria, but under the name “Saudi Air”.

“If Eaglexpress is flying within two other countries [but not in Malaysia], the matter is not under Mavcom’s jurisdiction. However, they must abide by the respective jurisdictions’ laws and regulations,” an unnamed Mavcom representative was quoted saying by The Edge Financial Daily in a report today.

Mavcom said Eaglexpress has not broken the Malaysian Aviation Commission Act 2015 as long as it does not fly any commercial flights from or to a Malaysian destination.

If it does, it would have been an offence under Section 36(1) of the act, which is punishable by a fine not more than RM1 million, and a further fine of RM50,000 for every day of continued operation.

According to Section 36(1), no individual can carry passengers, mail, or cargo between two destinations ― of which at least one is in Malaysia ― except with the ASP.

However, The Edge also reported that Saudi Arabia’s aviation authorities have started investigations against Eaglexpress’ operations in the Middle East following the withdrawal of its ASP by Mavcom.

The National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (Nufam) had earlier questioned how Eaglexpress was able to fly despite having its ASP revoked.

In a statement on December 25, the Nufam secretariat said that it had received complaints from the charter airline’s staff, who claimed to have received instructions to continue working after being grounded and expressed concern that their employer may be violating orders.

Mavcom revoked Eaglexpress’ ASP on December 21 due to the latter’s failure to meet specific conditions for the ASP within a stipulated timeframe.

Eaglexpress made headlines earlier this month after its maiden umrah flight to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, scheduled for December 14, was delayed and cancelled without proper reason, stranding over 200 passengers in the national capital.

Eaglexpress has not responded to Malay Mail Online’s previous request for comments to Nufam’s claim.

Source : Malay Mail Online

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