AirAsia Bhd says it was today served with a letter of demand from Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) to retract and withdraw its press statements.
AirAsia Malaysia chief executive officer (CEO) Riad Asmat and AirAsia X Malaysia CEO Benyamin Ismail said the airline was not surprised by another legal response from MAHB to its press statements.
“We are puzzled that the airport operator continues to use its dominant position and the threat of legal action to stifle and suppress fair comments,” AirAsia said in a statement today.
“We would like to reiterate that we have only been responding to suits filed by MAHB over the passenger service charge (PSC). In furtherance of open dialogue and an amicable solution, we offered to mediate as required under the Malaysian Aviation Commission Act to resolve all outstanding issues; however, MAHB summarily rejected this overture,” said AirAsia.
“We maintain that a court battle will have negative effects on Malaysia’s economy and aviation industry.
“Nevertheless, we stand by what we have said and maintain that the current threat of legal action is unwarranted.
“We will avail ourselves of all avenues to defend ourselves against all actions, whether through mediation and arbitration as the law requires, or in the courts of law as MAHB seeks,” it added.
Through the letter of demand, MAHB demanded that AirAsia immediately remove several allegedly inaccurate and misleading articles published on AirAsia’s online portal AirAsia Newsroom, and cease and desist immediately from making further false, inaccurate and misleading statements, in order to protect Malaysia Airports’ interests.
“While Malaysia Airports takes no issue with AirAsia informing its shareholders of the progress and status of court suits in accordance with the law, AirAsia has overstepped its boundaries by publishing false, inaccurate and misleading statements in the media aimed at damaging the reputation of Malaysia Airports,” it said in a statement.
Malaysia Airports said it maintains its long-standing position that the relevant dispute and related matters have all been presented before the courts for determination and parties should let the matters be decided by the courts.
There is thus no need for AirAsia to make disparaging remarks about Malaysia Airports, it said.
“Nonetheless, Malaysia Airports has reserved all its rights to take further necessary action should AirAsia refuse to comply with the Letter of Demand and/or persist in making further false, inaccurate and misleading statements about Malaysia Airports,” it added.