PUTRAJAYA: The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) should pay close attention to the issue of delayed flights and work to address them, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

The Transport Minister said he had already met and requested Mavcom to monitor the situation regularly and be aware of which airlines experienced most of the issues.

“Understandably, there are circumstances which cause aircraft being unable to take off such as maintenance works or bad weather.

“However, if the delays occur due to reasons such as insufficient turnaround time from airline operators, it will cause a big problem and may result in subsequent flights being delayed,” he told reporters during the Road Transport Department’s (JPJ) Hari Raya celebrations and media appreciation ceremony yesterday.

On Monday, Mavcom announced that almost 500 flights were delayed during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri festive period.

Dr Wee said flight delays should not be treated as normal as there were implications of such actions.

“Punctuality is very important. We need to protect the rights of consumers.

“If travellers bought tickets to a destination which required a connecting flight, a delay would disrupt their travel plans.

“It is also hard and expensive to get a ticket at the eleventh hour,” he said.

Dr Wee also said it was important for airline operators to communicate with their affected customers.

“Be fair to the customers. Provide those affected with assistance according to the guidelines in place,” he said.

According to Mavcom, investigations into flight delays during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri travel period showed nearly 500 flights were delayed by over an hour while 119 flights were delayed beyond two hours.

It said the investigations involved the analysis of data on flight schedule disruptions submitted by airlines and airport operators.

On a separate matter, Dr Wee said the public should not jump into conclusion on allegations of corruption involving the Mass Rapid Transit and Light Rail Transit projects.

He warned those involved would face stern action.

“For now, let the authorities investigate the matter. The public should not speculate on this,” he said.

On Monday, Prasarana Malaysia Bhd said it took media reports that cited sources claiming there were elements of bribery in public transport infrastructure construction projects seriously.

“Prasarana does not compromise on any form of corruption in all its affairs.

“We will closely follow the development of the case and liaise with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to get an accurate picture before taking follow-up measures,” it said in a statement.

During the event, Dr Wee presented commendation awards from JPJ to various media representatives for their contributions.

Star Media Group chief content officer Esther Ng received the award on behalf of the company.

Also present was JPJ director-general Datuk Zailani Hashim.