KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: The Government should stop interfering in the aviation industry and not protect AirAsia, said Wee Choo Keong (PKR - Wangsa Maju).
He said that Singapore Airlines was allowed to have a low-cost carrier, but MAS was not allowed to.
"Why must the Government be so protective of AirAsia? Competition is always healthy and the public will benefit from competition," he said.
In Parliament on Wednesday, Wee had questioned Transport Minister Ong Tee Keat on why MAS was not allowed to operate a low-cost service, thus allowing AirAsia to monopolise the low-cost aviation industry.
In a written reply, Ong said MAS had never proposed to conduct its operations as a low-cost carrier.
"The Government also had not received any applications from other companies wanting to be low-cost carriers," said Ong.
He added that should any party apply to operate a low-cost carrier, the Government had to take into account various factors such as market size and operational viability to avoid unhealthy competition among local aviation companies.
Ong said under the domestic rationalisation policy in 2006, MAS had been designated to operate as a full-service carrier while AirAisa would operate as a low-cost carrier.
He said although both airlines had different business models and target markets, there was healthy competition between the two. -The Star, ANN