MAS-AirAsia deal not violating anti-trust law: Rafidah

(MySinChew) – KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 2 (Bernama) — AirAsia X Bhd chairman, Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, said the tie-up between MAS and AirAsia Bhd will not result in monopolistic practices between the two carriers following their share-swap exercise.
She also said the share-swap would not result in any behaviour that would violate anti-trust laws.

“We (AirAsia and MAS) are guided by strict anti-trust laws overseas and in Malaysia when the competition laws come into force next year.

“We’ll never be able to do anything that violates any anti-trust laws,” she told a media briefing on the Malaysia-Europe Forum’s Roundtable here today.

The Malaysian Competition Commission is currently reviewing the possible impact of the MAS-AirAsia collaboration on the local market, and would advise both airlines on all possible areas.

She said the collaboration may result in cost-cutting for both airlines and it would be beneficial for passengers and customers as they could give better services.

Rafidah said the MAS management must continuously hold dialogues with all levels of its workforce through its unions.

“This is to explain in detail what’s happening and what’s going to happen, particularly to the employees, and the areas of cost-saving which will translate into benefits,” she said.

The Malaysian Airlines System Employees Union (MASEU) has expressed dissatisfaction over the explanation given by the management on the collaboration.

MASEU had decided to write to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and wanted to meet him to convey their views and opposition to the collaboration.

It was also reported recently that the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has urged the Malaysian government to ensure that workers’ rights were preserved in any future collaboration between the two airlines.

The report said an agreement between the two airlines was reached without union consultation.

In a letter dated Oct 19 to Najib, ITF general-secretary, David Cockroft, outlined concerns that a share-swap and collaboration between MAS and Air Asia could lead to the erosion of workers’ rights.

This could include the right of ITF affiliate MASEU to represent and collectively bargain on behalf of MAS workers.