AirAsia X‘s CEO, Kamarudin Meranun, has apologised to customers for a delay in the issuance of refunds.
In a statement directed to the airline’s passengers, Kamarudin, who co-founded the Tune Group with Tony Fernandes, apologised “for the inconveniences caused” by the issue, and said his company is taking steps to resolve the problem.
Many AirAsia X passengers are still waiting for refunds, especially following the postponement of the launch of flights between Bali and Melbourne. This route was due to start on 26 December 2014 and its cancellation, just days before the planned launch date, ruined the festive holiday plans of hundreds of travellers.
“Since taking the helm as group CEO of AirAsia X earlier this month, the new management team and I have been reviewing all aspects of the business,” Kamarudin said in the statement. “During this process, we found an issue with our current refund system, which we had outgrown due to our rapid expansion.”
He added that the problem has been “exasperated by the QZ8501 incident as well as the unforeseen delay in the Denpasar-Melbourne route approval, which has caused a backlog in the refund process”.
To resolve the issue, Kamarudin said AirAsia X is now in the process of migrating its refund process to its office in Penang.
“Once the migration is completed on 16 March, our centralised refund team will be able to process the refund requests in less than 45 business days,” he stated. “We sincerely apologise for the inconveniences caused to our valued guests. As a token of our appreciation for their continued patience, we will be offering a AU$50 (US$39) e-gift voucher to all guests that have yet to receive their refunds.”
AirAsia X could have more refunds to process over the course of 2015; the airline has already confirmed plans to cut unprofitable routes and shelve the delivery of several aircraft in a bid to reduce costs.