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Friday 13 October 2023

Founder of failed airline under arrest


The founder of the recently collapsed MYAirline has been arrested under suspicion of money laundering.

Airline co-founder and major shareholder Goh Hwan Hua was detained along with his wife and son.

MYAirline abruptly shut down last week (see below) leaving hundreds of passengers stranded at airports.

The Royal Malaysia Police has confirmed the three are in custody, assisting with an investigation into various financial crimes.

Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf, director of the Commercial Crime Investigation Department, said police are investigating possible crimes under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act.

The fledgling budget airline went out of business with zero notice, leaving passengers stranded.

MYAirline was founded in 2021 and began flying on December 1 last year, but ceased operations leaving passengers stuck at airports with zero information.

Customers due to fly last week were only informed the Malaysia-based airline had ceased trading when they tried to check in for flights.

The airline announced the suspension of operations due to "significant financial pressures".

Passengers arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 to find all MYAirline check-in desks closed.

MYAirline has issued a statement, apologising for the sudden shutdown and said it was unable to offer passengers any immediate "service recovery options".

The news came just three days after the airline touted it had been granted a two-year extension to its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) by the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM).

AirAsia has offer 50% discounted "recovery" fares on several routes, applicable to all passengers with MYAirline confirmed bookings

MYAirline destinations included Langkawi, Penang, Tawau, Kota Bharu, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu-Tawau, and Bangkok.

Batik Air is also offering discounted fares to stranded passengers on various domestic routes and to Bangkok.

A MYAirline statement said: "The airline has come to this extremely painful decision because of significant financial pressures that have made it necessary to suspend operations pending the shareholder restructuring and recapitalization of the airline.

"We deeply regret and apologize for having to make this decision as we understand the impact it will have on our loyal passengers, dedicated employees and partners. We have worked tirelessly to explore various partnership and capital raising options to prevent this suspension. Unfortunately, the constraints of time have left us with no alternative but to take this decision."

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