AirAsia to collect increased PSC demanded by MAHB ‘under protest’

AirAsia will be collecting the increased klia2 Passenger Service Charge (PSC) levied by Malaysia Airports Holdings (MAHB) for flight bookings made from midnight tonight under protest, following a recent court ruling.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court had dismissed AirAsia and AirAsia X’s striking out application in relation to the payment for outstanding PSC to Malaysia Airports (Sepang), a subsidiary of MAHB. The airline will now collect the additional RM23 in PSC, and the differential amount will be clearly indicated in the itemised fare as “PSC (Under Protest)”. PSC, also known as airport tax, is charged by MAHB on all departing passengers for use of airport facilities and is collected by airlines such as AirAsia on behalf of the airport operator.

In July 2018, MAHB imposed a new PSC of RM73 on passengers using klia2 to destinations beyond ASEAN, the same rate as at the full-service terminal KLIA. This is higher than the previous rate of RM50, and AirAsia had refused to collect the additional RM23 from its guests to ensure air travel remains affordable for all.

AirAsia Malaysia CEO Riad Asmat said it will collect the full RM73 but will do so “under strong protest”.

“Itemising the additional PSC will allow our 5.5 million guests departing from klia2 for non-Asean destinations annually to see how much they’re paying for inferior facilities. I believe many will agree with us that they’re not getting their money’s worth, especially when compared to the far superior facilities at KLIA,” he said.

AirAsia X Malaysia CEO Benyamin Ismail added:”Believe me, we really don’t want to be doing this, and we sympathise with our guests. PSC for passengers flying beyond ASEAN has more than doubled in less than two years from RM32 to RM73. This is an arbitrary hike and we will continue to oppose it until all our legal options are exhausted.”

However, he said that the airline is “forced” to collect the additional RM23 as it cannot afford to continue subsidising guests in the event its appeal falls through, and called for consumers to understand its decision.

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