Malaysia Airports defends itself against klia2 fee charge

Malaysia Airports has put out a statement on its Facebook stating that  'klia2 fee' charged and collected by AirAsia as part of their ticket price has never been imposed by Malaysia Airports. This comes after an announcement made by AirAsia CEO on Facebook several days ago to stop charging and collecting the RM3 ‘klia2 fee’.

Malaysia Airports said it received some enquiries from the media and public on the matter and wished to clarify that the 'klia2 fee' had been imposed and collected solely by AirAsia since the klia2 terminal started operations in 2014.

“The only charges to the passengers collected by Malaysia Airports are the passenger service charges (PSC) of RM11 for Domestic departure, RM35 for International departure to ASEAN countries and RM73 for International departure to Non-ASEAN countries,” it said.

The war between the two has in fact intensified over the holiday period as MAHB sued AirAsia for refusing to collect the additional RM23 passenger service charges (PSC) per passenger at klia2.In mid December, AirAsia sent out a media statement accusing the airport of having unjustified price increases, such as the PSC hike imposed by MAHB. AirAsia said that this will lead to unintended consequences when its clients have no choice but to use its service and are eventually squeezed out of business. “MAHB rewards itself with excessive monopoly profits, yet it provides the Malaysian public with embarrassingly low service levels,” the airline said.

AirAsia X Malaysia CEO Benyamin Ismail said, “In addition to the RM50 PSC it already imposes, MAHB is now demanding an additional RM23 from each passenger travelling through klia2. The millions of passengers departing from klia2, more than 90% of whom fly with AirAsia, will attest to the long walks they have had to endure to reach their gates in what is a passenger-unfriendly airport with inferior facilities yet unjustified high charges.

Benyamin added that since klia2 opened, there have been constant flight disruptions and cancellations due to major apron and runway defects, unscheduled closure of runways, ponding of water on the best of days and fuel pipeline ruptures.

“We were sued after we refused to collect the extra RM23 that MAHB has imposed for the sole benefit of its shareholders. We will vigorously fight this suit. We will not be part of this scheme to burden the travelling public by making them pay more for below par services.”

Benyamin added that while the operating results of klia2 itself were not immediately apparent, AirAsia estimates that MAHB’s returns on capital are well in excess of the level of the cost of capital set by regulators.

AirAsia Malaysia CEO Riad Asmat said, “The overall tourism sector, one of Malaysia’s biggest revenue earners, and the interests of millions of Malaysians who have been able to fly because of the low fares pioneered by AirAsia, are being threatened by MAHB’s price hikes. We urge the regulators and policy makers to rebuff this unfair and unreasonable attempt by MAHB to use its monopoly to enrich itself further by revisiting and rescinding the decision to raise the PSC.

He claimed that MAHB has argued it needs more profits to operate smaller loss-making airports on behalf of the government.

“The additional RM23 to be collected will amount to more than RM100 million a year that will go straight to MAHB’s bottom line rather than to the government. MAHB will continue to be among the most profitable Malaysian companies for many years to come. But this will come at a cost to the wider Malaysian economy and at the expense of engines of growth such as AirAsia and AirAsia X.”

Most recently, Malaysia Airports said that it will be upgrading the communication infrastructure at KL International Airport starting from 1 January 2019. This initiative is expected to be completed in phases, approximately over three months. The upgrade is meant to further enhance the airport experience at KUL and will improve the overall coverage and capacity of the cellular network at the airport. It is also to cater for future digitalisation requirements such as Airports 4.0 initiatives, the e-commerce ecosystem and the Aeropolis development.

During this period, airport guests and community may experience some intermittent disruption in terms of reception and speed on the cellular and leased line services within the passenger and cargo terminals respectively.

Malaysia Airports added that it has put in place several mitigation plans to ensure a smooth transition.
“Among the mitigation measures include placing fixed-line phones at Information Counters for the convenience of the airport users as well as making sure the free Airport Wi-Fi service remains at excellent connection strength to enable users to communicate via data calls through mobile apps such as WhatsApp and Messenger. Airport CARE Ambassadors will also be available on-site to guide passengers who may require assistance,” it added.