Jul 13, 2016

    AirAsia boss opposes possible fee hike in KLIA2


    AIRASIA boss Tony Fernandes seems all riled up for yet another battle with airport operator Malaysia Airports Holdings (MAHB) over a potential raising of charges.

    What made him fume over the weekend was an article quoting MAHB boss Badlisham Ghazali as saying that the airport operator had invested RM4 billion (S$1.4 billion) in KL International Airport 2 (KLIA2) but that there has been no corresponding increase in the passenger service charge.

    Mr Badlisham feels a rate hike is long overdue, as well as a review of the air terminal charges, at both KLIA and KLIA2.

    MAHB wants a hike and the newly formed Malaysian Aviation Commission will review it.

    Mr Fernandes wrote on his Facebook page that MAHB "can't charge passengers for your grandiose schemes".

    What upsets him is that AirAsia makes up 98 per cent of the traffic volume at KLIA2 and is MAHB's biggest customer there and, yet, its basic demand for a plain low-cost terminal is not being entertained.

    His comments generated over 2,300 likes and attracted about 200 comments. Most are not in favour of a hike.

    He has been wanting a dedicated terminal for many years now and even had suggested he build one in Nilai years ago.

    Some are suggesting that perhaps he should offer to buy a part of KLIA2 to be in a position to have a say in the charges.

    Interestingly, even Mr Badlisham admitted in the article that KLIA2 is "... not a low-cost terminal", further strengthening Mr Fernandes' fight for a new low-cost terminal.