AirAsia to MAHB: Focus on klia2 problems, instead of KLIA-klia2 integration plan

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 1): AirAsia Group Bhd has called on Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) to prioritise more critical operational and passenger experience issues at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport's second terminal (klia2) rather than the proposed plans to integrate klia2 with the main terminal (KLIA).

AirAsia said MAHB and the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom), which has endorsed the proposed KLIA-klia2 integration, have failed to design an execution model for the interlining.

Furthermore, the low-cost carrier (LCC) pointed out that MAHB has not engaged in appropriate consultation with AirAsia or AirAsia X Bhd (AAX), which together account for 97% of overall passenger traffic at klia2.

"MAHB's focus should be on spending the increased money, in the form of airport tax they're asking for from passengers, on bringing klia2 facilities up to the same standard as the luxurious KLIA, fixing the uneven aprons and taxiways, installing more guest friendly spaces and redesigning boarding gates," AirAsia Malaysia chief executive officer (CEO) Riad Asmat said in a statement today.

"Other more prudent uses of the additional airport tax could, for example, include dealing with overcrowding at airports around Malaysia such as Penang International Airport where the check-in area is simply too small to handle the growing volume of people using it," he added.

AirAsia also claimed that MAHB has also been relatively slow in embracing technology to improve the overall passenger experience.

In the same statement, AAX Malaysia CEO Benyamin Ismail said there is simply no point in wasting the allocation on a "concept that does not make sense".

"We do not see any benefit in interlining the full-service carriers at KLIA with LCCs at klia2. In our 18 years of operations, we have not received any request for interlining services from full-service carriers, including our own flag carrier which operates out of KLIA.

"There is absolutely no interlining potential for the airlines, which MAHB fails to understand. This also shows that MAHB has no real understanding of what airlines and passengers truly need," he said.