No counterclaim made in suit against AirAsia, AirAsia X, says MAHB

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 25): Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) said today that there is no counterclaim made by AirAsia Group Bhd and its long-haul sister airline AirAsia X Bhd (AAX) for the alleged sum in excess of RM400 million or details particularising the same, in response to a suit filed by the airport operator last month over airport taxes.

That's because the two airlines will be availing itself for dispute resolution within the Malaysian Aviation Commission Act 2015 (Mavcom Act) to claim for the amount.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, MAHB said it "strongly refutes" the allegations made by AirAsia and AAX in their statement of defence.

"(We) will be filing statements of reply (with the High Court here). (We) will respond to the defendants’ (AirAsia and AAX) alleged loss and damage at the appropriate junction, when details of the same are made available to the group," it said.

"Any further updates in respect of any material development will be made from time to time," MAHB added.

On Dec 10 last year, MAHB, via its wholly-owned subsidiary Malaysia Airports (Sepang) Sdn Bhd, announced it had filed a suit at the High Court on AirAsia and AAX for a combined RM36.11 million for outstanding passenger service charges.

In their statement of defence, the two airlines are seeking more than RM400 million for losses and damages experienced due to operational disruptions at klia2 in Sepang.

These disruptions include a ruptured fuel line that impeded their operations at Pier P for more than a month, closures at Runway 3 on numerous occasions in 2018, and losses incurred due to additional aircraft-towing requirements and fuel costs, delays, manpower involved, flight cancellation resulting in loss of revenue, and taxiing costs.

MAHB shares closed five sen or 0.61% higher at RM8.20 today, with 2.33 million shares traded, bringing a market capitalisation of RM13.61 billion. 

AirAsia shares also closed up one sen or 0.32% at RM3.09 for a market capitalisation of RM10.33 billion, while AAX's share price was up one sen or 1.75% to 29 sen, valuing it at RM1.2 billion.