KUALA LUMPUR — Aug. 8, 2019: AirAsia is from Friday collecting the increased passenger service charge (PSC) levied by Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad but under strong protest following a recent court ruling.
“AirAsia will now collect the additional RM23 in PSC and the differential amount will be clearly indicated in the itemised fare as ‘PSC’ (Under Protest),” it said in a statement.
The tax is charged by MAHB on all departing passengers for use of airport facilities and is collected by airlines on behalf of the airport operator.
MAHB had imposed a new PSC of RM73 on passengers using klia2 to destinations beyond Asean — the same rate as at the full-service terminal Kuala Lumpur International Airport — effective July 2018. The old rate was RM50.
AirAsia said it had refused to collect the higher rate to ensure that air travel remains affordable for everyone.
Last month, a high court ordered the low-cost airline to pay RM40.6 million to MAHB for failing to collect the tax.
The airline’s chief executive officer Riad Asmat said that by itemising the higher tax, its 5.5 million guests departing from klia2 for non-Asean destinations annually would see how much they were 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,” said Riad in the statement.
AirAsia X Malaysia CEO Benyamin Ismail said it is also forced to collect the additional RM23 as it cannot afford to continue subsidising guests in the event its appeal falls through.
“The tax 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,” he said. — Bernama