KUALA LUMPUR – December 19, 2017: The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) has explained that developing a low-cost airport is not as easy as suggested by AirAsia.
In a statement to The Mole today, it pointed out that such a development should be subjected to a proper economic study to first determine its effects on existing airports in Malaysia.
This is especially so given that the government and Malaysia Airports Berhad (MAHB) have spent substantially for those airports.
“There are multiple factors that must be considered in terms of which airport model would suit an individual nation, such as demographics, airport economics, existing capacity and more,” stated Mavcom in response to remarks by AirAsia group chief executive Tan Sri Tony Fernandes.
Mavcom further states that the trend of the industry is towards integrated instead of separate terminals, in line with more mergers of airline business models. It cited the example of the new Terminal 4 at Changi Airport which is integrated with its Terminals 1 to 3.
The commission said it is continuously making efforts to improve standards within the industry, which includes the ongoing development of quality of service framework to improve airport services in the country.
Fernandes had two days ago criticised Mavcom on Twitter following its decision to equalise the non-Asean international passenger service charge (PSC) rates at KL International Airport 2 (klia2) from RM50 to RM73 starting the new year.
“There are low-cost airlines, low-cost hotels and low-cost cars. Why not low-cost airports? One does not fit all. We fight for lower ERL (Express Rail Link) charges, encourage cheap buses and Uber pool and Grab. Anything to lower costs to allow the common man to dream and fly,” tweeted Fernandes.
Yesterday, MAHB pointed out that the new PSC rate has been imposed since January at all airports except klia2.
While Fernandes had hinted that the higher rate may discourage the common man from flying, MAHB highlighted that the country’s overall air traffic growth for non-Asean international flights has remained robust compared to last year.
At year to date, November 2017 traffic growth for non-Asean flights remained robust despite the higher PSC and enjoyed higher growth at 15.1 per cent than Asean flights at 13.6 per cent.
“This is not surprising as 70 per cent of the non-Asean international passengers at KLIA and klia2 terminals were foreigners unaffected by the PSC rate,” said MAHB.
MAHB also pointed out that the equalisation at klia2 will affect 4.5 million passengers a year, of whom 3 million are foreigners.