Air Asia to move operation base from KLIA2 to KLIA

KUALA LUMPUR: Transport Ministry has no objection with Air Asia's purported plan to move its operation base from KLIA2 to KLIA in view of the new Passenger Service Charge (PSC) to take effect from Jan 1 provided that there is space available at KLIA.

Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Aziz Kaprawi said the matter depends on Malaysia Airport Holdings Berhad (MAHB) willingness to accommodate Air Asia's plan without disrupting other airlines operation at KLIA.

"We (the Ministry) are very open about this if the space is available for Air Asia to move in to KLIA. And if MAHB can accommodate, why not?" he said.

Aziz was speaking to the reporters after delivering the luncheon address at the Urban Public Transportation Summit 2016 organised by Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute at Sunway Putra Hotel today.

"KLIA and KLIA2 have almost similar facilities. With the new rates for both airports soon, I don't understand why Air Asia wants to move out. Everything is in place at KLIA2 with the almost same outfits and all. You have to ask Air Asia what is their actual intention." he said.

On Monday, Air Asia had expressed unhappiness with the new PSC rate as announced by Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom), citing unequal facilities at KLIA and KLIA2.

"The facilities at the two airports should be made equal to each other, otherwise, we are happy to consider moving AirAsia and AirAsia X operations to KLIA," the group said.

The low-cost airlines group was also not satisfied with the commission's justification that the new rate could level the playing field for all airports.

In response to Air Asia purported plan, MAHB issued a statement on Wednesday: "The requirements can be accommodated based on availability of capacity at the terminals."

With the new PSC, industry analysts had opined that Malaysia Airlines (MAS) will be the biggest gainer as the fares within Asean region offer by MAS could be reasonably priced come New Year.

The new rates are RM11 for domestic flights (up from RM6 at klia2 and RM9 at all other airports), and RM35 for flights to Asean countries from all airports in Malaysia (currently RM32 at klia2 and RM65 at KLIA).

Flights to international destinations excluding Asean, the PSC is RM50 (up from RM32) for departures from klia2 and RM73 (up from RM65) for departures from KLIA and other airports.