AirAsia refuses to move to KLIA2

AirAsia refuses to move to KLIA2

MALAYSIA - The Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) is slated to open next month.

But the airport's anchor tenants AirAsia and AirAsia X have refused to move in.

The reason: The budget airlines want all the safety and security issues resolved, The Star reported.

The airlines currently operate from the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Sepang. The Malaysian government has said LCCT will cease operations after May 9.

AirAsia is supposed to account for more than 80 per cent of the new airport's traffic.

AirAsia group was responding to a statement by Deputy Transport Minister Aziz Kaprawi who said that KLIA2 would open as scheduled.

He also hoped that AirAsia would join the government authorities and four other airlines - Malindo Air, Cebu Airlines, Tiger Airways and Mandala Airlines - in the big move to KLIA2 next month.

But AirAsia has stood firm and said it will be based at LCCT even after May 9.

Its chief executive officer Aireen Omar said: "The move to KLIA2 is imminent. However, it will only be carried out after all issues are addressed."

AirAsia is also concerned about a potential rise in airport charges and passenger service charge.

AirAsia group cited a recent report which revealed that there were depressions on the taxiway/apron and runway.

It said: "This will prove to be operationally disruptive to a hub airline such as AirAsia Group which has about 400 aircraft movements in a day and at least 70 aircraft in its fleet in the LCCT. Last year alone, the group carried 22 million passengers via LCCT.

"We believe it is crucial to ensure that whole remedial steps are undertaken prior to a transfer, which will mitigate risks relating to any potential aviation incidents," the AirAsia group said.

This article was published on April 3 in The New Paper.

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