Fernandes: Malaysia Airports Holdings bullies airlines

Fernandes: Malaysia Airports Holdings bullies airlines
Passengers and airline staff at the new terminal of Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA2).

PETALING JAYA - Barely two weeks after moving into the brand-new KLIA2, AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes is resuming his online tirade against airport operator, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, accusing it of "bullying" airlines.

"As I have kept saying, Malaysia Airports has to realise that airlines create its growth. It needs to work with airlines, not bully them," he tweeted yesterday.

Fernandes said AirAsia could neither use its own check-in machines, nor put up its own branding collaterals.

"Is this partnership to an airline that has given you all the growth?" he tweeted, in likely reference to problems faced after moving into KLIA2.

AirAsia finally moved into KLIA2 on May 9 after being reluctant to do so earlier, citing safety and security issues.

It agreed to move after the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) said the airport was in compliance with requirements and safety standards.

In a Twitter conversation with former Umno supreme council member Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, Fernandes also asked who were on the board of MAHB and whether they were given the full picture.

He also tweeted that MAHB had tremendous access to the executive leadership that only heard one side and painted the budget airline as "evil".

Meanwhile, an anonymous source told The Star through e-mail that depressions were found at aircraft parking bays and taxiways.

According to the e-mail, cracks and depressions were also found on the tarmac, and that pools of water were found over a vast area of the airport's apron.

The source said surface bumps caused by the depressions forced flight crews to take extra precaution while taxiing as these could cause severe jolts to aircraft.

In a statement, MAHB said there "is no safety risk" on the apron taxiway.

"We have stated in the past that the settlement at localised spots comprising less than 1 per cent of the apron is anticipated due to differential settlement.

"We are well prepared with a clear and workable solution to address this issue.

"We also wish to reiterate that there is no impact to flight operations of any airlines as KLIA2 has ample aircraft parking bays to accommodate aircraft movement."

MAHB added that it was disappointed that these issues were still surfacing despite "numerous clarifications", claiming that they were not raised through "proper channels".

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