11 October 2016

Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAS) is confident that the new passenger service charge (PSC) rates at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Kuala Lumpur International 2 (klia2) would be standardised.

“It looks like we will get a more balanced PSC between KLIA and klia2. I'm quite optimistic that we will get a fair and reasonable result that suits the 51 other airlines that operate out of KLIA and also for MAS," MAS chief executive officer (CEO) Peter Bellew said.

He was speaking at a press conference after launching a three-year partnership between MAS and Liverpool Football Club (FC) here today.

The final decision on a new PSC rate has not been announced. It is expected that the new rate would be announced by Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) by the year-end.

Bellew said MAS has been meeting with the aviation regulation body regularly.

“I met with them a couple of weeks ago. I think they are still in the process of going through what the final decision is around the PSC," he said, adding that it is important to generate new international flights not just for MAS but also for other carriers as well.

The issue on PSC or airport tax has been ongoing since the middle of this year. In August, Bellew said MAS and 51 other international airlines operating out of KLIA are looking forward to the same charges at KLIA and klia2 so that there will be a level playing field between all airlines.

The Cabinet is believed to have recently approved a new PSC rate. The rate would be RM11 for domestic flights and RM73 for international flights at all airports nationwide.

The current charges at KLIA are RM65 for international destinations and RM9 for domestic travel, while at klia2 the charges for international and domestic destinations are RM32 and RM6, respectively.

The new PSC structure will also introduce a charge on inter-Asean flights, which is believed to be RM35.

The only airline that is not in favour of a new rate is low-cost carrier AirAsia Bhd. Its CEO Aireen Omar told Business Times recently that it's important to improve the tourist arrival numbers first before increasing the PSC.

Meanwhile, MAS is expecting the tourism industry in Malaysia to be further developed especially in Sabah and Sarawak with more accommodations such as hotels, bed and breakfast establishments as well as restaurants and tourist attractions.

"We are just scratching the surface of tourism," Bellew said, adding that East Malaysian destinations could draw many tourists from mainland China due to its distance of about three hours or so.

Tourists, he said, could also find similar food and speak the same language and have a welcoming feel to East Malaysia destinations, Bellew said.

He also opined that the government should allocate more funds to Tourism Malaysia for promotional purposes as well as introducing tax incentive programmes to those who build accommodations for tourists.

“I think we should put together the program of tax incentives for people. Not free money but against both personal taxation and corporate taxation. If you build hotels or accommodations, you should get accelerated capital allowance against your personal tax," Bellew said.

Original Source: www.nst.com.my