27 July 2012
Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) is expected to make an official announcement today stating that the cost for low-cost carrier terminal klia2 in Sepang has not swelled to RM5 billion as alleged by some quarters.
MAHB will also affirm that klia2 will stick to the April 2013 opening date as announced earlier. Sources told Business Times that the airport operator would stand by the earlier figure of RM4 billion for the new low-cost carrier terminal and lay to rest concerns over speculation of a spiralling increase in cost.
MAHB will clear the air on the matter at the company’s second-quarter result announcement this afternoon.
AirAsia‘s group chief executive Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, as recent as two weeks ago, had stated in his blog that the cost of klia2 had increased by a fifth to RM5 billion. This triggered an unease among many quarters.
MAHB had preferred to remain silent on this matter, until today.
“The cost of klia2 will remain at RM4 billion. This is on the basis that there are no more changes or additional requirement by any party to the scope of the project,” a source told Business Times. klia2, which has a capacity to cater for 45 million passengers annually, will have a fully-automated baggage system, an air traffic control tower, a longer runway and aerobridges.
In relation to charges, the source said at the point when klia2 opens in 2013, the charges will remain the same. All aeronautical charges are set by the government and not the airport operator.
Yesterday, Bernama reported that AirAsia X chairman Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz as saying that the budget airline was seeking commitment from MAHB ?on when the new airport would be ready for operations and that airport charges would not be raised once the new terminal is ready.
Rafidah was also quoted saying, “Of course we know that they (MAHB) now need some extension (of) time. We have taken that on board but before that (AirAsia relocates to klia2) we would like to get some commitment.”
Meanwhile, apart from AirAsia and AirAsia X, Cebu Pacific and Tiger Airways also use the LCCT. More recently, Airphil Express has started to use the LCCT. Yet another carrier that may use the budget terminal is believed to be Zest Air.
The current capacity of the existing airport is between 18 million and 20 million. MAHB will hold both an analyst and media briefing today to announce its results for the second quarter ended June 30 2012.
In a report dated June 1, RHB Research had forecast that MAHB’s net profit in the current year ending December 31 2012 would increase to RM445.1 million from RM371.3 million last year, while turnover would be higher at RM2.22 billion from RM1.93 billion last year.
Maybank Research has projected a net profit of RM531.5 million on the back of RM2.14 billion in revenue in the current financial year.
In the first quarter ended March 31 2012, MAHB posted RM102.73 million in net profit and RM657.71 million in revenue.