28 June 2013
The group had announced in early May 2013 that the main contractor would be unable to complete klia2’s main terminal building as per the earlier expected completion date which was today. MAHB had subsequently set May 2, 2014 for the start of klia2’s operations.
RAM understands that the new deadline takes into account the time required to obtain the certificate of completion and compliance as well as to complete the operational readiness and airport transfer process. Barring further unforeseen hiccups, the group should be able to meet the new deadline, given that klia2 is 91 per cent complete. That said, the delay underscores the construction risks to which MAHB is exposed, reported Reuters.
In arriving at MAHB’s ratings, RAM had taken into account the RM3.9 billion cost of the klia2 project. The group has provided an assurance that there will not be any cost overrun due to the fixed-cost nature of the contract. MAHB has also imposed charges for liquidated and ascertained damages of around RM6 million a month on the affected contractor.
Meanwhile, the loss of incremental retail revenue (from increased retail space in klia2 compared to the current LCCT for this year will be offset by the savings of additional operating expenses required to maintain klia2’s larger terminal area. More importantly, passenger numbers at both the current LCCT and the main terminal building of Kuala Lumpur International Airport continue to be fuelled by increased flights and the addition of routes by low-cost carrier AirAsia Bhd and Malaysian Airline System Bhd.
MAS’s entry into the oneworld alliance in February 2013 and stronger demand for LCCs as well as the debut of new airlines are also expected to boost passenger traffic. "Notwithstanding the delay in the completion of klia2, we envisage the financial impact on MAHB to be minimal as its operating performance would continue to be underpinned by healthy passenger volumes," notes Kevin Lim, RAM’s Head of Consumer and Industrial Ratings. – June 28, 2013.