11 June 2013
Ready to compromise on the reported delay in the opening of klia2, frills-free carrier AirAsia Bhd is now urging Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd to issue a definite delayed opening date of the new low-cost airport.
AirAsia Chairman Datuk Aziz Bakar said Malaysia Airports, as the airport operator, has the responsibility to notify the airlines using klia2 of a definite opening date, to enable them to be ready to move operations to the new airport.
"The operations cannot be shifted in one night. We need to be prepared on our side also. For that, an opening date has to be announced.
"The airlines, passengers and the whole country want to know the new date. So I hope Malaysia Airports does not delay much longer to come up with the revised date," he told Bernama.
He said AirAsia, the largest airline to utilise klia2, had always been ready with contingency plans, in case the airport cannot meet the June 28 deadline set by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
"We had drawn our plans a long time ago, because since three years back, we knew that the airport will mot be ready on time," he added.
Aziz said given the delay, Malaysia Airports should not compromise on safety and quality by rushing the construction works to meet the deadline.
He said even though the current low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) is affecting AirAsia’s growth and expansion, airport users’ and passengers’ safety cannot be compromised.
"We in AirAsia alone have about 5,000 to 6,000 employees. We are concerned on their safety, as well as the others’ too," he said.
The completion date for the klia2 has been revised several times due to changes made to the original plan, including building a bigger terminal to handle more than 40 million passengers and installing an automated baggage handling system.
The new airport, envisaged to handle up to 45 million passengers per year, will have 60 gates, eight remote stands and 80 aerobridges, plus a 32,000 square metre retail space with 225 retail outlets.
The project was first tendered out in 2009. Its initial cost of RM1.9 billion has since ballooned to some RM4 billion with the bigger capacity plans, and recent analyst reports indicate the cost might rise further to RM4.5 billion.