1 May 2014
The AirAsia Group wants to help Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2) become a new-generation low-cost hub in Asean so that it can become like Dubai, an aviation hub.
"The key is 'low cost', and as long as we, together with MAHB, can maintain the low cost, then klia2 can be very successful," Fernandes told Business Times yesterday.
AirAsia needed to move from the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) because of the overcrowding, he added.
Fernandes said AirAsia has always wanted a simple airport, in line with its low-cost business model.
The RM4 billion klia2 opens today after several delays, with a Malindo Air flight the first to land.
AirAsia is hoping for the best, although it still fears operational disruptions.
AirAsia Bhd and its sister company AirAsia X Bhd had earlier stood firm on their decision not to move to klia2 until issues pertaining to airport safety had been addressed.
AirAsia chief executive officer Aireen Omar said in a statement recently that findings from independent consultant Ikram Premier Consulting showed that there were depressions on the taxiway/apron and runway at klia2.
The government then invited the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to inspect the airport.
Last week, ICAO and Ikram Premier gave their greenlight for klia2 to start operations as scheduled.
AirAsia and AirAsia X subsequently announced that they would move to klia2 on May 9.
"As always, we will deliver amazing fares and amazing experiences to our guests. We will make klia2 work," said Fernandes.
However, he said the klia2 experience has been a painful one for him personally.
"People forget that there would be no klia2 without AirAsia and its amazing staff. But we have not had a voice in this process," he claimed.
He said airlines are the ones bringing passengers into the country.
Fernandes also said future leaders in the airline and airport industries must work together to ensure the success of the country's aviation industry.
Independent regulators are also needed so that the people's needs would be put above that of airlines or airports.
Original Source: www.nst.com.my