27 July 2018
Having a separate airport for low-cost carriers (LCCs) will increase connecting time with the existing two terminals at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), said Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB).
It said the International Air Transport Association and the Airports Council International have recommended that where feasible, existing terminals should be fully utilised before new ones are built.
“It also recommends where possible that the operations be contained within a single terminal to allow for the lowest possible minimum connecting time (MCT) for connectivity and hub development,” MAHB said in a statement.
It said a lower MCT is a catalyst for more airline operations offering connectivity and compounded growth.
“As many airlines as possible should be seamlessly connected, preferably through a single terminal, or for bigger passenger volume through integrated terminals so that connecting times are minimised, resulting in a seamless connectivity.
“Having separate terminals for LCCs may not be the only solution for collective growth of the aviation industry and for increasing passenger experience,” it added.
In the case of KLIA, MAHB said the Main Terminal’s MCT has more than tripled since the addition of its second terminal — first with the LCCT and subsequently klia2.
As the Main Terminal and klia2 are not fully integrated, MAHB said KLIA’s MCT is more than three hours.
In contrast, MAHB said Singapore’s Changi International Airport has consolidated its operations into an integrated connected environment where LCCs are seamlessly integrated with full-service carriers. “This has ensured that MCT is mostly 60 minutes across all its terminals,” it added.
KLIA’s MCT is also currently longer compared with Hong Kong and Jakarta airports.
As this situation at KLIA continues, MAHB warned that there will be a “progressive reduction” of KLIA’s visibility in the airline’s Global Distribution System due to lower connections and longer MCT.
“This lack of global visibility may result in KLIA becoming a feeder airport to the rest within the region instead of getting stronger as a global hub,” it said.
MAHB said this same strategy has proven effective at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) when it consolidated all operations within a single terminal in 2015.
The MCT at KKIA is now 60 minutes, compared with more than three hours when operations were segregated at T1 and T2.