18 July 2019
AirAsia Group Bhd group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said he is “disappointed and frustrated” with airport authorities.
On microblogging platform Twitter, Fernandes uploaded a video of an AirAsia pilot alleging that the plane could not move and had to be towed due to the uneven surface of the gate at klia2 and questioned the fairness of airport operator Malaysia Airport Holdings Bhd’s standard passenger service charge of RM73 for all airports.
“So many difficulties, and yet MAHB expects our passengers to pay the same airport tax. Unfair?” he tweeted.
“For 18 years, all we have asked [for] is to have an airport that’s a partner… Not someone who just says ‘take it, or leave it’ to their largest customer and more important to the passengers. I am so disappointed and frustrated.
“All we have ever asked is for [MAHB] to understand our model and help us create more jobs. We are a low cost carrier, its largest customer yet,” he added.
Fernandes also asked if regulator Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) was looking after passengers by gazetting the same fare across all airports, as he believes these airports have different standards and facilities.
“Are they? [Langkawi International Airport] charged the same as [KLIA]. klia2 charged the same as [KLIA]. Are they really looking after passenger interests?”
Fernandes also claimed the commission “slows down” the aviation group’s growth by “taking forever” to approve new routes.
In response to Fernandes’ video, MAHB in a series of tweets said there has been no similar issues reported by other airlines operating at klia2.
“Since January 2019 to date, there have been more than 100,000 total aircraft movements at klia2 [and] only 19 such incidents reported [0.00019% of total aircraft movement at klia2], all by AirAsia aircraft[s].
“Nevertheless, when such incidents happen, we immediately conduct a gradient survey study to rectify the situation,” MAHB replied.
Earlier today, the High Court ruled that AirAsia will have to pay at least RM40.6 million to MAHB’s subsidiary Malaysia Airports (Sepang) Sdn Bhd, over unpaid passenger service charges from July to December last year.
This follows the High Court here dismissing the carrier’s strike out application and allowing summary judgments by MAHB be entered on AirAsia in the three suits against the company.