12 February 2023
Matta says klia2 suffered a negative image from being branded as a low-cost carrier terminal.
Tourism players have applauded the decision to rebrand KLIA and klia2 as KLIA Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, but say both their facilities and services must also be upgraded to attract more tourists.
Citing Singapore’s Changi Airport as an example, Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) honorary treasurer Nigel Wong said the airport may have five different terminals, but the standard of services provided was the same throughout.
“The (name) change should come with a refreshing or upgrading of services provided because one of the reasons why people like to travel to certain airports is (to enjoy) the facilities and convenience available,” he told FMT.
Wong said the previous distinction between KLIA and klia2 had given the latter a negative image from being branded as a low-cost carrier terminal.
He said tourists may have perceived klia2 as not having certain services, since being a low-cost carrier terminal implied the cost of services provided was lower.
Malaysian Inbound Tourism Association (Mita) president Uzaidi Udanis agreed with Wong, pointing out that tourists were getting more sophisticated these days.
“The first place tourists visit upon their arrival in the country is the airport, so we must ensure airport staff are proactive and friendly in order to provide tourists with that wow factor,” he said.
Uzaidi also said Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) will need to put in more effort to market the two terminals, particularly to attract more charter flights, which Malaysia lacked.
“We cannot just depend on scheduled flights because most airlines have a limited number of operating aircraft,” he said.
On Wednesday, transport minister Loke Siew Fook announced that KLIA and klia2 will be rebranded as KLIA Terminal 1 and 2 to improve their marketability and effectiveness, and allow them to compete with other international airports in the region.
No exact date for the name change has been given, as the government and MAHB need to fine-tune their new operating agreement first, he said.
Welcoming the move, Uzaidi said this showed Malaysia was trying to align with international standards, where several international airports use the term “terminals”.
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