Statement from AirAsia Malaysia CEO Riad Asmat
SEPANG, 14 December 2018 - We refer to the Writ of Summons served to AirAsia X Berhad (AAX) and AirAsia Group Berhad (AAGB) by Malaysia Airports (Sepang) Sdn Bhd (MASSB) on 11 December 2018.
We wish to clarify the following in response:
Passenger Service Charge (PSC), better known as airport tax, is charged on departing passengers by airports. Airlines typically collect airport tax on behalf of airport operators as part of the air fare.
AirAsia has been collecting, on behalf of MASSB, RM50 airport tax from every non-Asean international passenger departing from klia2 since 1 January 2017.
To date, AirAsia has paid a total of RM663,051,008.52 in airport tax to MASSB.
On 1 February 2018, MASSB increased the airport tax charged on non-Asean international passengers departing from klia2 to RM73.
Raising non-Asean international passengers airport tax to RM73 from RM50 effectively equalised PSC between klia2 and KLIA.
AirAsia is not obligated to collect airport tax for MASSB, and we have refused to collect the additional charge from passengers on behalf of MASSB for the following reasons:
a. Passengers using klia2 should not be charged the same rates as passengers in KLIA, as klia2 is a low-cost terminal with far lower levels of service provided to passengers, compared to KLIA, which is a full-service terminal.
b. AirAsia has previously lodged a number of official complaints regarding the substandard infrastructure and access at klia2 which has negatively impacted our operational performance and punctuality, including:
i. Unsatisfactory state of infrastructure at klia2
ii. Apron defects
iii. Ground depression
v. Ruptured fuel pipelines
vi. Ad hoc runway closures due to continuous resurfacing requirements
vii. Closure of departure gates
viii. Damage to aircraft
c. From our calculations, these cross-claims far exceed the amount of airport tax that we have refused to collect for MASSB from our passengers.
It is to be reiterated that we have tried, on various occasions, and without success, to engage MASSB on these issues. Regrettably, MASSB has instead decided to take the matter public and instigate legal action based on claims that AirAsia will strongly refute.
Furthermore, while MASSB is only taking into account "the interest of the stakeholders and staff", as stated in the Writ of Summons, AirAsia, as the people’s airline, is factoring the interests of the public, the tourism industry and the nation.
Low-cost carriers like AirAsia stimulate demand and grow the air travel market, providing a significant boost for tourism. To consciously curtail air travel, which benefits both the people and the wider economy, in order to enrich a select few is selfish and un-Malaysian.
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Note: The statement above can be attributed to AirAsia Malaysia CEO Riad Asmat.