“Timeliness and a concrete black and white commitment on fixed airport charges in the new low-cost carrier terminal is needed to cool down the ongoing tension between AirAsia Chief Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), says Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz.
The chairman of AirAsia X, the long-haul unit of AirAsia, said the no-frills airline was seeking two concrete commitments from the airport operator, first on when the new airport would be ready for operations and second, that airport charges would not be raised once the new terminal is ready.”
Full Bernama report in HERE.
For a start, there is no tension between MAHB and other airlines that use KLIA or LCCT. The tension was engineered by Tan Sri Tony Fernandez (Tony) as can be seen in HERE.
There is there is no need for MAHB to lower itself to entertain such an ill-thought out request to “COOL DOWN THE TENSION”. It was a well known fact that Tony started to fire the first salvo against MAHB for the increase of Airport Tax. The AirAsia campaign against the increase in airport tax was, of course, widely publicised in the Star, in HERE, HERE, HERE.
No other airlines have questioned the cost of airport taxes or charges imposed by MAHB. Similarly, no airlines in the world have ever questioned the airport charges imposed by the Airport Authorities in other countries that they fly to.
Similarly, no airline in the world aviation history has the privilege to owe airport tax for a few months let alone for years except AirAsia. No airline in the world was allowed to owe airport tax for years and allowed to land and use the airport facilities with impunity. No airline in the world was accorded with a good 30% or more discount when paying up long overdue airport tax debts except AirAsia.
Just for the record, several years ago a Terengganu state government owned airline was denied airport facilities when it owed a few months airport charges to MAHB. The said airline had to close shop thereafter. But in the case of AirAsia, at that material time MAHB had to close its eyes on AirAsia’s airport tax and airport charge debts and of course, the little Napoleons in Khazanah was never “AWARE” of this glaring fact. So ALL is well!
On 1-12-2009, the Deputy Minister of Transport told yours truly Parliament during Questions Time that AirAsia’s Airport Tax debts from 2002 to 2008 stood at RM132.1 million. After yours truly relentless pursue this issue in Parliament, AirAsia had to pay up.
However, MAHB had to give a discount of RM25 million to AirAsia in 2009 as “INCENTIVE” when it was supposed to charge interest as the Airport Taxes were paid in cash and in advance by passengers. AirAsia is just a collecting agent for MAHB!
The RM25 million discount was broken into RM21 million for AirAsia and RM4 million for AirAsia X Sdn Bhd, in HERE.
By right the Rm25 million discount on the Airport Tax debts should be refunded to the passengers/public and not awarding to AirAsia as a “DISCOUNT INCENTIVE”!
Isn’t it strange that Khazanah being the biggest shareholder in MAHB and the controlling body of all GLCs, was oblivious of such a huge debt for so many years and it did not instruct MAHB to take actions on the Airport Tax debts for so may years. The Government should investigate into this scandal that lasted so many years and take the necessary actions against those little Napoleons in Khazanah for their “WILLFUL BLINDNESS” on such glaring debts.
“Price sensitive Tony Fernandes had been very vocal on the rising cost of the new airport, in fear of the extra cost to be passed to AirAsia, the biggest tenant at KLIA2.
To this, Rafidah said two-way effective communication was important in the aviation business, and in this case, involved the airport operator and AirAsia, said YB Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz in the same news report by Bernama.”
Yours truly would like to remind YB Tan Sri Rafidah that the airport charges in our LCCT is the lowest in the region except Jakarta.
Below are the airport charges imposed by the airport authorities in the region:
Hong Kong RM73
For posting on this matter please read “Another poor attempt at spinning”.
Tony has been going after MAHB on airport tax/charges for quiet sometime and it was stepped after the failed MAS-AirAsia share swap late last year. It seems that now YB Tan Sri Rafidah has jumped on the band wagon to put exert undue pressure against MAHB in the hope that MAHB will “kow tow” to Tony’s demand.
Before we go any further, may yours truly ask for a moment why AirAsia never talked about reducing its fares and the ancillary charges or hidden charges imposed. For example manual counter check in RM10, processing fees, service fees and etc. See below for all the Airasia’s hidden charges:
You will recall that the Australian Authority has taken actions against AirAsia for misleading pricing in HERE. It would be interesting to know the outcome of the action by the Australian Authority. Since 2004 similar complaints have been lodged with Ministry of Consumer Affairs, in HERE.
Even if, MAHB were to reduce the airport charges, yours truly doubt it will be translated into a saving for the passengers. Just look at the case in point, where MAS terminated its Bandung route and AirAsia enjoys the monopoly for this route immediately increase another flight taking over the slot by MAS. Did AirAsia reduce its fare to Bandung? The answer is NO. On the contrary, the AirAsia fare to Bandung has doubled since MAS gave up Bandung!
To Tony and YB Tan Sri Rafidah: Charity begins at home. Stop the nonsense of asking MAHB to reduce the airport charges just to suit AiraAsia business model! Stop bullying MAHB, the 4th Floor reign during the Sleepy Era in Malaysia was all over many years ago. If not, the one sided MAS-AirAsia share swap wouldn’t have been reversed!
YB Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, the chairman of AirAsia X SdnBhd, should look serious consider terminating the Re-Accommodation Agreement with MAS to uplift 35,000 of its passengers at below market fares in order to show AirAsia/AirAsia X Sdn Bhd sincerity is in wanting to sever ties with MAS.
Tony and Tan Sri Rafidah should also make the similar demand to all airport in foreign countries where AirAsia/AirAsia X use to sign a legal document to state that they will not increase airport charges for a specific period just to protect AirAsia/Airasia X business business model. Perhaps Tony and/or YB Tan Sri Rafidah should start with country nearer to home, Singapore. Lets see what is the respond from Singapore Airport Authority.
AirAsia/AirAsia X should not try in Jakarta as it has proven to be futile and it will cause unnecessary inconveniences to its passengers because Indonesia authority will not play ball with them as shown in HERE.
Singapore Airport Authority will be a good try for AirAsia/AirAsia X. May be luck will be on AirAsia/AirAsia X side!
Until AirAsia/AirAsia X dare to make similar demand to other airport auhtorities, MAHB should just ignore all the demands made by them. MAHB don’t waste your time. Just provide good service to all passengers in KLIA and the future KLIA-2 with good facilities like aerobridge.
Furthermore, AirAsia has already declared that they are not going to move to KLIA-2!