Sunday, February 13, 2011

AirAsia explains why airline must remain at KKIA Terminal 2

AirAsia insists on remaining at the low-cost terminal at Tg Aru and warns that Sabah could see a significant drop in the number of passenger arrivals if the airline is forced to relocate to the new Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA). AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer Dato Sri Dr Tony Fernandez argued if the government still goes ahead with the plan, the budget airline will be burdened with higher costs and charges which would badly affect its current service to the state economy especially in tourism.

He also claimed that the new KKIA terminal does not have enough facilities to meet with the needs of the airline.

“We are very against it because they don’t have enough facilities on the terminal for us from the start,” he said to reporters from Sabah and Sarawak at AirAsia’s headquarters here on Friday.

“It looks empty but during peak time there are a lot of planes coming in so where are we going to put our planes and there’s not enough check-in desks,” he said.

He added that the move would not only dampen AirAsia’s plans to expand into new routes but also jeopardize its current routes as well.

“Already my Indonesian counterparts are reviewing whether to keep the Jakarta-KK (route),” he said.

According to Fernandez, AirAsia was planning to add two more planes to the current fleet of six in Kota Kinabalu which is estimated to bring in an additional of about 800,000 passengers into the state in one year.

A move to the new terminal would also mean that the Passenger Service Charge (PSC) would cost higher from RM25 to RM51 that would burden passengers, he said.

AirAsia also had plans to use the low-cost terminal in Kota Kinabalu as a major eastern hub to venture into markets in North and South America, Australia, Korea, China and Japan.

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