After suing AirAsia, Malaysia Airports says Aviation Commission decided on passenger service charge, not them
After several highly publicised spats with AirAsia over the passenger service charge (PSC) for flights departing Klia2, Malaysia Airport Holdings Berhad (MAHB) has since clarified that it is not the organisation responsible for deciding on PSC rates.
Late last year, the airport operator sued AirAsia for outstanding PSC fees, which it said amounted to an average of about RM7 million per month.
The budget airline then counter-sued MAHB last month for RM480 million in losses incurred from operating at Klia2, due to flight disruptions and the poor condition of the terminal.
Referencing the ongoing legal dispute, MAHB said in a statement on Feb 3 (Sunday) that PSC rates in Malaysia were solely “under the purview” of the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM).
MAVCOM is an independent body responsible for economic regulations in Malaysia’s civil aviation industry.
According to the airport operator, one reason MAVCOM decided to equalise PSC rates across all Malaysia’s airports in 2018 was so it could lower Klia2’s subsidies.
It added that MAVCOM had changed the PSC rate for Klia2 to facilitate fairer competition between airlines in Malaysia, and to reduce discriminatory pricing at the airports.
AirAsia’s had said earlier that its refusal to collect the full PSC for Klia2 was due to the airport having “far lower levels of service” than Klia, despite both charging the same PSC rate.
But MAHB countered that other airports – such as those in Thailand – charged the same PSC rates for all terminals, regardless of whether the airlines using them were budget or full-service.
MAHB also said that the Malaysia’s PSC rates were among the lowest in the world, and that the increased Klia2 rates affected “fewer than 4.5 million passengers” travelling to non-Asean destinations.
Most of these passengers were foreign nationals, it added.
In an earlier statement on Jan 18, MAHB said that its new crew processing centre in Klia2 was expected to be finished by May, and would benefit all airlines in the terminal, “particularly AirAsia”.
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