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AirAsia Group CEO urges MAHB to increase competitiveness for LCCs

5-Jul-2012 12:57 PM

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes, in his personal blog 'Tony Fernandes CEO Blog', urged (04-Jun-2012) Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) to increase its competitiveness to LCCs as other operators in the region seek greater involvement of LCCs. In a blog post entitled, 'What's with the new terminal?', Mr Fernandes urged MAHB to swiftly complete construction on Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) 2, noting airports in Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines are all developing their product to attract LCCs. "It's clear the world won't wait for MAHB to get its act together. Time is running out," he said. Commenting on the significant cost overruns at KLIA2, Mr Fernandes said, "When KLIA2 was first proposed, Malaysia Airports (MAHB) said it would cost RM2 billion, a figure that was later revised to RM2.6 billion. Then came news that the terminal would cost RM4 billion, double the original estimate. Now there’s talk that the bill could go as high as RM5 billion. That makes no sense – the low-cost terminal will now cost much more than KLIA. Yes, I asked for a new terminal but one that has simple facilities. Did it have to cost 20 times our present LCCT? These overruns are matched by delays in the completion date. MAHB originally said KLIA2 would be up and running by September 2011. Opening day was then pushed to the first, and later, the second quarter of 2012. Well, here we are and construction is only half done. We’ve been told the terminal will only be operational by the first quarter of next year at the earliest or possibly early 2014 but I wouldn’t hold my breath".