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Wednesday, 1 August 2018

(NST) AirAsia optimistic on govt establishing 3 new LCCTs


KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia Group Bhd group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes is confident the government will allow for the setting up of three low-cost carrier (LCC) terminals in the country.

Fernandes took to Twitter today, tweeting: "Malaysia, I am sure will have three LCC terminals in KL, Penang and Kota Kinabalu. With the momentum in Indonesia and the Philippines, this is huge for @AirAsia."

His optimism stems from his meeting with Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, Transport Minister Anthony Loke and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) acting group chief executive officer Raja Azmi Raja Nazuddin last Friday.

Fernandes had last week said Malaysia was expected to have more low-cost carrier terminals as MAHB now understood what AirAsia can do for the local aviation sector.

“More low cost terminals coming. Malaysian airports now understanding what we can do. Exciting time for guests, Malaysians. More jobs and economic growth.

“Let's hope the war is finally over and we both win together. MAHB and AirAsia. And of course the main winner Malaysians,” he tweeted then.

The LCC proposal in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah was mooted in November 2016, by AirAsia to the government.

Last month, AirAsia chief executive officer Riad Asmat said its passenger traffic at Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) had long been on the decline, citing that this trend could only be reversed by moving the LCC out from KKIA’s Terminal 1 (T1).

He said AirAsia had operated from the Terminal 2 (T2) from mid-2004 up until December 2015, when the LCC was compelled to move to T1 in light of amenities and facilities being made unavailable for its operations then.

MAHB had refuted AirAsia's claim that it had been experiencing flat growth since the move to Terminal 1 (T1).

MAHB said the data had clearly shown that after the consolidation of operations, there was substantial traffic growth at KKIA as a whole, as well as for the AirAsia Group, thereby contributing to a rise in tourism traffic for Sabah.