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Author: Tan KW   |   Latest post: Mon, 10 Aug 2020, 11:55 PM


Latest round of feuding between AirAsia and MAHB

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PETALING JAYA: A public spat in corporate Malaysia escalated when AirAsia Bhd claimed that it had made significant contributions to Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd’s (MAHB) revenue growth.

This is after MAHB said that the low-cost carrier had benefited the most from its incentive programmes, to the tune of RM376mil to date.

The latest round of feuding between the two companies came about after news broke that AirAsia’s founder, Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, had met with Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal to discuss the budget carrier’s plan to operate the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) Terminal 2 as an independent, low-cost terminal.

Fernandes said he had never wanted to move out of Terminal 2, prompting MAHB to respond by saying that AirAsia’s decision to relocate to Terminal 1 was driven by its own expansion needs. 

KKIA is the country’s second-busiest airport ahead of the Penang International Airport, thanks largely to the growth of low-cost air travel.

CIMB Research, in a note on Monday, said that the plan to allow AirAsia to re-open KKIA Terminal 2, if it goes through, would be positive for AirAsia and negative for MAHB.

“Any growth AirAsia experiences directly contributes to MAHB’s coffers,” AirAsia Malaysia CEO Riad Asmat said in a statement yesterday.

The low-cost carrier claimed it had contributed at least RM3.5bil in revenue to MAHB since it started operations in 2001.

This is in the form of aeronautical charges – landing, parking, aerobridges, check-in counters, passenger service charges, passenger security service charges, and others such as rental and utilities.

“We do not deny that MAHB had played a big part in our early success. In addition to incentives, it also provided us with a low-cost carrier terminal and we are grateful for that.

“Since then, however, MAHB has undone much of this good work,” he said.

Riad also claimed that the incentives given to AirAsia had generated more returns.

“For every RM1 in incentives we get, we give back at least RM9.33 to MAHB – and that is just in terms of direct contributions.

“If we look at indirect contributions from the retail, F&B and duty-free revenue that MAHB earns from our guests, that is another RM44.39 per RM1 in incentives just for KL International Airport 2 in 2017 alone,” Riad said. 



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