Passenger service charges should be standardised between the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and KLIA2 as services and facilities offered by both terminals are comparable with a shared runway.
They are also supported by the fastest airport transfer in the form of the Express Rail Link (ERL), Andrew Herdman, the Director General of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA), said here today.
He said both were undoubtedly modern sophisticated terminals with expansive airport facilities, with the KLIA2 having very large aerobridges, sophisticated baggage handling systems and well-developed retail, food and beverage outlets.
“With such commonalties and similar standards of service, there should be a parity in the level of charges,” he told Bernama.
He said the historical origin of the RM33 differential in the passenger service charge (PSC) between KLIA and KLIA2 was due to the lower level of charges agreed to when AirAsia started using the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) prior to the construction of the KLIA2.
The LCCT opened in March 2006 and ceased operations after KLIA2 opened in May 2014.
“In those days, there was a very big difference in the level of services provided at KLIA and LCCT. Once the KLIA2 was completed, it was clearly a modern sophisticated terminal which offered services comparable to the KLIA.
“The (Malaysian) government acknowledged this when KLIA2 was opened, but said it would maintain the pricing differential and then review it.
“We are now at a point where the government is reviewing and gathering evidence,” Herdman said.
He also said AAPA’s member airlines are very unhappy with the differentiation in charges and made this very clear in writing to the government when the KLIA2 opened.
Both the Geneva-based International Air Transport Association (IATA) and International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) share similar views, reasoning that the pricing of services should be cost-related and non-discriminatory.
“Unlike Heathrow, Stansted and Luton which are airports in different locations and independent of each other in offering different types of services, we are talking in Sepang about different terminals at the same airport,” Herdman said.
Ultimately, he said everyone was concerned about costs and keeping air travel affordable.
“Aviation is a great force for good, in that it generates employment and supports travel and tourism, improves regional integration and global connectivity.
“We are all interested that airport facilities are provided cost effectively and run efficiently. The government has to decide “what is fair and what is reasonable,” he added.
He said overall, airlines and airports are partners with a shared objective, and obviously interested in some form of fair resolution.
“We have to deliver what’s fair to the passengers who can also then choose between competing offerings,” added Herdman.