PETALING JAYA: AirAsia Group has reversed its earlier decision and will now move to the new low cost air terminal by May 9, the final day when all operations at the existing LCCT will cease.
This change of heart comes after the Government made it clear the airline has to move to KLIA2 and that the airport has been built to suit the airline’s specifications. The Government had said it would not make exceptions for any party to stay on at the old terminal after KLIA2 opens on May 2.
AirAsia is to be the anchor tenant at the new airport, accounting for more than 80% of KLIA2’s traffic. In a statement here yesterday, the airline said it had made all necessary preparations to move into KLIA2 in line with the operational readiness and transfer (Orat) specifications, such as airside and operations trials.
“With the support of Malaysia Airport Holding Bhd (MAHB), we will be able to comply with the Orat requirements to facilitate our move,’’ AirAsia Bhd executive chairman Datuk Kamarudin Meranun said. “Although there are still a few outstanding commercial issues, this should not hold back our operations at KLIA2 as planned. As such, AirAsia will move into KLIA2 by May 9.”
Kamarudin said the airline was looking forward to operating from the new airport for its next stage of growth and development. “However, should the negotiations not be completed or concluded expeditiously, we hope that the Government can provide necessary mediation to enable MAHB to get its dues as the airport operator and enable the AirAsia Group to efficiently operate based on our proven low-cost carrier business model,” he said.
Earlier this month, the airline had said security and safety issues needed to be addressed first before it moved. To appease sceptics of the terminal’s operability issues, the Government invited the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to examine safety issues at KLIA2.
Four other airlines are making final arrangements to move to KLIA2. They are Malindo Air, Cebu Air, Tiger Airways Singapore and Indonesia’s Mandala Airlines.