Friday September 14, 2012

KLIA 2 to commence with 10 airlines in May 2013

KUALA LUMPUR: The new low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT), KLIA 2 in Sepang, is set to host 10 frills-free airlines once it is operational in May 2013, according to Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) chief financial officer Faizal Mansor.

He said the airport operator was still open to more airlines to use KLIA 2, as the airport was capable of serving 45 million passengers per year.

“Once the airport is operational, MAHB will have about 10 low-cost carriers. Among them are Zest Airways, Lion Air, Tiger Airways, Cebu Pacific Air and definitely, AirAsia,” Faizal said in an interview.

“We would love to welcome more airlines to KLIA 2. Five years ago, there were only five low-cost carriers but now there are about 30 to 40 budget carriers.”

He added that KLIA 2 was designed to accommodate all types of airlines, but it was best suited for airlines with low-cost business model.

He said the latest to join the group of airlines is Malindo Airways, which was introduced on Tuesday, through a joint venture between National Aerospace and Defence Industries Sdn Bhd and PT Lion Grup.

On Malindo Airways, Faizal said MAHB would commence detailed discussion with the new budget carrier soon, particularly on the level of space and facilities that it needed at the new airport.

“We have very plain understanding and have not gone to the details yet. MAHB welcomes the new airline to Malaysia as well as to KLIA 2. For an airport, the more competition, the better,” he added.

KLIA 2 is being constructed at a cost of nearly RM4bil to replace the temporary LCCT, which was constructed in 2006.

The new airport, located just two km from the main Kuala Lumpur International Airport terminal, would be the largest LCCT in the region upon completion, with a total area of 242,000 sq metres.

The opening of KLIA 2 will also help make Malaysia one of the aviation hubs in South-East Asia.

Meanwhile AirAsia Malaysia CEO Aireen Omar said AirAsia was set to work hand-in-hand with MAHB to discuss and resolve outstanding issues between them with regard to the new LCCT in Sepang.

“Our airline is a low-cost carrier, so we are working with Malaysia Airports to make sure that the airport is ready for a low-cost business structure,” she said. – Bernama

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