Malaysian carrier AirAsia is staying with its decision to stay on KKIA T2, despite it is being ordered by the Transport Ministry to do move to Terminal 1, said Tony Fernandes, Group CEO.
According to Fernandes, moving from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1 would only create make the airport overcrowded. Plus, he said, the airport tax, which will go up by RM35, would be a blow to Sabah’s tourism.
AirAsia’s CEO said the following to reporters on Wednesday:
We know what we’re doing in the airline business and we made it very clear to the Ministry of Transport that we are not going to move to Terminal 1 because it doesn’t make any sense. So we will stay in Kota Kinabalu International Airport Terminal 2.
All Airlines Must Move to KKIA T1, Says Transport Ministry
On Tuesday, Malaysian Deputy Minister of Transport Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said that all airlines must move to Kota Kinabalu International Airport’s Terminal 1 to accommodate a greater number of domestic and international passengers. The directive, which included AirAsia as well, was issued on 1st August.
Fernandes, however, believes that imposing a greater airport tax, would damage the local airline industry’s chances of competing in the region.
He said the local airport operator MAHB (Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad) and carriers should work together in creating new jobs, and used Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines as an example of how airport operators and transport ministers can cooperate.
We don't want to fight. The ringgit is falling down. Wouldn’t it make more sense for Malaysia Airports and AirAsia to sit down and see how we can grow tourism, create more jobs and make the number of tourists to Sabah increase, and make Kuala Lumpur International Airport a hub like Dubai?