KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 – Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) insists it has consistently gone the extra mile to help and support AirAsia, especially when the budget airline moved to Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2), to ensure a smooth and successful migration. The airport operator said it had also helped AirAsia by assigning its flight operations team to sit together with AirAsia’s team to advise and guide them on the gate allocation system, which was new to AirAsia when they moved to klia2.

“AirAsia’s unfamiliarity with the system had caused close to 200 gate changes on its first day of operations at klia2, resulting in great inconvenience to passengers. “By working with them hand in hand, we have managed to reduce the gate changes to less than 10 daily,” MAHB said in a statement Thursday. MAHB said its management and staff take exception to AirAsia’s remark that it was a “bully” to the airline and MAHB’s other business partners. “With the objective of building a sustainable partnership and mutual respect, which MAHB is working hard to achieve with the AirAsia operational team, we hope that AirAsia’s leadership will demonstrate the right example towards this common objective,” said.

MAHB, whose business partners include some 60 international airlines which it supports at its 39 airports. On May 19, AirAsia Group Chief Executive Tan Sri Tony Fernandes tweeted in his twitter account: “As I have kept saying, Malaysia Airports have to realise that airlines create their growth. They need to work with airlines, not bully them.” MAHB explained that SITA’s Common User Passenger Processing System (CUPPS), which includes the check-in systems at klia2, is similar to that at the KLIA Main Terminal and serves as a backup. The SITA system, used at over 200 major airports globally, enables optimal use of check-in counters, which can be used by any airline, shortening queues and thus waiting times, it said.

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