KUALA LUMPUR, Jun 23 – AirAsia Group has officially written to Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and his ministry to seek consideration for its request to position LCCT2 as the region’s low-cost carrier hub towards establishing Kuala Lumpur as the Dubai of the East.
AirAsia Bhd Chief Executive Officer Aireen Omar said in a statement today that the airline is ever ready to collaborate and work together with Malaysia Airports Holding Bhd (MAHB) for the benefit of the local aviation industry and Malaysians. Due to some misunderstanding regarding the issue recently, she said, AirAsia would like to clarify several points regarding its ongoing campaign to position KLIA2 as the low-cost carrier hub for this region.
For example, she said, AirAsia has no intention of changing the official code for Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), which is registered with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as “KUL”. She said, for the record, when AirAsia was operating at the LCC Terminal, the airport code used was also “KUL”.
The airport terminal was, however, named LCC Terminal – which stands for Low Cost Carrier Terminal. She said they wish to start addressing the airport terminal as LCCT2, which is the true identity of the terminal. She said this is due to the fact that MAHB has refused to admit the airport is meant for low-cost carriers.
Aireen said although MAHB has stated that the KLIA Main Terminal Building (MTB) and klia2 are meant to be part of an integrated hub, there is no supporting evidence to prove the statement. She said an integrated hub should include seamless connectivity between terminals to encourage passengers to interlink and stimulate travel on both full-service and low-cost carriers.
“However, the lack of airside trains and landside buses connecting MTB to klia2 clearly shows the terminals are not part of an integrated hub. Passengers are charged RM2 one way for using the only train connecting the two terminals and the train operates on a sparse schedule,” she said.
The low-cost carrier also suggested that MAHB focus instead on a dual-hub strategy. The KLIA MTB could be led by national carrier Malaysia Airlines supported by the One World alliance, while LCCT2 could be positioned as the region’s low-cost carrier hub, she said.
“AirAsia’s Fly-Thru traffic has grown by almost 50% every quarter, with more and more travellers flying into Kuala Lumpur and using it as a transit hub. If MAHB can admit to the importance of LCCT2 as a low-cost carrier hub, we can work together to strengthen the position of Kuala Lumpur and reclaim the title of Asia’s largest LCC hub from Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport,” she added. — Bernama