By IZZAT RATNA
The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) is finalising its move to standardise the passenger service charge (PSC) for long-haul flights at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) to RM73, which is expected to take effect in January 2018.
The new PSC rate represents a 45% increase from the current charge of RM50.
Mavcom COO Azmir Zain said the gradual equalisation of the PSC is set to be implemented over a two-year period.
“Following the move for the new rate for long destination flights, Mavcom is also planning to develop a framework for further improvements of the country’s airports,” he said at the commission’s report launch ceremony in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Azmir elaborated that the framework would evaluate various airport service perimeters such as way finding, cleanliness of washrooms, length of queues, curbside management and ambience of the airport.
“When there is deterioration in any of these perimeters, the airport operators would potentially be penalised.
“Essentially, the overriding objective of this framework is to ensure that airport services are constantly in an improved condition,” he added.
Under the scheme announced in October last year, the PSC for domestic and Asean flights had been set at RM11 and RM35 respectively across all airports.
For long-haul flights, the PSC is currently RM73 at KLIA and other airports, and RM50 at KLIA2.
Meanwhile, Azmir said Mavcom forecast average fares for international and domestic routes to continue to drop, due to the increasing capacity that will be added on to the industry.
“We are still awaiting the data from the carriers themselves. Therefore, until we see those statistics, we are unable to predict the exact percentage drop in airfares,” he added.
Mavcom’s recently launched industry report — named “Waypoint” — noted total fleet size of Malaysian carriers increased from 213 to 278 aircraft in the six years up to 2016 and is expected to grow further.
In conjunction with the unveiling of the latest industry review, the commission has also projected passenger traffic for 2017 to grow by 7.8% to 8.8% — translating into between 98.3 million and 99.2 million passengers this year.
“However, the operating environment is expected to remain challenging.
“Nonetheless, there are still opportunities within the sector and it is our hope that this will spur industry players into exploring these avenues to leverage on the potential that is inherent in this sector,” Mavcom executive chairman Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad said.
Between 2010 and 2015, the aviation industry contributed an average of RM5.1 billion annually to the Malaysian economy.