By P PREM KUMAR & D KANYAKUMARI / Pic By HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN
Malindo Airways Sdn Bhd’s shift to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) from KLIA2 has helped to maintain traffic at the country’s main airport after Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) axed many flights.
Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ab Aziz Kaprawi (picture) said Malindo had, in fact, stepped in to “save KLIA” during MAB’s massive route rationalisation programme.
He said Malindo’s presence continues to make KLIA the transit hub by extending interlining services to international carriers.
He said the decision also helped Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) to retain the terminal as the Asean transit hub without having to find a substitute.
“They (MAHB) needed to do something to cope with the vacuum left by MAB, because airlines worldwide had to look for other options to maintain continuity and cater to the convenience of the international travellers.
“To save the situation at that time, Malindo agreed and they have since been an airline that can interline with international carriers and allow KLIA to remain as a transit hub,” Ab Aziz said in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
“At the moment, 50 international airlines operate from KLIA and to maintain KLIA as a transit hub, we needed to have sustainability,” he said this in response to a query from Mersing MP Datuk Dr Abd Latiff Ahmad.
Abd Latiff had asked the government on the reasons behind Malindo’s move to KLIA from KLIA2.
Ab Aziz added that the public should view the industry in a holistic manner.
“We can’t only look out for MAB because it has limitations at the moment, as it can’t handle the demands from all travellers,” he said.
Malindo first began operations in KLIA2 on May 2, 2014, and later moved its operations to KLIA in 2016.