MAHB denies claims on RM70m govt subsidy for KLIA2

It was reported that the low PSC at KLIA2 had forced the govt to channel the amount in grants to help the terminal operate

By AFIQ AZIZ / Pic By ISMAIL CHE RUS

Malaysia Airport Holdings Bhd (MAHB) has dismissed claims that the government had forked out up to RM70 million to pay for the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) maintenance due to the low passenger service charge (PSC).

MD Datuk Mohd Badlisham Ghazali (picture) said the country’s largest airport operator is operating based on what is due from its operations.

“I am not sure where the figures came from. (As far as I am concerned) There are no grants from the government for that purpose,” he said after the launch of MAHB’s “Pay it Forward” campaign yesterday.

It was reported that the current low PSC at KLIA2 had forced the government to channel MAHB over RM70 million annually in grants to ensure the operation of the country’s second-largest terminal.

The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) announced that passengers flying to international destinations beyond Asean region using KLIA2 will have to pay a PSC of RM73 effective Jan 1, 2018. Presently, passengers pay RM50 for the charge.

Mavcom announced that the revised PSC will be applicable to tickets issued from Jan 1, 2018.

“Tickets issued prior to this date will not be subjected to the new rate, even if the date of travel takes place on or after Jan 1, 2018,” Mavcom said in a statement.

The commission said the new rate marked an equal rate for all airports in the country to all destinations. Mohd Badlisham said the group has continued the government’s formula and practice by giving cross subsidies to all airports.

He said it is a well known methodology and is acknowledged by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

He said under ICAO, in the case of a country that needs to manage social obligations, airports that receive lesser tax can be subsidised by other airports which gain higher profits.

“The purpose is to develop the transportation and aviation industry. If you don’t spend enough to the non- profitable airport, it will have to close down and harm the aviation industry,” he said.

MAHB currently manages 39 airports in Malaysia and the Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport.

Meanwhile, the airport operator is expected to eclipse last year’s record passengers traffic.

“As at November 2017, 88 million passenger movements had been recorded. We expect the number to surpass the previous year’s record which was 89 million passengers,” he said.

Year-on-year, KLIA2 recorded an 11.6% growth at 27.4 million passenger traffic movements from 24.5 million passenger traffic movements in the same period a year ago.

KLIA recorded a total of 53 million passenger traffic movements, surpassing last year’s full-year figure.