By DASHVEENJIT KAUR / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) is expected to issue tenders to replace the baggage handling system (BHS) and aerotrains at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in the second half of this year (2H19).
Group CEO Raja Azmi Raja Nazuddin (picture) said the airport operator plans to undertake the major asset replacement exercise following the state of its two ageing assets at KLIA.
“Both our BHS and aerotrains are over 20 years old. As such, we are looking at an asset replacement plan for these two systems,” he told reporters after MAHB’s AGM in Sepang yesterday.
However, Raja Azmi did not disclose the amount to be spent to overhaul the assets.
Last year, former Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Ab Aziz Kaprawi had told the Dewan Negara the upgrading works for the aerotrain service and BHS would take up to five years with allocations of RM300 million and RM250 million respectively.
Raja Azmi also said MAHB has embarked on a capacity expansion at KLIA’s main terminal building.
The group’s focus for 2019 is to improve service levels and strengthen revenue streams, which would be achieved through five strategic themes, he added.
The five themes are moving towards becoming a best-in-class hub; delivering world-class service levels; strengthening non-aeronautical business; unlocking potential through KLIA Aeropolis; as wellas expanding and diversi-fying through international business.
“Initiatives to improve service levels will be implemented in tandem with the Airports 4.0 initiative, which will enhance operational efficiency and guest experience through a digitalised airport environment,” Raja Azmi said.
On the departure levy which comes into effect on June 1, 2019, he said such a tax may not have a significant impact on passenger traffic.
“Even when the departure levy is added to the existing airport fees, Malaysia’s charges will still be among
the lowest in the region.
“We are quite optimistic that the levy collected will be pumped back into the tourism and aviation industry to promote the country,” he said.
Last month, the Dewan Rakyat passed the Departure Levy Bill 2019, which will see a fee of RM20 imposed onany air traveller leaving Malaysia for another Asean country and RM40 on those leaving for other countries.
As for the passenger service charge (PSC), Raja Azmi said even with the upward revision from 2017, passenger movement in Malaysian airports continued to grow, indicating that the PSC has no negative impact on air travel.
In the financial year ended 2018 (FY18), the PSC collected by MAHB was RM417.6 million compared to RM391.8 million in the previous year.
MAHB recorded an overall revenue and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation for its FY18 ended Dec 31 of RM4.8 billion and RM2.3 billion respectively. Basic earnings per share stood at 40.37 sen for FY18 compared to 10.98 sen a year ago.
The positive growth was attributed to the value creation process developed, not only during the year under review, but also throughout the preceding years.