KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - AirAsia passengers departing from Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) will no longer have to pay the RM3 (99 Singapore cents) KLIA2 fee starting from Monday (Jan 7).
In a statement, budget carrier AirAsia said it will cease charging the fee in an effort to keep fares low.
Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB), the operator of KLIA2, clarified last week that the fee was imposed by AirAsia, not MAHB.
AirAsia Malaysia chief executive Riad Asmat said this development comes following the airline's announcement last week.
"We have said from the very beginning that KLIA2 is not fit for low-cost carrier operations, and we will be going directly to Malaysia Airports for all the extra costs they're costing us," he said.
According to AirAsia, the KLIA2 fee was introduced in May 2014 to "cover the additional cost created at KLIA2" due to the use of mandatory facilities imposed by MAHB.
These include the usage of aerobridges, SITA check-in and boarding systems.
During a Facebook Live session last week, AirAsia Group chief executive Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said that KLIA2 did not match AirAsia's objective for air travel, which was primarily to lower costs in order to offer cheaper airfares.
AirAsia and MAHB are locked in a legal battle over the passenger service charge (PSC) at KLIA2 after the airline refused to collect the full amount of RM73 that the airport operator imposed.
Instead, AirAsia has been collecting RM50 per pax that was the rate prior to the increase, as a way to object to the standardisation of the tax at both the KLIA and KLIA2.
AirAsia previously insisted that it was unfair to charge the same fee when one airport, KLIA, was vastly better equipped than the other.