KOTA KINABALU, July 28 (Bernama) — AirAsia Bhd has made a firm decision to remain in Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) Terminal 2 and declined to move its operation to Terminal 1. Its chief executive officer Aireen Omar said the reason why AirAsia had declined to move to Terminal 1 was because this would give an impact to its business operation, operation cost and increase in passengers’ service charge.
She also said that the design of Terminal 1 did not facilitate the low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) operation and it was not able to accommodate AirAsia’s expansion plans in the next few years. “We don’t want to repeat (mistake) that we faced (after moving) to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2. We moved but the whole design does not facilitate the low-cost terminal. We will stay put (in KKIA Terminal 2) until given a permanent solution in setting up a permanent LCCT,” she said in a press conference here, today. The latest deadline that Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd had given AirAsia to move to KKIA Terminal 1 was Aug 1, said Aireen.
Asked if the state government was supportive of AirAsia remaining at KKIA Terminal 2, she said: “I think they would be supportive in the sense of what we have done and delivered…also, what we have created to make Sabah into an international hub. We have been speaking to them and something that they want to look at with us in terms of the bigger plan is how to build tourism better,” she added.
Aireen said the key objective for AirAsia was to make travel affordable for everyone, especially for Sabahans, and want to ensure Kota Kinabalu become a hub for this region, not just Kuala Lumpur. “We want Sabah (to become) a key international hub and it is really important to have the right infrastructure to facilitate the growth,” she added.
Last year, passengers from China constituted the biggest volume of passengers with a total of 159,837, followed by Hong Kong (22,882) and Taiwan (11,309).