SEPANG, 9 August 2019: AirAsia started to collect the Passenger Service Charge (PSC) levied by Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) from midnight Thursday.
In a press statement, the airline said it would collect the tax under protest, following a recent court ruling.
The airline stated: “The Kuala Lumpur High Court had dismissed AirAsia Berhad and AirAsia X Berhad’s striking out an application in relation to the payment for outstanding PSC to Malaysia Airports (Sepang) Sdn Bhd (MASSB), a subsidiary of MAHB.”
PSC, or airport tax, is charged by MAHB on all departing passengers for the use of airport facilities and is collected by airlines such as AirAsia on behalf of the airport operator.
MAHB had imposed a higher PSC of RM73 on passengers using klia2 to fly to destinations beyond ASEAN saying it was introducing the same rate as that charged at the full-service terminal KLIA, effective July 2018.
The new PSC was higher than the previous rate of RM50, and AirAsia subsequently refused to collect the additional RM23 from guests claiming it was ensuring air travel remained affordable for and that services provided at the terminal could not be compatible with those at the full-service KLIA.
AirAsia will now collect the additional RM23, and the differential amount will be clearly indicated in the itemised fare as “PSC (Under Protest)”.
AirAsia Malaysia CEO Riad Asmat said: “We will collect the full RM73 PSC, but we do so under strong protest. Itemising the additional PSC will allow our 5.5 million guests departing from KLIA2 for non-ASEAN destinations annually to see how much they’re paying for inferior facilities. I believe many will agree with us that they’re not getting their money’s worth, especially when compared to the far superior facilities at KLIA.”
AirAsia X Malaysia CEO Benyamin Ismail added: “Believe me, we really don’t want to be doing this, and we sympathise with our guests. PSC for passengers flying beyond ASEAN has more than doubled in less than two years from RM32 to RM73. It is an arbitrary hike, and we will continue to oppose it until all our legal options are exhausted.
“However, we are forced to collect the additional RM23 as we cannot afford to continue subsidising our guests in the event our appeal falls through. We hope our guests will understand.”