SEPANG, 27 October 2020: AirAsia X issued a clarification on Monday after Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) released a media statement titled “MAHB’s legal actions will not derail AirAsia X’s scheme”.
Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) was responding in turn to a news report by The Star titled ‘MAHB checkmates AirAsiaX’ published 24 October. MAHB argued that its MYR78 million suit would not derail AirAsia X’s pending financial restructuring plans.
“Malaysia Airports is pursuing its legal rights to recover the debt from AirAsia X which is critical for the upkeep and maintenance of the airports,” the MAHB statement read.
The dispute apparently focuses mainly on the outstanding aeronautical charges comprise regulated charges by the government including the passenger service charges (PSC), passenger service security charges, aircraft parking and landing charges, as well as aerobridge charges, check-in counter-charges, and late payment charges.
MAHB argues that the fees are supposed to be ploughed back into the business to sustain airport operations and ensure service levels continue to be delivered to passengers. However, it argued that its legal action would neither ‘cripple AirAsia X plans’ nor ‘force AirAsia X to fold’, as claimed in the news report in The Star.
AirAsia X responded to the MAHB statement saying the alleged MYR78 million outstanding amount owed to the airport authority was “largely made up of the MYR23 difference per passenger in the Passenger Service Charges (PSC) which was never collected by the airline.
In addition, it alleged that MYR9.2 million represented late payment interest unilaterally imposed on AirAsia X for the uncollected PSC fees.
AirAsia X argues that the increased charges could not be justified due to “substandard facilities and services which we strongly believe should not be imposed on passengers with higher fares.”
The airline countered claiming MAHB “has yet to pay agreed incentives owed to AirAsia X estimated at MYR7.9 million for 2018 and MYR6.9 million for 2019.
The airline’s statement concluded: “As all travel-related industries are the worst-hit sectors due to these unprecedented challenges, we strongly believe that airlines, airports and other travel-related businesses should work closely together to weather these extremely difficult times, come back stronger and make Malaysia the biggest travel hub in the region.”