AirAsia seeks amicable solution to airport tax row; MAHB wants suit to take ‘due course’ in courts

An AirAsia plane parked at klia2

AirAsia is now making an attempt to seek out-of-court settlement with Malaysia Airports Holdings (MAHB) over an outstanding airport tax dispute, saying it prefers to “resolve (the) issue amicably”.

The latest statement from the LCC came following a meeting between AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes with Employees’ Provident Fund’s (EPF) CEO Alizakri Alias in Kuala Lumpur, after the latter expressed his concerns that the ongoing legal spat between AirAsia and MAHB was a bad reflection of both companies as well as the country.

EPF raises concern over the ongoing spat between AirAsia and MAHB

Fernandes said: “We share EPF’s concerns that this legal battle is not good and has a negative effect on both the country and one of Malaysia’s largest revenue earners – the tourism industry.”

In response to EPF’s concerns, MAHB in a statement yesterday stated that its passenger service charge (PSC) suite against AirAsia is now being deliberated in court and should “be allowed to take its due course”.

In a statement today, the airport operator reiterated that PSC was a statutory rate fixed by the government. “PSC affects the economics of the nation’s aviation industry. It is imperative to establish clarity on the implementation of the gazetted PSC, the roles and responsibilities of the airlines and airports, as well as the rights of the parties involved,” it said.

The airport operator added that it is constantly in engagement with its key shareholders and “will be happy to address EPF’s concerns and clarify the matters with them accordingly”.

Meanwhile, Fernandes stressed that AirAsia had not initiated the suit. He said: “In fact, we proposed mediation by the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom), which is provided under the Mavcom Act 2015, but this was rejected by MAHB. Unfortunately, Mavcom has also decided to take a hands-off approach although this issue over airport tax, which is the subject of MAHB’s suit against us, is within MAVCOM’s ambit.”

Earlier this month, AirAsia served a notice to Malaysia Airports (Sepang), claiming almost RM480 million (US$117 million) for supposed losses incurred from operating at klia2.

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