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21 May 2014

Sepang, 21 May 2014 – Malaysia Airports has many business partners including over 60 international airlines, that it supports at its 39 airports. When AirAsia as one of its key airline partners hauls the term ‘bully’ at it, the Malaysia Airports’ management and staff take exception to the remark, as it has always supported and served all its partners professionally. In fact, Malaysia Airports has consistently gone the extra mile to help and support AirAsia, especially when AirAsia moved to klia2, to ensure that their migration was smooth and successful. 

Amongst the help extended to AirAsia was to assign the airport’s flight operations team to sit together with AirAsia’s team to advise and guide them on the gate allocation system which was new to AirAsia when they moved to klia2. AirAsia’s unfamiliarity with the system had caused close to 200 gate changes on its first day of operations at klia2, and resulted in great inconvenience to the passengers. By working with them hand in hand, we have managed to reduce the gate changes to less than 10 daily at present. 

Another example of where Malaysia Airports had supported AirAsia was when it lent its staff and solicited for third-party resources to assist AirAsia with its manpower and equipment shortage to handle the arrival baggage delivery during its first few days at klia2. With this help, AirAsia had managed to stabilise the baggage delivery to be within the reasonable time frame to its passengers. It is possible that Tan Sri Tony Fernandes was not briefed by his operational team and was not aware of the support that Malaysia Airports had provided to his team, in calling Malaysia Airports a ”bully”. As stated earlier, Malaysia Airports and AirAsia have daily operational meetings attended by the Head of Departments (HOD), led respectively by AirAsia’s CEO Aireen Omar and Malaysia Airports’ Senior General Manager of Operations Dato’ Azmi Murad. 

 In addressing AirAsia’s branding woes, Malaysia Airports has provided sufficient branding opportunities to AirAsia including allowing the placement of its buntings at the check-in counters, table-top brand collaterals, as well as its corporate logo on the 80 FIDs (Flight information display) screens at the check-in counters allocated to them.

 Malaysia Airports would also like to explain SITA’s Common User Passenger Processing System (CUPPS), which includes the check-in systems at klia2. First, this is similar to that at KLIA-Main Terminal and serves as backup for each other. SITA is also the world leader that provides a more stable and secure check-in system and currently present in over 200 major airports globally. The SITA system enables optimal use of the check-in counters where any counter can be used by any airline. With the flexibility of this integrated system, airlines can shorten queues and thus waiting times. 

In the objective of building sustainable partnership and mutual respect, which Malaysia Airports is working hard to achieve with the AirAsia operational team, we hope that AirAsia’s leadership will demonstrate the right example towards this common objective. A small gesture will go a long way towards cementing a better relationship.

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