An AirAsia Airbus A320 aircraft (© Johnleemk / Wikipedia.org)
PETALING JAYA, 23 Jan 2009: AirAsia’s plan to build its own low cost carrier terminal (LCCT) in Labu, Negeri Sembilan, has hit a snag — deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today the government has yet to make a decision on the proposal.
“We are looking at it but have yet to make any decision. I cannot pre-empt the decision by making an announcement,” he said.
He was speaking to reporters after witnessing the handing over of the Bombardier CL415 amphibious aircraft to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency at the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang today.
Najib: government has yet to decide on
AirAsia’s proposalNajib said the government was studying the Labu LCCT proposal to see “if we can go ahead or we need to make a different arrangement.”
To be called KLIA East @ Labu, the proposed new low-cost carrier terminal is expected to sustain AirAsia’s exponential growth as opposed to the LCCT at the KLIA, where it is operating now.
AirAsia chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes earlier this month said that the country’s premier low-cost carrier would go bust if it sticks to the KLIA LCCT, as it would be unable to handle passenger growth a few years from now.
The new LCCT, to cost RM1.6 billion (minus land cost) on a 2,800-hectare site, would be built under the private financing initiative by conglomerate Sime Darby Berhad and the budget airline.
If the government gives the green light for the project, the new LCCT is expected to be ready by March 2011.
However, the Labu project has come under a lot of criticism, including from former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who questioned the need for another airport when KLIA is under-utilised.
Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB), which operates most of the airports in the country, including the the current LCCT in Sepang, has also come up with its own proposal for a new LCCT, to be sited next to the KLIA main terminal.
The first phase of the project is expected to be completed in 2012.
There has been no decision made on MAHB’s proposal. — Bernama