MAHB plans to get new low-cost terminal job done well

SEPANG: Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) has not given a firm timeline on the completion of the new low-cost terminal, KL International Airport 2 (KLIA2), but stresses that it will get the job done well.

Managing director Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad Abdul Majid said the minister had mentioned that the target for completion was October 2012.

“What is important for us right now is to get it done well. It's a very big project. Of course, as you can see there are delays here and there but we will managed that. At the end of the day, we will make sure that it get done well,” he said at a briefing after the company AGM yesterday.

Chairman Tan Sri Dr Aris Othman said: “It (KLIA2) is bigger than the existing KL International Airport (KLIA). KLIA caters to 25 million (passengers per year) capacity while KLIA2 will be catering to 30 million.”

On the cost of developing KLIA2, which is estimated at RM2bil, Bashir said there were a few packages to be tendered out. It is believed that one of the tender is for the construction of a new runway for the proposed airport.

MAHB had earlier awarded a RM997.22mil contract to build the main buildings of KLIA2 to a joint venture between UEM Construction Sdn Bhd (UEMC) and Bina Puri Holdings Bhd.

Aris said MAHB would be announcing “very soon” if aerobridges would be built at KLIA2. He said there were different views on the usage of aerobridges at KLIA2, adding that aerobridges were vital especially passengers safety as well as for security and weather reasons.

“Now, we have (proposed) 68 contact points. Some of these contacts points will need two aerobridges. If we fill up all, there will be some 80 aerobridges at KLIA2 and the bigger plane will need two,” Bashir said.

MAHB estimated its base passengers at 60.2 million in 2014.

Bashir said the airline industry was cyclical. “Conservatively, we will reach 60 million passengers and the optimistic target is 72 million.”

MAHB also aims to achieve earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation and returns on equity of RM1.1bil and 10% respectively.

Currently, there are 58 carriers including cargo airlines operating in Malaysia. Two more airlines will start their services here this year.

On airport tax, Bashir said the aeronautical charges were decided by the Government. “Of course, as an airport operator, we will like to increase it. Our charges are the lowest in this part of the world.”

MAHB's current passenger service charge is RM51 for international travellers and RM9 for domestic travellers at all airports. Low-cost carrier terminals charge a lower rate of RM25 per passenger for international travel and RM6 for domestic.

Bashir said MAHB had been pre-qualified to bid for the Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz Airport in Saudi Arabia and had received some proposals, including from Indonesia and China. However, it could not make the proposals public yet.

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