Starting midnight tonight, AirAsia – in an act of protest – will be collecting the increased Passenger Service Charge (PSC) levied by Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB).
Passengers will need to pay an additional RM23 in PSC, and the differential amount will be clearly indicated in the itemised fare as "PSC (Under Protest)".
This follows a recent court ruling where the Kuala Lumpur High Court dismissed AirAsia and AirAsia X's striking out application in relation to the payment for outstanding PSC to Malaysia Airports (Sepang) Sdn Bhd (MASSB), a subsidiary of MAHB.
AirAsia Malaysia chief executive officer Riad Asmat said the airline will collect the full RM73 PSC, but will do so "under strong protest".
"Itemising the additional PSC will allow our 5.5 million guests departing from KLIA2 for non-Asean destinations annually to see how much they're paying for inferior facilities. I believe many will agree with us that they’re not getting their money's worth, especially when compared to the far superior facilities at KLIA,” he said.
PSC, or airport tax, is charged by MAHB on all departing passengers for use of airport facilities and is collected by airlines such as AirAsia on behalf of the airport operator.
MAHB had imposed a new PSC of RM73 on passengers using KLIA2 to destinations beyond Asean – the same rate as at the full-service terminal KLIA – effective July 2018.
This is higher than the previous rate of RM50, and AirAsia had refused to collect the additional RM23 from its guests to ensure air travel remains affordable for all.
AirAsia X Malaysia CEO Benyamin Ismail said the company will continue to oppose until all "legal options are exhausted".
"Believe me, we really don't want to be doing this, and we sympathise with our guests. PSC for passengers flying beyond Asean has more than doubled in less than two years from RM32 to RM73. We hope our guests will understand," he said.