PUTRAJAYA: The Passenger Service Charge (PSC) for non-Asean international flights out of all airports except KL International Airport (KLIA) has been reduced from RM73 to RM50.
The new rate will take effect from Oct 1, says Transport Minister Anthony Loke.
Passengers who have paid for PSC for flights after the said date can make a refund claim from airlines.
The PSC rate for flights departing KLIA main terminal for destinations beyond Asean will remain at RM73.
Rates for domestic and Asean flights for all airports are maintained at RM11 and RM35 respectively. The PSC is not the same as the government’s new departure levy that will take effect on Sept 1.
Loke said the reduced PSC would help cushion the effects of the new departure levy.
“The departure levy was announced by the Finance Minister during Budget 2019 as a means to add to government revenue and improve the country’s fiscal position.
“At the same time, we have heard the people’s views on the increased costs, so the Cabinet decided to reduce the PSC to balance with the departure levy, ” he said.
Loke said the decision was also in line with the government’s vision to have a framework where airport charges would be based on the airport’s infrastructure and services offered in the future.
“This is just the beginning. Mavcom (Malaysian Aviation Commission) will come up with this framework where there will be different charges according to the infrastructure of that particular airport.
“In the past, we had a regime where across all airports in the country, passengers just pay the same PSC rate, regardless if it is KLIA or smaller airports in Langkawi, Melaka or Subang.
“What we want to achieve is that the rates will be affordable and airport operators will be more competitive, ” Loke told a press conference yesterday.
On Jan 1 last year, Mavcom revised the PSC and imposed an equal rate of RM73 for international flights (non-Asean) at all airports.
Low-cost carrier AirAsia however continued to charge its passengers RM50 until Aug 8 this year as it felt the klia2 terminal which it uses is “inferior” to the full-service KLIA main terminal.
AirAsia Bhd group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes described the Cabinet’s latest decision as “a big win” for Malaysians and the country’s tourism industry.
“After a long time, it was great to see the minister saying that there is a difference between KLIA and klia2 in facilities and other airports.
“At last airports will be priced according to facilities, ” Fernandes posted on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Mavcom in a statement said it is in the “final stages” of establishing the tier-based airport charges, called the “Regulated Asset Base Framework” (RAB), which can be implemented next year.
“The RAB methodology is a globally recognised cost-based mechanism and provides a sustainable funding model for airports, whilst also taking into account impact to airport users.
“Charges will be implemented in accordance with the size, level of facilities and services available at the airports.
“This methodology will also free the government from subsidising airport operations as per the current practice, ” the statement said.
The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) said in a statement that it was thankful to the Cabinet for lowering the PSC.