AirAsia: Congestion at KLIA2 immigration counters gives country a bad image

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) needs to immediately make adjustments at KLIA2 to address congestion at immigration counters or risk painting a bad image of Malaysia, says budget carrier AirAsia Group.

AirAsia Malaysia CEO Riad Asmat and AirAsia X Malaysia CEO Benyamin Ismail said the long queues at immigration counters for foreign passports were a daily occurrence.

"It has gotten so bad that countless guests have complained to us about missing their connecting flights, as well as important meetings and appointments," they said.

The CEOs claimed that visitors had to queue for over an hour at immigration gates, especially during peak hours from 3am to 7am, 2pm to 7pm and 9pm to midnight.

In a statement, they said the problem was caused by the poor design and flawed configuration at KLIA2. They added that they had raised the issue with MAHB before.

Assurance was given that adjustments would be made to extend immigration clearance into an area presently occupied by duty-free outlets, but to date, nothing had been done, said the CEOs.

"The Immigration Department has been very understanding and helpful by ensuring all counters are open during peak periods.

"Aside from that, there's nothing much further they can do as the floor space and configuration at KLIA2, including the ability to add more counters and extend the queuing area, falls under MAHB’s responsibility," they said.

They have also called on the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) to step in to ensure that the issue was quickly resolved.

"The airport is the first encounter visitors have with Malaysia, and it is shameful that their first experience of our country is one that showcases inefficiency and poor customer service, particularly with Visit Malaysia Year 2020 just around the corner," they said.

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