SEPANG: AirAsiaâ€™s growth has been stunted since it moved to its new base in 2014, after restrictions placed by Malaysian Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB), ranging from how to run its check-ins to the design of KLIA2, said chief executive officer Aireen Omar (pic).
She said AirAsia have not been allowed to use their own automated check-in system that was used at the previous low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT).
This caused the airline to run long on their ideal turnover period of getting passengers through checkpoints in less than 25-minutes, she said.
“Even now you see people queuing in long lines, itâ€™s a real nightmare for anyone to check in durng the peak perod because there are so many people.
â€œWe don’t understand the delay (by MAHB) to facilitate traffic.
â€œThey forced us to use their check-in system, we refuse to use it but they made us.
â€œTheir check-in system is less superior than ours and we were able to automate from end to end (in LCCT).
â€œBut here they gave us a very basic system and for them to enhance it they charge us.
â€œThis is something we are very, very frustrated with,” Aireen told a press conference.
Aireen elaborated on the long-running issues of potholes and pondings on KLIA2’s tarmac that further drives up its cost of maintaining their operations there.
“Its like we are running an airline in an airport that is still under construction,” she said.
The woes do not stop there for AirAsia, she said.
Despite moving to KLIA2, its headquarters is still in the old LCCT, which has become a ghost town albeit the current construction work to redevelop the area into a logistics and cargo hub.
She said staff had to work in poorly maintained offices with construction work going on in the same building.
She said AirAsia still pays the RM260,000 monthly rent to operate in the vacant building, despite its value dropping since its closure.
On top of that, AirAsia pays for its own cleaners and maintenance of the building.
Aireen lamented that staff were made to walk long distances from the carpark and parking was also charged by MAHB.
“The building of our headquarters in LCCT2 was delayed because the DCA tower had to be moved. We are expecting to move in in October.
â€œIn the meantime, we are telling MAHB that they have to let us stay here.
â€œBecause it wasn’t our fault that the whole thing got delayed. But unforunately, the state of the building has been neglected. They have forgotten there is a tenant here,” she said.