KUALA LUMPUR, April 2 ― Budget airline AirAsia has refused to move to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) that is scheduled to open on May 2, saying it will stay put at the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) until all safety issues at the new airport are resolved.
Local daily New Straits Times (NST) reported today AirAsia chief executive officer Aireen Omar as saying that findings by independent consulting firm, Ikram Premier Consulting, had showed depressions on KLIA2’s apron and runway.
“We believe it is crucial to ensure that remedial steps are undertaken prior to a transfer, which will mitigate aviation risks,” Aireen was quoted as saying in a statement yesterday.
“AirAsia also believes that the operational readiness and airport transfer (ORAT) period for a transfer to support the size of AirAsia's operations would be substantially more than the two months prescribed by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), which in our opinion is unrealistic and overly-optimistic,” she added.
News portal The Malaysian Insider reported today of cracks that could be found on the KLIA2 apron and on the walls of the two-storey budget terminal.
“Putrajaya should relook into KLIA2 meeting an artificial deadline when repairs are still being done. The country’s aviation sector is under close global scrutiny and they should get it right,” an anonymous industry official was quoted as saying.
The recent disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 on March 8 has cast a global spotlight on the aviation sector in Malaysia and the world at large.
Local daily The Star quoted Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Aziz Kaprawi as saying that AirAsia has to move to klia2 before May 9, as the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Sepang would cease operations then.
Aireen, however, reportedly insisted that the budget carrier would still be based at LCCT even after May 9, pending the resolution of KLIA2’s safety issues.
The Star reported Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed as saying that AirAsia representatives would be called up to present their views on the klia2 project.