AirAsia says MAHB declined mediation bid

AirAsia initiated the bid last week in an apparent attempt to abide by the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) Act. — Reuters pic
AirAsia initiated the bid last week in an apparent attempt to abide by the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) Act. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 6 — Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) turned down AirAsia’s offer to take their ongoing dispute to mediation, the airline said today.

The low-cost carrier initiated the bid last week — after it announced a RM400-million counterclaim against MAHB — in an apparent attempt to abide by the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) Act.

“We will seek guidance from Mavcom on the next steps to address this situation,” said AirAsia Malaysia chief executive Riad Asmat, who expressed regret at the airport operator’s decision.

“However, we reserve our rights to take all necessary actions to protect the interests of our guests and shareholders.”

In a statement reported yesterday, MAHB disclosed that only AirAsia and its sister company, AirAsia X, refused to collect the full RM73 passenger service charge imposed by Mavcom on non-Asean flights at the KLIA2.

Both still collect RM50, the airport’s PSC prior to the Mavcom-directed standardisation with the KLIA, in protest.

In December, MAHB sent letters of demand to AirAsia and AirAsia X last year seeking RM9.4 million and RM26.72 million in unpaid PSC, respectively.

AirAsia responded with a countersuit in January demanding RM400 million from MAHB that it claimed was incurred due to conditions at KLIA2.

It later said it would bring the matter to mediation first, in an apparent attempt to abide by the Mavcom Act 2015 that requires such matters to be arbitrated prior to litigation.