AirAsia Group meets EPF, says open to meeting MAHB

AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said the group had explained that it was very happy to meet MAHB at any point and all it wanted was its low-cost model to be appreciated. — Reuters pic
AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said the group had explained that it was very happy to meet MAHB at any point and all it wanted was its low-cost model to be appreciated. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 19 — AirAsia Group Bhd (AAGB) held a meeting with the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) today over its ongoing spat with Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB).

Group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said the group had explained that it was very happy to meet MAHB at any point and all it wanted was its low-cost model to be appreciated.

“To have low fares, you need low costs. To have low costs, you need a simple airport. To have low fares, you need low airport tax to allow everyone to fly,” he said in a series of tweets today.

Fernandes added that there was so much momentum on low-cost airports.

“I think for consumers airport tax is only going down. Most countries want low-cost terminals.

“They now see the fact that airports don’t fit all and that to really capture both markets they need low-cost airports and full-service airports,” he pointed out.

EPF is a major shareholder of MAHB and AAGB, holding more than 10 per cent and five per cent of the companies respectively.

The passenger service charge has always been the point of contention between the airport operator and the low-cost carrier for a while, evidently from an occasional war of words in the media and social media.

MAHB filed a lawsuit against AirAsia and AirAsia X Bhd (AAX) in December last year over uncollected passenger service charges of RM36.1 million.

In its counterclaims against MAHB, the budget airline sought more than RM400 million over losses and damages experienced by AirAsia and AAX due to alleged operation disruptions at klia2.

At 2.36pm, AAGB eased three sen to RM2.96 with 4.37 million units changing hands while MAHB rose six sen to RM8 with 111,500 shares traded. — Bernama

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