AirAsia X refutes MAHB claim it owes RM35 million in unpaid dues

KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia X Bhd (AAX) has refuted claims by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) that it has not settled RM34.88 million in outstanding airport charges, rent and late payment charges.

Benyamin Ismail, chief executive officer of the long-haul, low-cost affiliate of AirAsia Group Bhd, said it had consistently made monthly payments to the airport operator.

The Edge quoted him as saying that AAX had remitted payments to Malaysia Airports Holdings (Sepang) Sdn Bhd, MAHB’s wholly-owned subsidiary, on Feb 2, March 1, April 1 and most recently, a sum of RM16.58 million yesterday.

“This is contrary to claims made in a writ of summons and statement of claim filed by Malaysia Airports (Sepang) that AAX has refused and/or failed to fulfill outstanding payments,” Benyamin said in a statement.

MAHB had said yesterday that Malaysia Airports (Sepang) had on April 27 filed a lawsuit against AAX, claiming the airline owed it RM34.88 million in outstanding airport charges, rent and late payment charges.

MAHB claimed that despite numerous demands, AAX had refused or failed to pay the outstanding amount.

The Edge quoted Benyamin as saying: “(The payments were made) despite the ongoing reconciliation process of reimbursement for losses incurred by the airline due to a fuel pipeline leak at klia2 in Sepang in October 2016.”

“AAX, along with AirAsia, has lodged numerous official complaints regarding dissatisfactory airport facilities and high charges in the past, but Malaysia Airports (Sepang) has shown little to no interest in resolving the outstanding issues.

“The reconciliation process is expected to allow the airlines to recover losses incurred due to the inferior airport facilities.”

Benyamin said AAX was committed to resolving the outstanding issues with Malaysia Airports (Sepang), the report added.