PSC spat not just about AirAsia, says MAHB

MAHB says it has no authority over the rates for passenger service charges, which are imposed on departing passengers.

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s main airport operator says the spat over passenger service charges (PSC) is not just a dispute with AirAsia Group Bhd, as it concerns the implementation of the airport tax in general.

In a statement to FMT, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) said the dispute with AirAsia might not be a one-off case as other parties might defy implementation of the PSC as well.

It added that the ongoing court case was “not an ideal situation” but would provide clarity on the matter.

“The court decision will provide clarity to all parties and prevent anymore disputes as it is an issue which affects multiple parties and stakeholders, not just MAHB,” it said.

MAHB said the non-equal collection of PSC also affected the government’s revenue through the smaller amount of user fee paid to Putrajaya which resulted in an uneven playing field.

MAHB subsidiary Malaysia Airports (Sepang) Sdn Bhd previously took AirAsia to court over unpaid PSC, while AirAsia has filed a countersuit for alleged operational disruptions at klia2.

MAHB reiterated that while PSC are collected by airlines from departing passengers and paid to it, it has no say in determining rates, which are at the heart of the dispute.

“We do not set, fix or control PSC. We are just an implementer, similar to the airlines which are supposed to collect the tax from the passengers.”

The Malaysian Aviation Commission, which sets the PSC rate, said the move to standardise PSC for non-Asean international flights to RM73 was aimed at moving towards a more internationally accepted, cost-based mechanism.

Meanwile, MAHB said PSC partially cover the operation, improvement and maintenance of its 39 airports around the country, including 18 smaller airports in rural areas where the tax is not imposed.

It was previously reported that AirAsia is only collecting RM50 in PSC instead of the gazetted RM73.