Open all Penang airport counters, airlines told again

70% of counters are being used at Penang airport, says MAHB. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: The country’s main airport operator has repeated its call to airlines to fully utilise check-in counters allocated to them to help ease the congestion at Penang International Airport.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad chief operating officer Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh said the airport is operating at full capacity and it was important for all parties to optimise their operations at the airport.

MAHB had voiced its concerns earlier this week. but found that there had been no improvement since, with only some 70% of the check-in counters in operation.

“Checks over the last five days still show that the 30 check-in counters dedicated for local airlines are still under utilised due to lack of staff from the airlines.

“The same goes for the self-check-in kiosks and self-baggage drop facilities provided by the airlines, where at least three of these facilities are not operational at any one time, contributing to long queues for the check-in process.”

He added that AirAsia was allocated five check-in counters and six self bag drop counters but only half of the counters were operated.

Shukrie said he hoped the situation will improve and that all parties will work together to improve the airport experience ahead of the Experience Penang Year 2020 and Visit Malaysia 2020.

Penang airport senior manager Mohd Nadzim Hashim had recently denied claims by an airline that the airport had become too congested because of poor design. Nadzim said lack of airline staff and poorly managed check-in and baggage drop facilities was the cause..

Recently, aviation hospitality consultant Jeremy Clark posted a video of a queue at the AirAsia check-in counter that stretched almost three-quarters the length of the entire terminal. AirAsia then issued an advisory notice, asking passengers to check-in online and go to the airport early.