Airlines body says same PSC rate should apply for KLIA

A body representing airlines says the higher PSC for KLIA puts airlines operating there at a disadvantage.

PETALING JAYA: A group representing the majority of airlines operating in Malaysia has called on the government to ensure parity in Passenger Service Charges (PSC), after Putrajaya reduced the PSC rate for non-Asean flights from RM73 to RM50 at all airports except the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

The Board of Airline Representatives Malaysia (BAR) told FMT that the rate should be the same for all airports in the country in the interest of fair competition.

It said airlines operating from KLIA and serving similar destinations as airlines operating from klia2 will be at a major disadvantage due to the proximity of the two airports.

“The unequal PSC rate between KLIA and klia2 is discriminatory as it gives an unfair advantage to airlines operating from klia2,” it added.

BAR said travellers are constantly looking out for the best offer.

“To remain competitive, airlines at KLIA will have no choice but absorb the PSC difference by lowering their base fares to compete,” said BAR, adding that airlines’ profits as well as their future plans would be affected.

BAR said that the Air Service Agreement the government entered into with other countries demands that foreign airlines be given a level playing field to compete in.

“Globally, non-discriminatory PSC is the norm and most airlines operating in Malaysia subscribe to this view.”

The group said it was wrong to treat KLIA and klia2 differently based on the argument that the latter has inferior facilities and services.

It said such an argument was “perplexing” given that klia2 was only opened in 2014, while KLIA has not seen any major refurbishments since 1999.

“klia2 has more modern facilities and infrastructure, this is probably why it was not as badly affected as KLIA during the recent systems disruption.

“We urge the government to reconsider its decision and reintroduce PSC parity at all airports in the country.”

Transport Minister Loke Siew Fook recently announced the revised PSC rates for international flights outside of Asean.

The PSC rates for Asean and domestic destinations at all airports remain at RM35 and RM11 respectively.

The higher PSC for KLIA, Loke reportedly said, was because it was a premium airport.

Previously, the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) equalised the PSC at all airports despite AirAsia’s protests.

The budget airline argued that the RM73 fee does not commensurate with the level of service and facilities at klia2.

PSC is paid to Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB), the country’s main airport operator, and goes towards the operations of its 39 airports.