Travel agents’ group welcomes cut in PSC charge

GEORGE TOWN: A travel agents’ trade group today hailed the government’s decision to cut the passenger service charge (PSC) for non-Asean flights out of klia2 and other airports in the country from RM73 to RM50, calling it a move in the right direction.

Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) president Tan Kok Liang said it would be unfair for travellers to pay RM73 for airports with facilities inferior to those of KLIA.

In a statement, he added that the RM73 PSC for KLIA was fair, saying no other airport could match the facilities offered there.

Tan was responding to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) which recently said the lower PSC was unfair to airlines and travellers flying out of KLIA.

IATA represents some 290 of the world’s airlines or 82% of total air traffic.

Its Asia-Pacific regional vice-president Conrad Clifford said on Monday that the KLIA main terminal would lose out to other airports due to its higher PSC.

He also called the government’s move a snub to the Malaysian Aviation Commission which is in charge of setting airport charges.

“If the intention is to offset the increased charges due to the departure levy introduced on Sept 1, the more straightforward way is to remove the departure levy altogether,” Clifford had said in a statement.

Tan said today that IATA’s statement was irrational.

“We fully support the decision to reduce the PSC as facilities at these airports are of no match to the standards of KLIA, our premium airport.

“It is fortunate that the government had the foresight to charge reasonably for services and show the right way with the revised PSC rates.”

On Aug 30, the PSC was revised downwards from RM73 to RM50 at all airports except KLIA. The revision will take effect from Oct 1.

PSC rates for flights to Asean countries will remain at RM35 while the RM11 charge for domestic flights is also unchanged.

The RM73 PSC was made a flat rate for all international flights out of the country’s airports on Jan 1, 2018.