AviationPoor service standards and rising oil prices cited as reasons.

Airport tax hike: Unjustified and not the right time, says MATTA president

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Airport tax hike: Unjustified and not the right time, says MATTA president
Photo Credit: ElenaMirage/iStock
Datuk Hj Hamzah Rahmat
Datuk Hj Hamzah Rahmat

The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) announced on October 31 that the revised rates are RM11 (US$2.62) at both the KL International Airport (increase of RM2 from RM9) and klia2 (increase of RM5 from RM6) respectively. There will be a new tier of RM35 (US$8.35) per departing passenger for travel to ASEAN countries (down from RM65).

The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) president, Datuk Hj Hamzah Rahmat, is shocked by the increase in the Passenger Service Charge (PSC) effective from January 1, 2017.

The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) announced on October 31 that the revised rates are RM11 (US$2.62) at both the KL International Airport (increase of RM2 from RM9) and klia2 (increase of RM5 from RM6) respectively. There will be a new tier of RM35 (US$8.35) per departing passenger for travel to ASEAN countries (down from RM65).

For international flights, passengers from KLIA will pay RM73 (US$17.39) and RM50 (US$11.95) from klia2. The current charges for international destinations are RM65 at KLIA and RM32 for klia2.

“MATTA is not against the revision of the PSC if done in a fair and consistent manner. But the timing could not be worse when many prices have shot up, including fuel and cooking oil,” Hamzah explained.

“Under the current business climate a moratorium will be in order to prevent an inflationary spike, but implementing the new PSC will do the exact opposite.”

He added the 83 percent increase for PSC on domestic flights and 56 percent increase for international flights at klia2 would hurt the passengers much more than the budget airlines operating from the low cost carrier terminal.

“It is as if we are bent on curbing domestic and international tourism when the ministry of tourism and culture and Tourism Malaysia are making every effort to promote visitor arrivals.”

Hamzah reiterated that the airport tax increase is not justified, as many basic facilities at the airports are not up to par.

“While modern airports around the world and especially around the region are equipped with body scanners, we are still using pat-downs and frisking passengers when they ought to be treated with decorum.

“Basic amenities such as clean toilets and proper security equipment should be in place before any increase in PSC, as there is no justification to pay more for getting the same poor standard of service in many airports, including Langkawi.”

Hamzah pointed out that klia2 was built as a low cost carrier terminal to cater to budget travellers and airlines. As such, passengers should be charged lower airport tax than KLIA which is for premium airlines.”

He calls on Mavcom to go back to the drawing board and to defer any increase of the airport tax. 

“Adding fuel to the fire would only result in runaway inflation. In such a scenario, any increase in charges will come to naught and back to square one, as well as the short term gain will be a long term loss to tourism in Malaysia,” said Hamzah.

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