Posted on: 13 June 2016 by Mark Howells
AirAsia has begun a campaign to promote the budget terminal at Kuala Lumpur airport, KLIA2, as Low-Cost Carrier Terminal 2 (LCCT2) which the airline says will reinforce KL’s position “as the leading low-cost gateway to Asia and beyond”.
AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes explained, “As we grow towards becoming the Dubai of Asia, we want the world to know that the best value fares are here in Malaysia. To me, KLIA2 doesn't mean anything. LCCT2, on the other hand, is synonymous with low-cost. It is a brand that we built up together with Malaysia Airports (MAHB) and it shouldn't go to waste. I urge MAHB to stop denying the fact that it is a low-cost hub.”
AirAsia currently operates more than 220 flights daily to and from Kuala Lumpur. Passengers can connect to over 100 destinations in 24 countries via Kuala Lumpur using AirAsia's Fly-Thru service. Fly-Thru allows travellers to transit at Kuala Lumpur and other key hubs without having to pass immigration and with their baggage checked through to the final destination.
“AirAsia Group occupies 97% of operations at LCCT with an average of 37,000 guests daily,” remarked AirAsia Berhad CEO Aireen Omar. She added that in 2015 the Group flew over 2.3 million customers into the Kuala Lumpur hub plus 1.3 million Fly-Thru passengers.
As of May 2016, almost 700,000 passengers have used Fly-Thru, including significant traffic from Singapore. “In fact, Singapore–India is one of our top five most popular Fly-Thru pairings,” Omar noted. “Malaysians used to go to Singapore to catch onward flights. The fact that Singaporeans are now coming here shows the strength of our wide network and we are the Asian low-cost hub.
“We are particularly proud to be the largest foreign airline operating inChina,” she continued, highlighting that the group has carried over 33 million customers to and from China over the past ten years. “In 2015, we carried 1.49 million Chinese guests into Malaysia, and are poised to push the envelope even further as we plan to strengthen our flight network between Asean and the Republic of China.
“In view of the high volume of traffic brought into Kuala Lumpur via the AirAsia Group, we need MAHB to acknowledge the fact that Kuala Lumpur is a true low-cost hub with enormous potential and they need to change their mindset to facilitate the needs of a low-cost model and its rapid growth. Don Muaeng airport [in Bangkok] has overtaken KLIA2 as the world's largest LCC airport as it works closely with its customers to bring in the traffic. MAHB needs to adopt the same approach for it to be relevant and gain back that recognition for Malaysia," Omar concluded.