“We are the victims here... we are at the mercy of MAHB, which is the only party building airports here,” said the carrier’s commercial director Jasmine Lee.
Some people are very downright with their statements; some are not. While we can understand why businesses apply a blanket on certain aspects of the operation, we still find it difficult to digest especially when it involves a government-linked entity. Let alone a pro-govt tycoon.
After all the publicity about MAS and AirAsia, with Tony Fernandes lambasting MAHB for 'giving his air carrier unreasonable problems', here come the most intriguing part - rebuttal and denial.
I think it has been more than a months since reports quoted him as saying that AisAsia wanted a bigger KLIA2.
In a Bernama report today, the low-cost carrier refuted claims by the airport operator that AirAsia was the main reason for the cost of the new low-cost terminal, or KLIA2, to increase substantially. (Also read Rocky's Bru).
The statement, issued yesterday also said it did not ask for a bigger KLIA2. But why did the company take 'plenty of time' to come up with this rebuttal?
The budget carrier also provided copies of two official letters sent by AirAsia to MAHB and vice versa to prove that it should not be blamed for the price tag of KLIA2 to almost double.
AirAsia, MAHB's biggest customer, said its chairman, Datuk Abdul Aziz Abu Bakar, had in a letter on November 2009 to MAHB managing director Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad Abdul Majid, cautioned that the location of KLIA2 at KLIA West was not suitable and would cause construction costs to soar.
"The site will definitely be more expensive than the planned budget of RM2 billion," AirAsia said, adding it had also estimated for MAHB that the construction cost will increase to RM3.6-RM3.9 billion.
In a separate letter dated Aug 9 this year, Bashir had written to AirAsia X chairman, Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, claiming that the proposed KLIA2 would be sufficient to handle 30 million passengers per annum.
"This figure has never been officially changed by AirAsia or MAHB since Aug 9, 2011," AirAsia said, in refuting claims made by MAHB in an article entitled "Why KLIA2 has to be bigger" posted on its website.
Looks like the issue is taking a turn for the worse. So, which is which now? I believe the govt needs to step in to quell it (is Azman Moktar around?)
However, let's listen to what Tony has to say in a press conference at the AirAsia HQ in Sepang today.