06 May 2010
AS of 2009, AirAsia has settled its arrears in airport tax to Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), said Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri.
He told senator Zainun A. Bakar that MAHB would always monitor the situation to ensure there was no arrears in airport tax by AirAsia.
As of March 31 last year, AirAsia owed MAHB about RM132.1mil in airport tax but was given a RM25mil discount by MAHB.
“AirAsia paid RM111.6mil and has settled the arrears,” he said, adding that the incentive given included other charges like parking, landing and office rental.
Zainun had questioned the rationale for AirAsia to enjoy a RM25mil discount when airport taxes were paid by passengers.
She also said that AirAsia should pay MAHB interest on delayed payment.
“If AirAsia brings in 10 million passengers to the country and enjoys a discount, what about MAS? It also brings tourists into the country,” said Zainun.
Abdul Rahim said MAHB and AirAsia had achieved a commercial decision, adding that airport tax was revenue for MAHB.
To another question by Datuk Daljit Singh Dalliwal, Abdul Rahim said the allegation that AirAsia was not given traffic routes requested were untrue.
“Their allegations are untrue. Actually there are 14 routes given by the ministry to AirAsia, and they have not started operating some of these routes such as Manchester, Zurich and Kathmandu,” said Abdul Rahim.
He said the decision to award the traffic routes depended on several things such as load factors, demand for the routes, availability of traffic rights and the effect of the traffic rights on the company requesting it.
Abdul Rahim added that the decision was also based on how the country would benefit from awarding the route.