A reluctant AirAsia says it will collect full airport tax from Aug 9 ‘under strong protest’

The company said it is collecting the higher fee “under protest”.

Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia will be collecting the full RM73 Passenger Service Charge (PSC) levied by Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) from midnight on Thursday (August 9), following a recent court ruling.

In a statement, the company said it is collecting the higher fee “under protest”. This will be clearly stated in the itemised fare as “PSC (Under Protest)”, it said.

AirAsia Malaysia CEO Riad Asmat said in the statement: “We will collect the full RM73 PSC but we do so under strong protest.”

“Itemising the additional PSC will allow our 5.5 million guests departing from klia2 for non-Asean destinations annually to see how much they’re paying for inferior facilities. I believe many will agree with us that they’re not getting their money’s worth, especially when compared to the far superior facilities at KLIA,” Riad added.

The PSC is applicable for passengers flying to destinations beyond Asean, and was effective from July 2018.

Citing inferior service and facilities at klia2, the company had previously refused to collect the full fee from passengers, after MAHB increased it from RM50 to RM73.

Malaysia Airports then sued AirAsia for the uncollected feeds.

In July, the Kuala Lumpur High Court dismissed AirAsia Berhad and AirAsia X Berhad’s striking out application and ordered the low-cost carrier to pay RM41.5 million in unpaid charges to Malaysia Airports.

AirAsia’s Group CEO Tony Fernandes has also spoken out on the issue several times.

AirAsia X Malaysia CEO Benyamin Ismail said: “Believe me, we really don’t want to be doing this, and we sympathise with our guests.

“This is an arbitrary hike and we will continue to oppose it until all our legal options are exhausted. However, we are forced to collect the additional RM23 as we cannot afford to continue subsidising our guests in the event our appeal falls through. We hope our guests will understand.”

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