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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tony loses fight over KLIA2 aerobridges

November 29, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 ― Tan Sri Tony Fernandes faced a setback today when Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) announced that it will put in aerobridges at the new lost cost carrier terminal.

The AirAsia co-founder has been a vocal opponent of the installation of aerobridges at budget carrier terminals due to alleged extra costs incurred and had pushed for them to be omitted from the new terminal ― KLIA2.

Fernandes (picture) told The Malaysian Insider that aerobridges were a waste of money.

“We will not support the aerobridges,” he said via a text message. “We know what we need. The new terminal does not involve walking. Just down a ramp.”

He added that MAHB will not be able to recover the RM120 million it will spend on putting in 80 aerobridges at KLIA2.

“Even if we did (support the aerobridges) MAB would never recover the charges. Complete waste of money. I am so disappointed with Malaysia Airports.”

MAHB managing director Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad said today that KLIA2 will have aerobridges as it would help the elderly and infirm and the increase in cost to passengers was negligible.

“I am speaking of behalf of those with restricted movement, expectant mothers, young children, the elderly,” he said to applause at the press conference. “I hope airlines will support the aerobridges.”

Bashir said that the average cost per passenger was expected to be only RM0.25 sen for the use of an aerobridge.

“The public has indicated that they are willing to pay,” he said.

An MAHB official later clarified that the cost was based on the charge of RM85 to use an aerobridge for passengers to disembark and embark an A320 aircraft.

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