KLIA 2 is set to host 10 frills-free airlines once it is operational in May 2013

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KUALA LUMPUR – The new low-cost carrier (LCC) terminal, KLIA 2 in Sepang, is set to host 10 frills-free airlines once it is operational in May 2013, says Faizal Mansor, chief financial officer of Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB).
He said the airport operator is still open to welcome more airlines to use KLIA 2 as the airport is capable of serving 45 million passengers per year.

He added that KLIA 2 is designed to accommodate all types of airlines, but it is best suited for airlines with a low-cost business model.

“Once the airport is operational in May 2013, MAHB will have almost 10 low-cost carriers flying from there. Among them are Zest Airways, Lion Air, Tiger Airways, Cebu Pacific Air and, definitely, AirAsia.

“We would love to welcome more airlines to KLIA 2. Five years ago, there were only five low-cost carriers but now there are about 30 to 40 budget carriers,” Faizal told Bernama in an interview.

He said the latest to join the group of airlines is Malindo Airways, which was introduced on Tuesday, through a joint venture between National Aerospace and Defence Industries Sdn Bhd (NADI) and PT Lion Grup.

On Malindo Airways, Faizal said MAHB will commence detailed discussion with the new budget carrier soon, particularly on the level of space and facilities that it needs at the new airport.

“We have very plain understanding and have not gone to the details yet.

“MAHB welcomes the new airline to Malaysia as well as to KLIA 2. For an airport, the more the competition, the better,” he added.

KLIA 2 is being constructed at a cost of nearly RM4 billion, to replace the temporary LCC terminal, which was constructed in 2006.

The new airport, located just two kilometres from the main Kuala Lumpur International Airport terminal, would be the largest LCC terminal in the region upon completion, with a total area of 242,000 sq metres.

KLIA 2 will also feature a multi-modal transportation hub for buses, taxis and the Express Rail Link (ERL) train to provide connectivity for passengers and also for the public, in addition to the semi-automated baggage handling system, support zones, cargo and in-flight complexes, a 6,000-vehicle parking complex, two to three hotels and AirAsia’s future headquarters.

The opening of KLIA 2 will also help make Malaysia one of the aviation hubs in Southeast Asia. — Bernama (TMI)