Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) has once again reiterates that it has no hand in setting the Passenger Service Charge (PSC). The statement was made in response to civil suits between its subsidiary Malaysia Airports (Sepang) Sdn. Bhd, (MASSB) and AirAsia over hundreds of millions of ringgits in outstanding PSC.
MAHB say it needs to clear up the misconception that the PSC is set by them. The major airport operator denies that they have a say in the PSC rate as it is under the purview of the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) as stated under Section 46 of the Malaysian Aviation Commission Act 2015. MAVCOM is an independent economic regulator that operates independently without MAHB’s or MASSB influence.
MAHB also provided further explanation regarding the PSC fees that is being collected at Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal 2 (klia2). According to MAHB, PSC fees are common fees collected by airlines from departing passengers upon purchase of their flight tickets. It is paid to the airport operator following completion of the flight.
The current rate for PSC in Malaysia is RM 73. In January of 2017, MAVCOM announced that the PSC for non-ASEAN international flights at klia2, to be the same with those at KLIA Main Terminal in KUL and other airports from RM50 to RM73. The fee was raised in order to equalise PSC across all airports in Malaysia.
MAVCOM reasoned that the hike was necessary for airports in Malaysia to move towards a more internationally accepted cost-based mechanism for charging PSC, which in consistent with the principles outlined by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
Despite the increase in charges, PSC rates in Malaysia airports are the lowest in the region and globally for both domestic and international departures. MAHB also pointed out that in Malaysia, PSC are only charged towards departing passengers.
In comparison to similar hubs in the region such as Changi Airport (SIN) in Singapore and Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), both of these airports have a higher PSC rate which goes up to RM143.50-RM163.40 respectively.
It is also important to note that this is not the first time the PSC has been revised. In 2017, the PSC was lowered down to RM35 from RM65 benefiting ASEAN international passengers. Both of these times where the price of the PSC was revised, MAHB has acted with the advice from MAVCOM.
PSC rates are not differentiated based on airport terminals regardless of operating airlines. This could be seen as the case at Suvarnabhumi International Airport (Bangkok) and Don Mueang International Airport (Bangkok) which charges the same rate despite the clear distinction between full service and low-cost operations respectively at the two airports. The equalised PSC for Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi airports is BHT 700 or RM 80, for all international passengers (ASEAN and non-ASEAN)
MAHB also added that PSC are not hidden charges forced on passengers. It is collected so that passengers may experience the facilities and services as it partially covers the numerous operating and capital expenditure for improvement and maintenance of the airport.