Presenna Nambiar – 18 November 2011
"The Transport Ministry is incensed by Tony Fernandes’ tweets which criticised Malaysia Airports and the government for raising passenger service charges for international travellers from November 15."
Pangkor Island: The Transport Ministry has struck back at Tan Sri Tony Fernandes for his critical remarks on passenger service charge increase by the government and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB).
“When you point the finger at one person, three fingers point back at yourself,” Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said, referring to Fernandes.
He was speaking after the reactivation of scheduled flight services into Pangkor Island by Berjaya Air yesterday.
Kong was incensed by Fernandes’ tweets recently which criticised MAHB and the government for increasing passenger service charges (PSC) for international travellers from November 15.
International PSC is now RM32 for low-cost terminals and RM65 for all other international airports.
According to Kong, the Treasury has been paying RM180 million a year to subsidise the PSC increase which had been approved in 2009.
This is in accordance with an agreement effected between MAHB and the government then, which states that the government compensate for any shortfall in charges that the government
did not want passed on to passengers.
“There were other increases that were done quietly by airlines ... I won’t mention which airline. Baggage charges, golf bags, buy ticket using Visa card or credit card, even when checking in by counter ... why nobody complain?” Kong asked.
The MOT also has no plans to change a directive which designates Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (Subang airport) as a turboprop and private jet area, restricting scheduled jet operations.
Fernandes recently revealed plans to start a super-premium airline out of Subang airport which had raised the question of whether the MOT would consider changing the status of the airport to allow it to operate from there.
The ministry confirmed that it has yet to receive any application for such an airline by Fernandes.
“We will make a stand when we receive the application. There is no application, so there is no stand,” Kong said.