What is Passenger Service Charge (PSC)?
PSC, better known as airport tax, is a fee that is levied on departing passengers by the airport operator (in Malaysia, it is paid to Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB)) for the use of airport facilities. The airport tax is included in the price of the air fare and is collected on behalf by the airline on behalf of MAHB, with the amount only paid to MAHB once the passenger completes his or her journey.
Since 1 January 2017, AirAsia has been collecting an airport tax of MYR50 from each non-ASEAN international passenger departing from klia2 and to date, the airline has collected and paid MYR663,051,008.52 to Malaysia Airports (Sepang) Sdn Bhd (MASSB), a subsidiary of MAHB.
So what happened?
Contrary to what many people think, klia2 is neither owned nor operated by AirAsia. The management and operations of klia2 are carried out entirely by MASSB. AirAsia is, however, MAHB’s biggest customer, and any airport fee that is collected by AirAsia is paid to MAHB via MASSB.
On 1 February 2018, MASSB increased the airport tax from MYR50 to MYR73 for non-ASEAN international passengers departing from klia2.
This effectively raised airport tax at klia2, a low-cost carrier terminal, to the same rate as for passengers departing from KLIA, which is a full-service terminal.
AirAsia believes that this is unfair for passengers departing from klia2 and has refused to collect the additional MYR23 that MASSB is levying on passengers.
As a result of this, MASSB has slapped AirAsia with a legal suit worth MYR36.11 million for the arrears in payment, which of course, AirAsia is refusing to pay.
AirAsia Malaysia CEO Riad Asmat said the airline is not obligated to collect the additional charge, further adding that the levels of service provided to passengers at klia2 are far lower compared with KLIA.
AirAsia Malaysia CEO Riad Asmat
He went on to add that AirAsia has tried to engage with MASSB on the this and various other issues on the infrastructure at klia2.
With both parties refusing to back down, the Ministry of Transport is going to step in and initiate a mediation process.
AirAsia is the world’s best low-cost carrier and thanks to its competitive fares, people from all corners of the globe have been able to travel for less.
Do you think it is fair for for travellers from klia2 to pay the same amount as travellers from KLIA? How was your experience travelling using klia2?
Let us know your thoughts on social media with the hashtag #fairporttax