2010/08/30 By Eileen Ng
The new permanent low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) here dubbed “KLIA2” will serve as an economic stimulus to the country.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said not only will KLIA2 provide more job opportunities to Malaysians, it will also boost tourism by attracting more airlines and visitors to the country.
“It goes without saying that given the rapid growth of low-cost air travel, the construction of a project such as this new terminal brings the country many benefits.
“This facility will greatly enhance our vision to increase tourism revenue from the current RM53 billion in 2009 to RM168 billion by 2020,” he said in his speech at the ground-breaking ceremony at KLIA2’s construction site yesterday.
Also present were Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha, his deputies Jelaing Mersat and Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) managing director and chief executive officer Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad.
Targeted to be completed by April 2012, the new LCCT, which is located 2km from the main KL International Airport (KLIA) terminal, will cater to 30 million passengers a year, and with expansion, can handle 45 million passengers a year.
Najib said local businesses will benefit from the influx of tourists into the country.
“The spill-over effect from having this captive market at our airports is immense, from a commercial perspective. Following the footsteps of established successful airports such as London’s Heathrow and Amsterdam’s Schiphol where airports are much more than just a place to catch flights, MAHB has envisioned our own airports as the platform to drive commercial business.
“With its vision to be a world-class airport business, I am encouraged to know that besides operating top-notch airport facilities and services, there will also be ample retail and commerce opportunities to allow Malaysian businesses to capitalise and benefit from the influx of tourists and spending power flowing continuously through the arrival and departure gates,” he said.
He is confident that the new terminal is poised to serve as a hub to attract more low-cost carriers to fly to Kuala Lumpur, further strengthening the government’s efforts to make the country the top-of-mind destination for leisure and business travel.
He also assured that the government is committed to developing all 39 airports in Malaysia.
“We will collaborate with MAHB, seek its expert advice on the upgrading requirements of our domestic and international airports and together, we can truly build a thriving airport and aviation industry that will benefit our people and contribute substantially to our economic growth,” he said.
Najib also paid tribute to homegrown LCC AirAsia Bhd for its efforts in stimulating low-cost travel in the country.
He pointed out that over the last 10 years, low-cost travel at KLIA has grown by an average 37 per cent per year, and the double-digit growth is expected to continue for the next five to 10 years despite intense competition from other large airports in the region.
“I have to compliment AirAsia for their innovative efforts to stimulate low-cost travel in the country and I applaud Malaysia Airport’s role in supporting the growth of this burgeoning travel segment.
“MAHB has anticipated that KLIA as whole would handle over 60 million passengers by 2020 and close to 45 per cent of these passengers are likely to be low-cost travellers,” he said.
He was also pleased to hear that MAHB has successfully completed its first tranche issuance of Islamic Medium Term Notes under its Sukuk programme to partly finance the development of KLIA2.
This article is a verbatim copy of the original article from NST.