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Extra cost justified for aerobridges

12 August, 2011

Letters to the edtor

I READ with amusement the news that appeared on page 4 of The Star’s business section dated 15th July 2011.

I understand that KLIA2 is to be a world class airport which is bigger than the current KLIA1 terminal. How could Malaysia Airports or The Department of Civil Aviation or the Ministry of Transport, as the authority and regulatory body, allow AirAsia to dictate terms and conditions on how they want to use the services provided by Malaysia Airports at KLIA2?

I would think that busing passengers is only a solution where there isn’t enough aerobridges or for aircraft parked at remote bays due to some air traffic congestion, not that AirAsia chooses to park at remote bays just because of the aerobridge charges, where the cost of it need not necessarily be borne by AirAsia in the first place.

As stated in the news, it cost less than 25 sen per passenger! While the ongoing tussle is between Malaysia Airports and AirAsia on the use of aerobridges at KLIA2, the unfortunate passengers will be the ones who suffer if aerobridges are not available. I am a frequent traveller and my comments are:

I am sure AirAsia or Malaysia Airports will pass on the extra 25 sen to the passengers, which makes little difference to a passenger anyway. When one purchases the lowest price air fare at RM3 or RM3.25, or pay the airport tax at RM25 or RM25.25, it makes little difference to the passenger. Hence, the extra cost here is not the issue.

The difference in turnaround time taken to dock or de-dock the aerobridges to/from the aircraft, as compared with using passenger steps (hand push) is negligible. One is motor-driven, while the other is human (hand-push motion). When the operation method is fine tuned between the two, there’s little time difference to turn around an airplane.

Having used the LCCT many times:

  • have seen children running/breaking loose and running around which pose great danger to themselves and to the many ground equipment moving about. Unfortunate accidents are bound to happen, if nothing is done to control this
  • Passengers walking to the aircraft too are subject to the dangers posed by the many ground equipment moving about
  • Very often, for the first timer, the old and illiterate passengers are confused as to where and which aircraft they are supposed to board, causing unnecessary delays to flight departure.
  • Inconveniences caused to mobility-impaired passengers, as compared with the conveniences of aerobridges

With the aerobridges, passengers will not be subject to a long walk, be exposed to adverse weather conditions to/from the aircraft, endure the pollution, the noise from aircraft and ground equipment engines, and air quality from the CO2 emitted by the various engines.

Why should we passengers, who have contributed to both AirAsia’s success story be subject to such danger and pollution abuses? With the aerobridges installed, the concerns mentioned above will be eliminated. Is it not contradictory that AirAsia is using the aerobridges at Terminal 1 in Singapore when there is a budget terminal in Singapore where AirAsia’s competitors are using? Are there not any cost and turnaround time issues there? I applaud and admire Tan Sri Tony Fernandes who has made AirAsia to what it is today.

But let us not forget that without the passengers’ continuous support, there is no AirAsia and henceforth, would not have enabled what Fernandes has achieved today.

It has always been Fernandes’ vision to make AirAsia the world’s best low cost carrier, and the airline has achieved it three years in a row.

With continuous passengers’ support, both AirAsia and Fernandes will continue to achieve more. I guess it is time for Fernandes to try a little kindness and gives a little more comfort back to passengers, and a more secured and greener environment. Please think of airport safety, security and the comfort of the passengers. Please install the aerobridges.

Mrs Hooi
Selangor

This article is a verbatim copy of the original article from The Star.

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