Malaysia

MAHB confirms delay in KLIA2 opening

KUALA LUMPUR, May 9 — Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) has confirmed the delay in the opening of the new low-cost air terminal, klia2, scheduled for June 28, after taking into account several key quality and safety issues.

MAHB is expected to convene a special meeting with all stakeholders soon, to explain the delay in the construction of the RM4 billion airline hub.

“We will be meeting all concerned before announcing a revised opening date. The stakeholders are among others, the contractors, airlines, retail tenants and government agencies,” MAHB Chief Financial Officer, Faizal Mansor told Bernama.

He said MAHB does not want to rush the klia2 contractors, which could jeopardise the quality and safety of the airport.

“We want to ensure things are done right to avoid any glitches on the opening day,” he added.

Faizal,however, declined to reveal any timeline, as to when the klia2 would be launched, or the duration of the delay.

The June 28 launch date target was mooted by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, to coincide with the date of the opening of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in 1998.

With some 10 airlines committed to operate from it, the klia2 is built to cater for the explosive growth expected in low-cost travel, while envisaged to also handle a maximum of 45 million passengers per annum.

It will have 60 gates, eight remote stands and 80 aerobridges, plus a 32,000 square metre retail space with 225 outlets.

Meanwhile, RHB Research analyst, Ahmad Maghfur Usman said the delay can go on for as long as six-months, with the airport at present just under 90 per cent complete.

He said the airport apron, a vital component of an airport, is also not ready.

“Even if the new terminal can be completed by September after a two-month delay, MAHB would still need to carry out operational trial runs, that may require at least four months,” he added.

Despite the delay in the klia2’s opening, Ahmad Maghfur said it is unlikely that MAHB will experience cost overruns, since it is not due to variations in the terminal’s design, while contractual terms are fixed. – Bernama

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