The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) has revised the passenger service charges (PSC), or airport tax, in Malaysia, and introduced a new and lower PSC tier for travel to Asean countries effective Jan 1 next year.
The revised rates are: RM11 for domestic flights (up from RM6 at klia2 and RM9 at all other airports), and RM35 for flights to Asean countries from all airports in Malaysia (currently RM32 at klia2 and RM65 at KLIA).
For flights to international destinations excluding Asean, the PSC is RM50 (up from RM32) for departures from klia2 and RM73 (up from RM65) for departures from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and other airports.
Mavcom said in a statement today that Malaysia is the first Asean country to introduce a PSC tier for travel to Asean countries, which means cheaper Asean travel.
“The revised rates will come into effect on Jan 1, 2017 and would be applicable to tickets issued from that date onwards. Tickets issued before Jan 1, 2017 will not be subjected to the new rates even if the date of travel takes place on or after Jan 1, 2017,” it said.
Mavcom noted that Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) does not charge PSC at STOLports (short-takeoff-and-landing airports) in Sabah and Sarawak for flights under the Rural Air Services which facilitates air connectivity of rural areas in East Malaysia.
The PSC is an aeronautical charge levied on departing passengers, collected by the airlines upon purchase of tickets and paid to the airport operator. Passengers who do not travel on a flight for which they have purchased their tickets are eligible for a full refund of the PSC.
Mavcom said it is gradually moving towards equalisation of PSC at KLIA and klia2 to facilitate a level playing field, to be introduced in stages with an immediate equalisation of PSC for domestic and Asean flights; a reduction in difference of the international (beyond Asean) PSC between KLIA and klia2; and a review of the PSC to be performed in 2017 with a view for complete equalisation.
In addition to the revised PSC rates, Mavcom is also developing a framework that links aeronautical revenues to customers’ and stakeholders’ satisfaction levels. The framework will be introduced in 2017.
Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) welcomed the changes in PSC rates and applauded Mavcom's plan for complete equalisation of PSC on international routes by 2018.
“It is important for the turnaround of MAB that we fight for every dollar and cent savings where possible. There is much work to be done but this news creates opportunity for us to compete on a level playing pitch in Malaysia,” its group chief executive Peter Bellew said in a statement today.
AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said that the new charges are great for consumers.
However, International Air Transport Association (IATA) said it was disappointed that the equalisation was not done for all the PSC at KLIA, calling it a “half step forward”.
“The revision in the PSC will also see some costs increase. The overall aim should be to minimise air travel costs for Malaysia so as to reap the full social and economic benefits of aviation. Aviation currently supports over 500,000 jobs in Malaysia and US$13 billion in GDP. This is expected to double by 2035,” it said in a statement.