KOTA KINABALU: AirAsia’s proposal to transfer its operations back to Terminal 2 of the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) is unwise, said Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS) president Tan Sri Dr TC Goh.
“We have gone through so much obstacles in moving AirAsia from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1.
“The reason for the move was that the facilities at Terminal 2 were unable to cope with the volume of passengers at the airport.”
Goh expressed regret that the government seemed to be in favour of AirAsia’s request to move back to Terminal 2.
He said the facilities at the second terminal were not upgraded, nor was there aerobridge to shield passengers from the heat and rain.
He pointed out that parking was also an issue at Terminal 2, adding that there was no designated area for buses to pick up tourists.
“The immigration hall back at Terminal 2 was too small.
“It is not possible for AirAsia to provide better service by moving back to Terminal 2.”
Goh said he welcomed the low-budget carrier’s plan to mount more international routes to bring in more tourists to Sabah.
“Isn’t it better for international flights to land at Terminal 1 for passengers to transit to domestic airports at other tourism spots such as Tawau and Sandakan?
“Besides, Terminal 1 offers more airline options for tourists, including Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and Malindo Air.
“AirAsia should not be allowed to monopolize Terminal 2 and leave tourists with no other options for alternative airlines.”
He continued to say that AirAsia has stated that the airline emphasized less on domestic flights.
“It means that tourists have to go through the hassle of traveling to Terminal 1 for transit flights.
“How can this be an improvement of service?”
On another note, Goh said the facilities at Terminal 1 needed an upgrade given that the airport was operating at full capacity between 9pm to the wee hours daily.
He said the arrival of multiple flights was also a burden for immigration officers.
“We hope that the State Government would put in a strong request to the airport management to upgrade the facilities.”
He also hoped that the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) and the top management of airlines, including AirAsia, would inspect the existing facilities at Terminal 1, especially the boarding pass and baggage tag kiosks.
“There are always long queues at these kiosks.
“Many of these kiosks are broken and there is no staff to assist and guide tourists, particularly the elderly.”
He said the self check-in service for baggage was chaotic and should be rectified immediately to safeguard KKIA’s reputation as an international airport.