AirAsia and its long-haul subsidiary AirAsia X have filed a MYR479.8 million ($114.6 million) claim at the Kuala Lumpur High Court against Malaysia Airports (Sepang) (MASSB), the operator of Kuala Lumpur International Airport’s (KLIA)  two terminals. 

The LCC said the claim is for losses and damages the two airlines suffered at KLIA2, the second terminal it primarily operates from, because of MASSB’s negligence in management, operation, maintenance and provision of airport services and facilities. This includes a ruptured fuel line that impeded Pier P operations for more than a month in 2016 and numerous runway 3 closures in 2018. 

Although not directly related to the lawsuit, KLIA recently announced the partial closure of runway 3 in October after runway improvement works.

The feud began in December 2018 when the airport operator sued AirAsia and AirAsia X seeking MYR36.1 million in unpaid outstanding passenger service charges.

The LCC countersued in January this year for MYR400 million in losses and damages over the same reasons; however, the Malaysia Aviation Commission (Mavcom) did not mediate the dispute and a subsequent attempt by AirAsia to seek a judicial review of Mavcom’s inaction was dismissed by the high court in June.

“We did not want to do this, but Malaysia Airports and Mavcom have forced our hand. Despite our best efforts to settle this matter amicably and through the right channels, we feel compelled to file this claim as we were left with no other recourse to protect our interests,” AirAsia CEO Riad Asmat and AirAsia X CEO Benyamin Ismail said.

Chen Chuanren, chuanren@purplelightvisuals.com