Friday, January 09, 2009

New airport at Labu

Happy new year to all...

Heard in NHK radio this morning, news on Air Asia's plan to build a new airport at Labu.

Kind of rare that NHK slots in news on Malaysia, not to say, on such a seemingly inconsequential event.

Thing is, they mentioned that Air Asia may fly into Japan in the future, so it is not really that inconsequential.

When that happens, Japan Airlines and All Nippon are going to scratch their heads.

Kobe or Okayama airport, or Shizuoka airport will be appropriate targets.

Personally, I do not think that building the Labu airport is a good idea. It is one airport too many. Issues like control tower operations remain to be solved.

It might be good for Air Asia as they will have full control of the terminal. Imagine the captive passengers who will be forced to take Air Asia buses to connect to the city, the hotels managed by Air Asia, the restaurants...

But I think this turn of event is sort of like, a slap on the face of Malaysia Airlines and more so, on the face of Malaysia Airports.

Each time I fly through KLIA, I always go away with the impression that it is a ghost town.

Empty, cold, under-utilized. This, regardless of the many 'international' awards won.

This, compared to the LCCT which is full of people, to the extent that it reminds me of a fish market.

I cannot be too sure, but I think Malaysia Airports have been trying to pull the legs of Air Asia.

They could have allowed Air Asia to use KLIA or Subang. Or better still, they could have constructed the LCCT adjacent to the main KLIA terminal.

I imagine Air Asia fuming, swearing to teach Malaysia Airports and Malaysia Airlines a lesson.

And I support them, warts and all.

Malaysia Airports and Malaysia Airlines probably think that they are 'king' in Malaysia.

Still, I think that Labu is not a good idea.

A logical way out (think Malaysia Airports is already talking about this) is to promptly rebuild a new LCCT adjacent to the main KLIA terminal and welcome any airline to use it.

They should have done this instead of converting that cargo complex that is now the current LCCT.