Friday, February 25, 2005

Not Subang

I was quite sad though not surprised when I read yesterday that the Malaysian Government has rejected AirAsia's proposal to make Subang airport as a low cost airline hub. According to Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy, it was estimated that it would cost about RM300 mil. to build a new terminal at Subang.

I was wondering why they would need to construct a new terminal when the facilities are already there. Won't it be more costly to construct a totally new one at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)?

Of course, there was stong lobbying against the proposal. A lot of companies had a lot to lose if the proposal was approved - Malaysia Airports Holding Bhd which runs KLIA, the Express Rail Link (ERL)under YTL, Malaysian Airlines (MAS), airport limo operators and of course the Malaysian Govt. Actually in the end it was AirAsia and of course, the common consumers like us against giants. I was hoping against all odds that it would be approved as I have to regularly travel between Alor Star in Kedah and KL.

Now that the government has decided to build the new terminal in KLIA, I was hoping that the government would look into reducing the fares of the Express Rail Link (ERL), which is now RM 35 for the 28 minutes journey. I think a more acceptable rate should be around RM10, after all it is a public service. Also improving the limo services would be highly appreciated. Once we had to wait around 1 hour after arriving from Alor Star, just to get a limo from KLIA to PJ. Till then, I guess I have to continue taking a bus or drive back and fourth between KL and Kedah.

4 comments:

MunKit said...

well maybe land cost in sepang is cheaper than that of subang's? or maybe they wanna reserve subang airport exclusively for military and gov officials.

haven been reading much about this issue :)

Shin said...

First of all, Adam, you should advise us on whether to comment in blogger's or haloscan's. And I also wish to thank you for coming to comment on my blog entry on that even before I managed to ping it on PPS.

While I support KLIA, I do acknowledge that the plight of no-frill airlines and their passengers are very real.

However, the issues you raised can be addressed with a better planned and better implemented transport system.

Hong Kong's new airport in Chek Lap Kok is also linked to town center by rail and expressway. But in this case, taxi fare to town costs abt HK$ 400 (RM 1 = HK$ 2), while Airport Express train only costs HK$ 100 per person and runs at a 10 minz interval. So the issue in KL where it would be more worthy to take taxi than train if you have more than 1 person does not arise.

The solution, raise the taxi fare or reduce the train fare, and of course the latter is preferred. There should be no airport limo, and all the town taxis are allowed to drop off and pick up passengers, just like the case in HK, Taipei and $ingapore.

I still think that a no-frill terminal Subang brings more disadvantages than advantages to the nation in the long run. As for easier access to airport, they shd simply build more MRT lines to cover the whole Klang Valley so folks can go and take KLIA Express no matter where do they come from :-)

Adam said...

Some very good ideas, Shin. Hope some people from the govt. is reading this

SK said...

Hi Adam,

You got your point here. :)

I had an entry about LCCs too, feel free to have a look at

http://tskheng.blogspot.com/2005/02/low-cost-carriers-lccs-in-malaysia.html

Cheers. :)

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