Malaysia Airports has issued writs of summons to AirAsia (AK, Kuala Lumpur Int'l) and AirAsia X (D7, Kuala Lumpur Int'l) over unpaid passenger fees at Kuala Lumpur Int'l. Malay Mail has reported that the LCC carriers vowed to battle the demands and will continue to refuse to collect higher fees from passengers.

The short-haul unit was sued for MYR9.4 million ringgits (USD2.2 million), while the long-haul airline was sued for MYR26.7 million ringgits (USD6.4 million) for passengers fees outstanding since July 1, 2018.

AirAsia Group said it will not pay the debt as it sees it as unjustified and unreasonable. The group carrier's ceased to collect passenger fees from its customers departing on international routes from Kuala Lumpur once Malaysia Airports raised the fee at the low-cost terminal KLIA2 to MYR73 ringgits (USD17.5), matching the level at the full-service KLIA1 terminal. Previously, the fee at KLIA2 was MYR50 ringgits (USD12).

"AirAsia is not obligated to collect airport tax for MASSB, and we have refused to collect the additional charge from passengers on behalf of MASSB for the following reasons. Passengers using KLIA2 should not be charged the same rates as passengers in KLIA, as KLIA2 is a low-cost terminal with far lower levels of service provided to passengers, compared to KLIA, which is a full-service terminal," AirAsia CEO Riad Asmat said.

AirAsia also hit back at Malaysia Airports, saying that it experienced multiple problems at KLIA2 ranging from poor service quality to frequent apron and runway damages.

Malaysia Airports, a state-owned firm, operates all airports in Malaysia, although it has two separate units for the management of Kuala Lumpur and all the other airports, respectively.

According to the ch-aviation capacity module, AirAsia Group is the largest operator at Kuala Lumpur with a combined share of 50.1% by capacity between AirAsia, AirAsia X, Indonesia AirAsia, Thai AirAsia, and Philippines AirAsia. Besides AirAsia, Cebu Pacific Air, IndiGo Airlines, Jetstar Asia Airways, Scoot, and VietJetAir also use KLIA2 terminal.