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Malaysias low-cost terminal to be sited at Sepang
Laura Lee, Kuala Lumpur

Laura Lee, Kuala Lumpur  
(24th Feb 2005)

KUALA Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang, Selangor will house Malaysia's proposed new terminal RM100 million (US$26.3 million) for low-cost carriers (LCCs) rather than the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah airport in Subang, dashing AirAsia's hopes.

The decision to build the terminal at KLIA was made in Cabinet yesterday after months of speculation. Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy, said Malaysia could not afford a two-airport policy as it did not have a large hinterland and population mass.

The government had considered the opinions of various parties such as the Department of Civil Aviation, Malaysia Airport Holdings, the Board of Airlines Representatives, and the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines.

The new terminal, slated to begin operations mid-2006, is expected to enhance KLIA's position as a regional hub and an LCC hub in Asia. Datuk Seri Chan said it would cater for some 40 aircraft and between 10 and 12 million passengers a year.

Meanwhile, AirAsia group CEO, Mr Tony Fernandes, said: "We will re-energise ourselves to focus on making the low cost terminal in KLIA an efficient design for AirAsia's low cost model, and make it the centre for low-cost travel in Asia despite stiff competition from Singapore.”

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