Been thinking about getting on a plane to fly off to that dream destination you’ve always wanted to go? Now is probably the best time to do it because come 15th April 2016, all airlines operating out of Malaysia will be expected to pay up to ten folds in fees charged by the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia (DCA).
The increase in fees will affect areas such as the usage of air space, air traffic facilities and pilot’s flight license. The review of fees was last made in 1970.
Many airlines were taken by surprise with this news. They thought the review of fees was just at a proposal stage and they certainly did not expect the DCA to change its fees next week.
The review of fees differs based on a few factors such as the size of the plane and flight routes frequency. As an example, flights operating from KL to Kota Kinabalu now will cost an airline anywhere between RM160 – RM179 but with the new fees in effect, airlines will then have to fork out between RM1600 – Rm1790 for the same route.
According to The Star, the worst hit airlines are to be AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines and Malindo Air. This will potentially lead to higher airfares although it is not known exactly when.
“This new fees will make us less competitive. The fees are higher than that of Singapore and even Thailand, and we cannot compare the new pricing with that of Australia and New Zealand, as there they are much more efficient,” said an airline executive. He added that “while we agree to a certain percentage rise, it cannot be 1,000%. The DCA will need to review its rates”.
Some airlines may be unhappy with the new charges, but DCA director-general Datuk Seri Azharuddin Abdul Rahman when contacted by StarBiz yesterday said “they have to understand that our expenses for delivery of services is going up as well. We have to upgrade our systems, maintain and replace them as we want to give them the best.”