AirAsia Says New $1B Terminal Is Sinking
PHOTO: An AirAsia aircraft at KLIA2 airport, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The budget airline has gone public with allegations that the airport is sinking. (Courtesy of Thinkstock)
A new $1 billion terminal at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia is sinking, its main tenant said.
Budget airline AirAsia has gone public, with founder Tony Fernandes saying there are cracks on the runways leading to the terminal and huge pools of water forming outside of gates that present myriad hazards.
The terminal, known as klia2, was built specifically for the airport’s budget and low-cost carriers, of which there are many in Asia. In fact, the terminal has 68 gates and was designed to process 45 million passengers a year.
But in an interview with Bloomberg News, Fernandes said these problems were previously expressed to airport officials.
“We should never have moved,” he said. “I was right, the management of AirAsia was right: You should have let the ground settle, fix it, then move.”
The airport is still sinking,” AirAsia CEO Aireen Omar added, noting that Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd., “has done some partial resurfacing, but what the airport actually needs is a permanent solution.”
sad that my ceo @aireenomar has to waste her time keep going to malaysia airports to sort something that should never have happened.— Tony Fernandes (@tonyfernandes) July 27, 2015
A frustrated Fernandes added this follow-up tweet over the weekend:
The response from malaysia airports that this is to be expected is ridiculous.The board and management need a strong hard look at themselves— Tony Fernandes (@tonyfernandes) July 27, 2015
Followed by this:
Is this to be expected?8 hour delay due to plane slipping of chocks . The board has to take responsibility pic.twitter.com/X7EAt3jvft— Tony Fernandes (@tonyfernandes) July 27, 2015
A quick solution does not appear imminent – airport officials told Bloomberg it will set up an independent audit committee to determine the cause of the problems. In the meantime, the airport is injecting polyurethane under the ground to address the issue and plans to install a concrete slab on the runway as a more permanent solution.
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