MALINDO AIR’S TAX AR­REARS WILL BE PAID, SAYS LIOW

Trans­port min­is­ter con­fi­dent that air­line can pay up

New Straits Times - - Front Page - NOR AIN MO­HAMED RADHI KUALA LUMPUR ain­radhi@nst.com.my

THE trans­port min­is­ter yes­ter­day ac­knowl­edged that Malindo Air owes air­port tax ar­rears amount­ing to RM70 mil­lion.

Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, how­ever, is con­fi­dent that the air­line would be able to set­tle the ar­rears.

“Malindo Air, AirAsia and Malaysia Air­lines (MAS) have ar­rears, but they have to set­tle them be­cause the tax is for the gov­ern­ment,” he said after the open­ing of Blos­som Arts Fes­ti­val 2017 at Wisma MCA here yes­ter­day.

Liow was re­spond­ing to a state­ment by Spe­cial Af­fairs Depart­ment (Jasa) di­rec­tor-general Datuk Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi, who urged Malaysia Air­ports Hold­ings Bhd (MAHB) to clar­ify whether Malindo Air had paid its pas­sen­ger ser­vice charge (PSC) this year.

MAHB, in a state­ment yes­ter­day, said it was work­ing with its air­line part­ners to re­solve the out­stand­ing PSC pay­ments.

“MAHB val­ues the re­la­tion­ship it has with all air­line part­ners equally. We are con­stantly look­ing at ways to im­prove and en­hance the billing and pay­ment pro­cesses.”

The air­port op­er­a­tor yes­ter­day launched its “Online Billing Por­tal”, which is aimed at ben­e­fit­ing nearly 15,000 clients, ven­dors and busi­ness part­ners, in­clud­ing air­lines.

“With this por­tal in place, the fi­nance process for all our part­ners will be more ef­fi­cient and trans­par­ent. Busi­ness part­ners will be pro­vided with a unique ID that will al­low them to ac­cess the por­tal and view in­for­ma­tion, such as billing and pay­ment dates.”

PSC is a gov­ern­ment reg­u­lated charge payable to MAHB and col­lected by air­lines in the ticket price.

PSC is only payable when pas­sen­gers board their air­craft and is used to main­tain and up­grade fa­cil­i­ties and ser­vices at the air­port.

Liow said the air­port tax collection mech­a­nism was not flawed.

“The ex­ist­ing air­port tax collection mech­a­nism works well. It just that we need to up­date it from time to time.”

When asked how much time would be given to the air­lines to set­tle their ar­rears, Liow said the usual prac­tice was six months.

“This is a busi­ness de­ci­sion. How­ever, they can­not let the ar­rears be over­due for a longer pe­riod. Normally, ev­ery six months, they have to clear all their debts.”

Ear­lier, Puad urged the Trans­port Min­istry to take ac­tion against Malindo.

He also ques­tioned whether the air­line was being given spe­cial treat­ment.

PIC BY YAZIT RAZALI

Trans­port Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai talk­ing with pupils at the Blos­som Arts Fes­ti­val 2017 at Wisma MCA, Kuala Lumpur, yes­ter­day.

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