KL’s new low-cost terminal finally opens

The international departure gate at KLIA2
The international departure gate at KLIA2

Kuala Lumpur’s new low-cost carrier terminal, KLIA2, finally opened on Friday, following a year of setbacks.

The first flight – a Malindo Air service from Kota Kinabalu – touched down at KLIA 2 at midnight on 2 May, while the airport’s inaugural departure came when a Cebu Pacific flight to Manila took off at 0315. This flight was actually delayed, but only because it arrived late into KLIA 2.

Malaysia’s deputy transport minister, Abdul Aziz Kaprawi, attended the launch.

“Everything runs very smoothly… We are proud with KLIA2 as the national icon,” he told reporters after welcoming the passengers off the Malindo flight.

KLIA 2’s operator, Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad (MAHB), said the new terminal is expected to handle 7,000 passengers per day in its initial phase of operations. This will then rise to rise sharply, to about 50,000 passengers per day, once AirAsia moves its operations to the new terminal.

“With KLIA2, KLIA now has a total capacity to handle 70 million passengers per annum to cater for the rapid air travel growth and remain competitive within the region,” MAHB said.

Check-in desks at the new facility
Check-in desks at the new terminal

Initially, Malindo, Cebu Pacific, Lion Air and TigerAir will operate from KLIA 2, before being joined by AirAsia this week. Despite initial concerns over the speed of the transition, AirAsia has confirmed that it will move all its flights from the old LCCT to KLIA 2 by 9 May 2014.
KLIA 2 covers 257,000m², has 60 gates, eight remote aircraft stands, 80 aerobridges and 225 retail outlets.

It will also include a transport hub, gateway@klia2, which features a car park, rail, bus and taxi services. AirAsia’s Tune Group has also opened a budget hotel at the new terminal.

Costing MYR4 billion (US$1.2bn) to develop, KLIA 2 was initially expected to open in Q2 2013, but suffered construction delays.

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