Malaysia will not change the name of its low-cost terminal, KLIA2, despite pressure from AirAsia.
Tony Fernandes, the group CEO of AirAsia, said earlier this month that he planned to rebrand KLIA2 as LCCT2, in order to reflect the terminal’s status as a low-cost airport.
Malaysia’s Transport Minister, Liow Tiong Lai, now appears to have blocked the move, but he said he was sympathetic of AirAsia’s position.
“Names should not be changed for the sake of changing,” the minister was quoted saying this week by Malaysia’s Bernama news agency. “Nonetheless, the Ministry of Transport acknowledges AirAsia’s intention to brand KLIA2 as a low-cost terminal as part of their efforts to bring in more travellers to Malaysia.
“We are open to hear from them what proposals they may have in place in order to position KLIA2 internationally as a leading low-cost terminal to spur the nation’s tourism and aviation industries,” he added.
AirAsia, which is by far the largest operator at KLIA2, said last week that it planned to rename the terminal as LCCT2 (or ‘Low-Cost Carrier Terminal 2’), in an effort to “reinforce Kuala Lumpur’s position as the leading low-cost gateway to Asia and beyond”.
“KLIA2 doesn’t mean anything,” Fernandes said. “LCCT2, on the other hand, is synonymous with low-cost. It is a brand that we built up together with Malaysia Airports and it shouldn’t go to waste. I urge MAHB to stop denying the fact that it is a low-cost hub.”
The minister argued however, that the rebranding debate is “unnecessary”. “All parties in the aviation sector must collaborate and work together for the benefit of Malaysia and all Malaysians,” he stated.
But despite Minister Liow’s conciliatory tone, AirAsia is expected to continue with its unilateral rebranding of KLIA2, using the name LCCT2 on its website, tickets and promotional materials.