Malaysia’s Low-Cost Terminal ‘to Expand’

KUALA LUMPUR ~ Malaysia’s recently opened low-cost airline terminal is to be expanded and upgraded next year in response to complaints about overcrowding and a lack of facilities, a report said.

“We will be providing better amenities and more chairs for the comfort of those using the LCCT (low-cost carrier terminal),” Malaysia Airports CEO Bashir Ahmad told The Star newspaper on Monday.

Bashir said that Malaysia Airports has been holding talks on the project with AirAsia – the Kuala Lumpur-based budget carrier that is so far the only airline to use the terminal.

The Star likened the scene at the terminal to a “disaster relief centre”, with weary travelers sitting on trolleys, lying asleep on the floor or slumped over tables at fast-food outlets.

The low-cost facility, which is designed to handle 10 million passengers a year, opened in March, just before neighboring Singapore launched its own no-frills terminal in a race to secure the burgeoning budget sector.

From the start, the Malaysian terminal, a warehouse-style building located 20 kilometers from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, has been criticized for expensive food and a lack of seating.

There was also dismay that the high-speed train that connects far-flung KLIA with the city does not run to the new terminal and construction on an extension line is yet to start.

However, travelers continue to flock there and aviation industry analysts say the facilities are a boost for budget airlines, which face a constant battle to reduce costs.

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