AirAsia embarks on unilateral airport rebranding

TD Guest Writer

Guest Writers are not employed, compensated or governed by TD, opinions and statements are from the specific writer directly

AirAsia has decided to launch its own campaign to rebrand KLIA2, without the backing of the airport’s operator.

The low-cost carrier, which is by far the largest airline based at KLIA2, will now promote the terminal as ‘Low-Cost Carrier Terminal 2’, or LCCT2, which it says will “reinforce Kuala Lumpur’s position as the leading low-cost gateway to Asia and beyond”.

Officially however, the terminal will still be known as KLIA2.

“To me, KLIA2 doesn’t mean anything,” said AirAsia’s group CEO, Tony Fernandes. “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 airport will still be officially known as KLIA2 (credit: Ahmad Faizal Yahya)
The airport will still be officially known as KLIA2 (credit: Ahmad Faizal Yahya)

AirAsia moved to KLIA2 in 2014, following a protracted and seemingly unwanted relocation from the original LCCT. It now operates at KLIA2 alongside its regional subsidiaries, Thai AirAsia, Philippines AirAsia and Indonesia AirAsia, its long-haul unit AirAsia X, and fellow LCCs Cebu Pacific and Tigerair.

But despite this low-cost focus, AirAsia is frustrated that KLIA2 is not being marketed as a long-cost terminal.

“AirAsia group occupies 97% of operations at LCCT with an average of 37,000 guests daily. Last year, AirAsia Group flew over 2.3 million guests into our main hub in Kuala Lumpur,” said Aireen Omar, CEO of AirAsia’s Malaysian unit.

“In view of the high volume of traffic brought into Kuala Lumpur via the AirAsia Group, we need MAHB to acknowledge the fact that Kuala Lumpur is a true low-cost hub with enormous potential and they need to change their mind-set to facilitate the need of a low-cost model and its rapid growth.

“[Bangkok’s] Don Muaeng Airport has overtaken KLIA2 as the world’s largest LCC airport as it works closely with their customers to bring in the traffic. MAHB needs to adapt the same approach for it to be relevant and gain back that recognition for Malaysia,” she added.
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