Wednesday, 12 February 2014

What is AirAsia CEO Tony's 'big battle' in M'sia about?

PETALING JAYA: AirAsia group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes(pic) is keeping the market guessing as to what he meant when he said via Twitterthat he would soon be back in Malaysia “for a big battle”.

In a Tweet on Monday night, Fernandes wrote via his official Twitter account: “Coming back to Malaysia for the big battle. I have been silent for too long. Truth needs to come out. Malaysians need to know.”

Several Tweeters sent out replies to his communique, asking him what he actually meant, but there was no response as at press time.

Fernandes did not respond to calls and text messages either, but market observers speculated that he could be referring to the oft-delayed KLIA2 terminal project. The new low-cost carrier terminal has missed several deadlines for opening, with the last one scheduled for April 30 before again being moved to May 2.

Airport operator Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) said last week that it had failed to receive the certificate of completion and compliance (CCC) for the KLIA2 terminal building, which had been scheduled for Jan 31, from main joint-venture contractor UEMC-Bina Puri, raising concerns that there would be further delays to the airport project.

However, acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has maintained that the guarantee that KLIA2 would take off on May 2 remained. He said he would not hesitate to take the action against those who delayed this date.

Fernandes’ Tweets is reminiscent of the public spat between MAHB and AirAsia in late 2011, when both he and MAHB traded barbs on matters ranging from aerobridges to cost overruns at KLIA2.

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