When two international airports are merely an hour and a half apart from one another, it’s going to be competing against one another, agree? Well, it really depends on many other circumstances but generally, if both are trying to attract the same flights, same tourists, same businesses, then of course it is a firm Yes. So, how to make sure they are not competing against one another? Well, push them both to attract different flights instead of the same airline, from the same airports outside the country. Brand both places totally differently so that tourists are visiting for a totally different reason! By the way, it will not be easy yeah, even if one of the airports are said to be focused on only cargo transport business. Let’s read what the leaders are saying.
Article in thesundaily.my Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said that he hopes that the Penang International Airport (PIA) and the proposed Kulim Airport (KXP) will complement each other instead of competing against each other. He said, “The state (Penang in this case) doesn’t have to worry that the PIA will be closed down as we are the government who approved the expansion plan and once it is expanded, we will not allow it to close so it is impossible.“ He also shared that the PIA had exceeded its maximum capacity of 6.5 million passengers and is currently undergoing an expansion plan to cater to 16 million passengers. Besides that, most logistics and the supply chain are centred in the PIA so they are likely to continue using the PIA while the KXP is expected to cater for Kedah. He added, “The decision on the Kulim airport had to be respected and that since it doesn’t involve public funds, the Finance Ministry did not object to it.” It has been announced that the proposed RM1.6 billion KXP will be a private finance initiative. Article in thesundaily.my
I think it’s best for the two state leaders to sit down and have a frank discussion and agreement with the Finance Minister as a moderator perhaps. Come on, this is not just about which state wins because ultimately, if the whole market (cake) is NOT expanded but merely shared by more players, ultimately, everyone suffers. As for the private finance initiative (PFI) or whatever name it is called, it will still have to be profitable yeah. Else, if the project starts and it hires a few thousand people in the future, please do not tell me that the government will just allow it to fail if it does not turn out as expected? The earlier this high level meeting happens, the better it will be for everyone. Let’s not keep having more surprise announcements in the future. How about a joint press conference where everyone is smiling? Yes, I am hopeful.
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