AirAsia needs to back down over Klia2 before it has a negative impact on the brand


AirAsia has been involved in a long running dispute with Malaysia Airports (MAHB) over Terminal 2 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Basically AirAsia wants to change the name of the terminal to LCCT2. You can read more about that here.

Today, the CEO of AirAsia Aireen Omar is reported to have said, “AirAsia is set to change the name klia2 to LCCT2 (Low-Cost Carrier Terminal 2) on its website and promotional materials.”

“Aireen said the move would also send a clear message to MAHB that they should stop denying the existence of AirAsia and its contributions to the growth of the aviation industry.”

OK, first of all I’m no fan of MAHB. KLIA is a tired, depressing, soulless, outdated, poorly designed airport and MAHB doesn’t seem to be interested in the customer experience, making it better or improving the wayfinding. And I use the airport at least 50 times a year.

Nobody owes AirAsia anything
Nobody owes AirAsia anything

But what has ‘denying the existence of AirAsia and its contributions to the growth of the aviation industry’ got to do with not agreeing to change the name of a terminal?

Furthermore, what does Air Asia think it is doing telling MAHB it will change the name of the airport on it’s website even though MAHB doesn’t agree with the name change?

Who do they think they are that they can make such audacious moves and what is the point? Isn’t it going to make it even more confusing for Air Asia passengers? Especially those from other countries.

Are they so arrogant that if a manufacturer tells them an aircraft can only fly so fast, are they going to ignore that manufacturer because it doesn’t suit them? Talk about a baby throwing it’s toys out of the pram because it doesn’t get it’s own way!!

AirAsia may be trying to send a defiant message to MAHB but to me it portrays the airline as arrogant, out of touch, unreasonable, petulant, pedantic and stubborn. Is that the sort of culture one wants at an airline?

Can you imagine Cebu Air telling Changi that if doesn’t change the name of terminal 3 to LCCT3 it will do so on it’s website and collaterals? Or Air France changing the name of Heathrow Terminal 2 to French national carrier terminal 2?

And the irony is that changing the name to LCCT2 is wrong anyway. Firstly it’s going to cause confusion on so many levels – where is LCCT1? How do I get from LCCT2 to Klia? Is it a long way? And so on.

AirAsia has done an amazing job of bringing aviation to the masses. But no one owes it anything. It needs to remember that or it could join the more than 350 airlines that have come and gone in the last 50 years.