AirAsia is now welcoming air passengers to LCCT KL, dubbed as “Asia’s Low-Cost Hub”.
Before you jump to the conclusion that klia2 has been replaced by the previous low cost carrier terminal (LCCT), let us assure you that klia2 will still be operating. The only difference is that AirAsia has rebranded klia2 to LCCT KL in their promotional efforts, in a bid to “reinforce Kuala Lumpur’s position as the leading low-cost gateway to Asia and beyond”.
What this means is that technically, klia2’s official name will still remain as klia2. The signages around the airport will remain the same, but when promoting klia2 on their website, newsletters, and social media platforms, AirAsia will instead refer to it as LCCT KL.
As AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said:
As we grow towards becoming the Dubai of Asia, we want the world to know that the best value fares are here in Malaysia.
This is to encourage tourists who uses AirAsia’s “Fly-Thru” service to choose Kuala Lumpur as their transit destination.
Fernandes also explained LCCT KL is synonymous with low-cost, and would therefore attract more tourists to shop and spend.
Earlier, Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) managing director Datuk Badlisham Ghazali rejected the idea, as he, like many other, thought that AirAsia meant to officially rename the terminal.
We cannot name a terminal at our whim and fancy as it was a registered name and the government named it as klia2 not MAHB. We cannot prevent them from calling to LCCT KL (…) but they cannot put it on their tickets and counter notice boards.
MAHB also released a statement stating that the budget airline would be violating aviation laws if they continued with their campaign.
In the latest turn of events, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said that Fernandes agrees that an official name change of the airport was unnecessary. However, they are free to “brand and promote it” in any way they want to attract more people to fly into klia2.
Fernandes also explained that “he had never intended to change klia2’s name”, but only wanted to market it differently in the rebranding exercise. “We went into the meeting with the minister (…) to get the message across that we want to promote to the world that klia2 is a low-cost hub. I think this is understood clearly by the minister,” said Fernandes in a statement to The Star.
Malaysia’s LCCT was opened in March 2006 to cater to the multitudes of low cost airlines. The idea of an low cost carrier terminal was formed to minimise the daily operating costs of an airport, thereby allowing customers to save up a large amount of money. klia2 was built to replace LCCT, and started operations in May 2014. It was dubbed as the world’s “largest purpose-built terminal” dedicated to low-cost carriers.
Trust us, you’re not the only one dumbfounded with the name change. Although MAHB, the Transport Ministry, and AirAsia are not at loggerheads over the rebranding/renaming exercise anymore, we are still questioning if the move is necessary, as it only serves to confuse passengers. Judging from the comments on AirAsia’s Facebook page, we’re not the only ones who think so. Several netizens left comments asking if the “warehouse-lookalike” LCCT has been reopened, with another inquiring if AirAsia had opened a new airport.
What are your thoughts on the rebranding project? Do you think it’ll increase the number of passengers who transits in KL? Tell us what you think!