KUALA LUMPUR: Air travellers will be subjected to a RM1 (US$0.23) levy when departing Malaysian airports as early as 2018, the country's aviation regulator said on Tuesday (Aug 15).
The new levy to be imposed by the Malaysia Aviation Commission, MAVCOM will be tabled in parliament in October. It will apply to all departing passengers for both domestic and overseas destinations except for rural air services in interior Sabah and Sarawak.
The passenger service charge at all Malaysian airports may also be raised from the current RM50 to RM73 for all international flights beyond Asean beginning January 2018 to standardise the system.
Currently a different rate applies to KLIA1 and KLIA2 international airports.
The passenger service charge is fixed at RM35 for all destinations in Asean.
MAVCOM, which was set up last year to regulate the civil aviation industry, is expected to collect RM30 million in the first year from the RM1 levy, according to its chief operating officer Azmir Zain.
"I can confirm there is a definite plan by Mavcom to charge RM1 levy to all departing passengers with exception of those flying the rural air services in Sabah and Sarawak. The purpose of the RM1 levy is to ensure financial sustenance and more importantly the independence of the commission. In the last 12 months we have shown results. Example, by lowering the passenger service charge from RM65 to RM35 flat for all ASEAN destinations. That's a saving of RM30 for customers."
MAVCOM, in tabling its first industry report on Tuesday, said it expects the air passenger traffic to grow between 7.8 and 8.6 per cent in 2017 with the number of air travellers expected to hit 99.6 million.
But amid decreasing air fare and competitive operating environment, revenues are expected to remain flat for most airlines.