MAHB says relocating KLIA2 duty-free store to make room for immigration queues

Julia Chan
A man walks past a KLIA2 display in Sepang August 22, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
A man walks past a KLIA2 display in Sepang August 22, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 — After facing criticism for long immigration queues at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2), Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) today said it was working to find a solution to the congestion.

In a statement today, reported by several media outlets, MAHB said it was in the midst of moving the Eraman duty-free emporium that could free up some space to ease the immigration flow.

“This, together with the necessary cooperation from the Immigration Department to fully man the counters, especially during peak hours, will significantly improve the processing time at immigration, moving forward,” said MAHB chief operating officer Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh.

In the statement, MAHB said yesterday’s two-hour backlog was an isolated incident because immigration clearance at KLIA2 usually takes 10 minutes on average.

“Based on our observations, the utilisation of immigration counters was at 70 per cent during the unusually long queue,” it said.

It said it had communicated its concerns to the Immigration Department and was working closely with it to prevent such incidents from happening again.

“We acknowledge certain constraints faced by Immigration and whilst they are putting in the efforts to increase resources, the airport is looking at ways to improve the customer experience by reducing congestion in the area," Shukrie said.

Although long immigration queues are not new, MAHB came under fire recently from consumers and airlines as an unusually long delay had caused some passengers to miss their connecting flights.

AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said his officers had informed both MAHB and reached out to the Malaysian Aviation Commission with their concerns but were ignored.

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