Malaysia Airport Holidings Bhd (MAHB) managing director Datuk Badlisham Ghazali warns airlines of severe penalties if they fail to settle airport tax. NST photo by ROSELA ISMAIL

SEPANG: Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) has warned Malindo Air and other airlines that they are facing severe penalties if they fail to pay overdues within the fiscal year 2017.

Managing director Datuk Badlisham Ghazali said the penalties include operations closure or licence suspension.

To a query if MAHB may take a lenient approach in encouraging faster collection by offering rebates to airlines owing outstanding payments to the airport, he replied, “no.”

Badlisham, however, noted that all airlines do eventually pay the airport taxes.

"In the past, there has never been a case where an airline fails to pay their airport tax except for those which have departed (closed operations) from operating in Malaysia's airports.

"It is not debt, it is only overdues. Malindo Air, in this case, has gone through some growing pain as they have new destinations and new frequency to cater for," he told a press conference here today.

"I believe if they (Malindo) intend to continue their operations in Malaysia, they will make sure they pay their outstandings," he added.

It was reported that Malindo has airport tax owings of RM70 million but Badlisham declined to deny or confirm on this.

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