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Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) says it is now focusing on ways to improve immigration clearance, such as working with the Immigration Department to prevent passenger backlog. - NSTP/File pic

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) has assured travellers that lengthy immigration queues during peak hours at klia2 will soon be a thing of the past.

MAHB said it is now focusing on ways to improve immigration clearance, such as working with the Immigration Department to prevent passenger backlog, and relocating its Eraman Emporium to free up more space in the area.

Its chief operating officer Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh said they are in discussions with the Immigration Department on how to avoid a repeat of Thursday’s incident, which saw an almost two-hour backlog at klia2’s immigration counters.

“We acknowledge that there are certain constraints faced by immigration, and whilst they are (attempting to) increase their resources, the airport is looking at ways to improve the customers’ experience by reducing congestion.

"One of the plans is to relocate the walk-through Eraman Emporium at klia2 to cater to expansion and reconfiguration of the immigration area, which will free up more space and enable a smoother flow at immigration.

“This exercise is underway, and with the cooperation of all relevant stakeholders, we hope to expedite the implementation as soon as possible. Together with the cooperation of the Immigration Department to fully man the counters, especially during peak hours, processing times at immigration counters will be significantly improved,” Shukrie said in a statement today.

He added that Thursday’s bottleneck was an isolated case, as immigration clearance at klia2 is, on average, under 10 minutes.

“Based on our observation, the utilisation of immigration counters was at 70 per cent during the unusually-long queue incident,” he said.

On Thursday, AirAsia Malaysia CEO Riad Asmat and AirAsia X Malaysia chief executive officer Benyamin Ismail complained of congested immigration counters which they claimed is a daily occurrence at the klia2, causing passengers to miss their connecting flights.

AirAsia also urged regulator and aviation consumer protection body, the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom), to step in to ensure that the issue is quickly resolved.

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