Aviation players want 2022 budget to include back-up plans to help industry recovery


KUALA LUMPUR (October 7): Aviation industry players hope the government will consider a range of aid measures in the upcoming 2022 budget to support air transport and the recovery of tourism operators.

As one of the industries hardest hit during the Covid-19 pandemic, strong government support, such as tax exemptions, reduced travel costs, and employment strategies, will be crucial for the whole ecosystem is rebounding, said Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG), AirAsia Group Bhd and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB).

MAG hopes that the 2022 budget would include exemption or delay in the payment of taxes, levies or fees imposed by the government and regulatory authorities without interest or penalties until December 31, 2022.

“This will help ease the cash flow of airlines,” said the parent company of the national airline Malaysia Airlines. Bernama.

Currently, airlines are taxed with sales and services tax, departure tax, regulatory service charges, and passenger service charges.

MAG also hopes the government will consider extending the deadline for unused tax losses beyond the current seven years, given the lingering effect of the pandemic and the easing of conditions for group relief.

With the tightening of conditions for group relief, only newly incorporated companies are allowed to share their current year losses with their related entities for up to three years, he said.

“With the pandemic, there have been significant losses in the tourism industry and most businesses have focused their attention on areas that are more sustainable during the lockdown in order to financially support the entire group.

“Relaxing the conditions for group relief would be helpful in easing the burden on group companies still struggling to achieve profitability,” MAG said, adding that a temporary exemption from hotel tax and tourism-related taxes should also be considered to help restart and revitalize the national tourism industry.

Meanwhile, AirAsia Malaysia Managing Director Riad Asmat has expressed hope that the 2022 budget will include measures or incentives to reduce travel and business expenses for travelers and businesses respectively.

He said the government should also consider increasing the disposable income of Keluarga Malaysia to encourage tourism and domestic spending, attract more tourists and encourage higher spending from foreigners, while facilitating safe tourism in the middle of the world. ‘endemic.

“On the employment front, AirAsia hopes that priority will be given to helping keep Malaysians employed and developed in the new digital age.

“These include supporting the sustainability of the workforce with the right talents and the right infrastructure, improving skills and re-qualification of the talent pool, encouraging new investments to create highly skilled jobs. skilled workers and the incentive to invest in the digital space to stimulate the growth of digital jobs, ”he said. noted.

As for the MAHB, the airport operator expressed hope that the Subang Airport regeneration plan will be implemented as part of the 2022 budget, as the planned aviation ecosystem will likely generate more 10 billion ringgit of mature economic output for the country.

Strengthening the position of Subang Airport as a preferred hub for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), aggregator of aerospace parts and components for final assembly and exports to the United States and Europe would also contribute 30 to 50% of national income by 2030.

“The plan will not only attract global players over the next five years, but it will also prepare local players as companies ready for Industrial Revolution 4.0 with access to the latest technologies and requirements designed to meet international standards.” , he added.

The 2022 budget will be tabled in Parliament on October 29, 2021.

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