11 August 2020
Malaysia Airports saw another big leap in passenger and aircraft traffic movements in July compared to the preceding month.
It saw the total passenger traffic numbers in Malaysia increasing more than three-fold to 1.3 million and aircraft movements doubling to 22,600.
This was mainly due to domestic travel by locals since the government opened up domestic tourism and was a reflection of improved sentiment and confidence in the public to resume air travel locally.
The steadily growing traffic was also an indication of the confidence of both local and international airlines to increase flight services, particularly at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
Presently, 27 airline companies are operating global flight routes to 30 cities in 20 countries with 14 of these airlines making at least one weekly flight to cater to the demand for repatriation, which also includes transit for flights connecting at KLIA.
To date, these active operations and routes have translated to approximately 149 weekly flight frequencies at KLIA.
On top of this, there has also been an increase in cargo capacity offered by airlines which resulted in higher aircraft movement.
Besides the 20 freighter airlines operating in Malaysia delivering cargo containing goods from origin countries to Malaysia and vice versa, the local carriers have also converted some movements from passenger to cargo flights.
Malaysia Airports Group Chief Executive Officer Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh said the positive recovery rate had reinforced optimism that the air travel industry would gradually return to normal.
“On top of the current ones operating from Kuala Lumpur right now, more than 30 other foreign airlines have indicated that they will resume operations once borders fully reopen. In fact, Turkish Airlines recently resumed operations at KLIA on July 18 with their brand-new B787-9 Dreamliner fleet,” he said.
In addition, Starlux Airlines and Scoot have resumed their operations to Penang International Airport.
Scoot has also resumed their flight operations to Kuching International Airport and Ipoh Airport.
Meanwhile, Malaysia Airports’ Turkish operations at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW)
also registered increasing numbers with passenger traffic and aircraft movements doubling to 1.2 million and 9,300 respectively.
Four foreign airlines had recently resumed operations at SAW from Morocco, Doha, Russia and Kuwait.
This has resulted in total passenger traffic movements at Malaysia Airports’ entire network surpassing the two million mark for the first time since the imposition of travel restrictions.
Shukrie stressed that the airport was committed in ensuring a safe airport experience.
“Despite aggressive cost containment measures, we will continue to invest in areas where passenger safety can be enhanced.
“Our latest safety measure at the airport is the installation of UV handrail sterilisers at our escalators and walkalators which are expected to eliminate 99.9 per cent unwanted micro-organisms from the handrails,” he said.
He added that apart from safety measures at the airport, airlines also ensure that their aircraft undergo regular disinfection and use High Efficiency Particulate Arresters (HEPA) filtration system to ensure the highest quality of in-flight cabin air.