11 September 2020
Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd’s (MAHB) airline partners has continued increasing flight frequencies and adding new routes for both commercial and cargo operations last month.
The airport operator said this had led to a steady increase in monthly total passenger movements surpassing the one million mark from July onwards.
MAHB handled 1.4 million passenger movements in local operations in August while aircraft traffic movements increased 7.0 per cent to 24,209 compared to the preceding month.
Group chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh said the domestic sector was still the main driver in the local network of airports gradual traffic recovery.
“90 per cent of our total passenger traffic is made up of domestic traffic movements. We are happy to see signs of the public regaining confidence in the safety of air travel as evident by the demand shown from the increase in flight frequencies,” he said in a statement today.
Mohd Shukrie said the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) currently registers about 149 flight frequencies per week.
MAHB said there is a substantial increase in flight frequencies throughout its local airports network, dominated by KLIA with a 33 per cent increase and other international airports Penang, Langkawi, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching showed a combined increase of 75 per cent.
The increase in flight frequencies were attributed to the newly launched Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) with Singapore that saw the three local airlines as well foreign carriers Scoot Airlines and Jetstar Asia resuming operations for these routes.
Meanwhile, domestic air travellers had also taken advantage of the school holiday breaks, Independence Day and Awal Muharram long weekends to visit local tourism destinations.
MAHB said Etihad Airways became the first airline to resume daily flights last month as per their pre-Covid-19 schedule.
Etihad Airways was also among the 29 airlines at KLIA operating global flight routes to 30 cities in 20 countries to cater to the demand for repatriation and transit flights.
On top of that, My Jet Xpress Airlines had introduced two new routes out of its home base, KLIA to Kota Kinabalu and Kuching, respectively.
The airline currently operates both charter passenger and cargo flights.
MAHB’s Turkish operations at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISG) had also registered a 50 per cent increase for both passenger traffic and aircraft movements, handling 1.8 million passengers and 13,472 movements, respectively.
MAHB said three foreign airlines had recently resumed their operations at ISG due to upturns in forward bookings and load factor.
Pobeda, Jazeera and Nile Air each had resumed daily, with three times weekly and four times weekly flight frequencies, respectively in August 2020.
With the encouraging increase at ISG, MAHB has now surpassed the three million mark from the earlier two in the preceding month for total passenger traffic movements throughout its entire network of airports.
Mohd Shukrie said MAHB will continue its efforts in improving the passenger experience from all angles such as safety and efficiency to future proof its airports once air travel picks up again and returns to normalcy.
“”We want to be well-prepared as we are expecting a surge in passenger movements when the borders reopen.
“We remain committed and will give our fullest support to our airline partners and retailers to recover from this pandemic together while ramping up the airport readiness in operating in the new normal and practicing the highest standards of safety,” he added.