19 November 2021
Monthly domestic passenger movements across Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd’s (MAHB) network of airports in the country increased threefold to 1.18 million passengers in October this year compared with the 362,000 passengers recorded in September.
This increase of 226% followed the lifting of domestic travel restrictions which also contributed to the group achieving more than one million total passenger traffic movements in Malaysia for the first time this year.
Meanwhile, the group’s combined operations in Malaysia and Turkey recorded a total of 4.1 million passenger movements last month, a 28% increase from September.
“The recent announcement of the vaccinated travel lane between the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Singapore’s Changi Airport, as well as the Langkawi international travel bubble and the upcoming travel corridor between Malaysia and Indonesia, will further improve passenger traffic in the coming months.
“Government-to-government initiatives to facilitate safe international travel will certainly contribute to the recovery of the aviation industry that has been severely affected by the imposition of travel restrictions due to Covid-19,” MAHB managing director Datuk Iskandar Mizal Mahmood said in a statement on Friday (Nov 19).
He said MAHB is optimistic that there is inherent demand for travel, be it for business or leisure.
On the part of industry players, Iskandar Mizal said MAHB would have to ensure that safety measures are strictly implemented and adhered to, so that passengers can travel with peace of mind and do not experience any deterioration in the service level.
He also added that pre-Covid-19, the KLIA-Changi Airport route was the world’s busiest international flight route for two years in a row in 2018 and 2019, recording more than 30,000 flights a year.
Iskandar Mizal believes that the same demand will continue to exist for this route.
MAHB’s asset in Turkey — the Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISG) — continued to consistently record encouraging passenger traffic movements, signalling a strong recovery in Turkey’s aviation sector.
In October, the ISG registered 2.7 million passengers with a 13% increase from the previous month for international passenger traffic movements.
Turkey’s high vaccination rate of 72.4% of its adult population and the roll-out of its very own Covid-19 vaccine called “Turkovac” have boosted the confidence of international tourists to visit the country.
On the whole, the ISG was still the main contributor to the group’s total passenger movements at 66%.
Year to date, MAHB had also registered 869,445 metric tons under its cargo operations up to October this year, representing a significant increase of 26% from the same period last year.
Home-grown cargo player My Jet Xpress Airlines Sdn Bhd announced this month that it will increase its fleet by an additional two aircraft in December.
The cargo airline is also seeking to expand its flight routes to China with four new routes and plans to transport cargo from China to India via Kuala Lumpur.
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