SEPANG – KL International Airport (KLIA) has been named as one of the world’s top 10 airports in the global Airport Service Quality (ASQ) survey by Airports Council International (ACI) for the category of over 40 million passengers per annum (mppa) in Y2020. The announcement made by ACI early this month is borne out by the airport’s continuous efforts in carrying out improvement initiatives despite being severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The passenger traffic remains low due to prolonged domestic and international travel restrictions with only 1.6 million passenger traffic recorded in February for the Group, nevertheless the airport still forged ahead with mission critical projects. Among them included the washroom refurbishment, formation of the Operational Excellence teams that diligently identified and designed improvement initiatives and the introduction of the Exceptional People Practice Playbook, a dual language manual to guide our front liners in their interaction with passengers. This had resulted in KLIA improving its score significantly and achieving an annual score of 4.98 over 5.00 in 2020. In the previous year KLIA ranked 17th with a score of 4.76.
According to group chief executive (Group CEO) of Malaysia Airports, Dato’ Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh, “With this latest achievement, we are further encouraged to continue with our pursuit for excellence. As a global airport operator, we are driven by the passengers’ confidence and satisfaction in our facilities and services. At KLIA, we are prepared to safely welcome passengers with a heightened experience as air travel gradually recovers. This year, passengers can look forward to an improved journey including shorter wait times and facial recognition technology that are part of our Airports 4.0 digital transformation. In fact, we recently announced that we will be introducing private health safety screening services for passengers to enjoy faster clearance upon arrival. We hope to restore passenger confidence with the COVID-19 swab test swiftly done within comfortable surroundings.” Last month, Malaysia received the first batch of vaccine for the immediate roll out of the COVID-19 National Immunisation Programme targeted at front liners. While borders remain close, local passenger movements for Malaysia Airports’ network of 39 airports continued to be impacted by the re-imposition of travel restrictions and movement control orders due to the resurgence of cases.
As for Turkey, the country received its first batch of vaccine in January and more than 2.8 million population has received the first dose to-date with health care workers receiving the second dose in February. However, despite the restricted curfew over there, our Turkish operations at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISG) has managed to sustain 1.3 million passenger movements for two consecutive months. ISG continues to be the majority contributor to the total 1.6 million passenger movements for the Malaysia Airports group in February.
Dato’ Mohd Shukrie further added, “We remain optimistic on the resiliency of the demand in air travel. We have seen strong revival when travel restrictions were lifted in previous times, and for that, we will continue to enhance our offerings. Staying cognisant with the evolving demands of passengers and the aviation industry will help us stay ahead of the competition as we aim to be in the top 5 airports this year.”
ASQ benchmarks the world’s best airports in terms of overall passenger satisfaction for terminal safety, facilities, services, and cleanliness.