SEPANG - Monthly passenger movements reached a record high in December 2022 for Malaysia Airports' (the Group) operations in Malaysia with 6.8 million passengers. The year-end holiday season had contributed to the significant 31% increase from the preceding month and enabled the Group to reach 50% of 2019 levels for Malaysia operations. From the 6.8 million, 2.9 million were international passengers, the highest recorded to-date since border reopening in April; and 3.9 million were domestic passengers, a 33% increase from November 2022. Among the five international airports, Langkawi International Airport and Kota Kinabalu International Airport recorded the highest passenger increase at 51% and 39% respectively. Malaysia's passenger traffic growth was in tandem with the 10% increase recorded for total aircraft movements in December at 56,645 when compared to November.
For the whole year January to December 2022, Malaysia Airports recorded a total of 52.7 million passengers for its local network of airports. Domestic passenger movements recovery momentum continued in 2022 after the lifting of interstate travel ban on 11 October 2021, recording 36.2 million passengers for the year, reaching 69.6% of 2019 levels. International passenger movements recorded a total of 16.5 million passengers as a result of 17 airlines resuming services to 32 cities with the highest traffic to destinations in Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, South Korea, Vietnam, and India.
The annual growth in passenger movements was also supported by the introduction of new routes by 27 airlines to 38 cities. Among the cities with the highest growth in 2022 over 2021 were Denpasar-Bali, Lahore, Ujung Padang, Male, Brisbane, Bangkok, Perth, Phuket, Batam and Bangalore. Overall, 59 airlines operated flights to 84 international and 35 domestic destinations last year, as compared to 48 airlines to 51 internationals and 32 domestic destinations in the preceding year.
Malaysia Airports' asset in Türkiye, Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport recorded 2.7 million passengers in December, contributing to a total of 31.2 million passengers for 2022, reaching 86.7% of 2019 annual levels. Total international passenger movements in 2022 surpassed 2019 annual levels with 10.4% growth over 2019, while domestic passenger movements recorded 15.5 million passengers, reaching 71.2% of 2019 annual levels. Istanbul SGIA international aircraft movements recorded a growth of 48.1% over 2021 while domestic aircraft movements recorded a slight decrease as airlines restructured their network expansions to the international sector.