SEPANG – Malaysia Airports’ Turkish asset, Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISG) continues to lead in the recovery of the Group by registering 3.2 million passenger movements last month. The 7% increase from July registered by ISG remains the main contributor to the Group’s total passenger movements of 3.5 million in August 2021. To-date, ISG has also registered the highest passenger movements in August reaching 90.0% of August 2019 levels due to the increase in summer travels. In Turkey, the relaxation of border and inter-city travel, the lifting of national curfew, the upbeat progress of the country’s vaccination rate, the equivalent acceptance of EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate, and Turkish COVID-19 Certificate have further encouraged travel to and within Turkey and Europe, as well as inter-city of Turkey during this peak season.
For 1H 2021, ISG was ranked fourth busiest airport in Europe with continuous traffic momentum in the past 2 months. Flight bookings data showed Turkey and Istanbul listed as the third best performing country and major city at 62.0% and 56.5% pre-2019 level respectively. The increase in air travel demand also resulted in Pegasus, the main local carrier adding a new route to Makhachkala, Russia with 3 flights weekly. This will be the airline’s sixth new international introduced in 2021 after Batumi, Odessa, Shymkent, Kherson and St. Petersburg.
As for the passenger movements’ performance in Malaysia, our local network of airports registered 296,000 passengers (International: 88,000 / Domestic: 208,000) in August. Despite a slight increase from July, traffic remained low with the prolonged travel restrictions on both the domestic and international sectors. However, on a positive note, the Group is looking forward to the opening of the domestic travel bubble this month with Langkawi as the first destination. All of its airports are ready for full swing operations with most states progressing between phases 2 and 3 of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) which is an encouraging sign for the recovery of local tourism and travel.
Malaysia Airports remains optimistic with the gradual increase in air travel both globally and domestically and will continue to ensure a world-class passenger experience with the highest standards of safety and health practised. All five international airports in Malaysia comprising KL International Airport, Penang International Airport, Langkawi International Airport, Kota Kinabalu International Airport and Kuching International Airport as well as ISG have received the ACI Airport Health Accreditation (AHA), providing assurance for passengers that globally recognised safety measures are in place. As for the airport staff vaccination exercise, the Group is looking at 100% full vaccination rate of its workforce by end of this month.