SEPANG – KL International Airport (KLIA) and Langkawi International Airport (LGK) are the world’s No.1 airports for Q2 2021 in the latest global Airport Service Quality (ASQ) survey by Airports Council International (ACI). Both airports achieved a perfect score of 5.0/5.0 in the industry survey that benchmarks the world’s best airports in terms of facilities and service standards. KLIA was previously in the 9th spot, scoring 4.99/5.0 for Q1 in the over 40 million passengers per annum (mppa) category whereas LGK was in 3rd spot with the score of 4.97/5.00 in the 2-5 mppa category. The global achievement by these two airports is highly significant and marks the organisation’s commitment in ensuring world-class passenger experiences.
According to group chief executive officer (Group CEO) of Malaysia Airports, Dato’ Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh, “At KLIA, these encouraging results are a testament to the company’s efforts in continuously maintaining exceptional services and implementing safety measures while it prepares for travel resumption. Major initiatives contributing to the improved performance include the strict implementation of new travel SOPs that heightened a safe and secure travel experience and the opening of 64 newly refurbished washrooms for the continued comfort of passengers. As for LGK, the refreshed and improved ambience of the terminal resulting from its successful commercial reset initiative continues to contribute to the overall satisfaction of passengers passing through the terminal.”
The airport operator is seeing a gradual uptrend in passenger numbers by recording a 35% increase from the preceding month for overall traffic growth in July 2021. Last month, the Malaysia Airports group surpassed the 3 million mark at 3.3 million total passenger movements for its network of airports for the first time this year with the majority traffic contributed by its Turkish asset, Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISG). With the easing of border restrictions and curfews, ISG saw a 35% increase in its total passenger movements at 3 million when compared to the preceding month, reaching 89% of its pre-COVID performance. In fact, the airport’s July 2021 domestic passenger movement performance at 2 million was extremely encouraging as it exceeded the passenger volume for any month pre-COVID in 2019 with 1.5% growth over July 2019.
On the local front, Malaysia Airports recorded nearly 40% increase in total passenger movements at about 260,000 (International: 72,000; Domestic: 188,000) last month as compared to June 2021 for its network of airports here.
Despite the continued interstate travel ban, border closure, and stricter travel restrictions around the region following new outbreak of cases, the marginal increase is a positive break for Malaysia Airports following the recent Government of Malaysia’s announcement allowing flexibility for those fully vaccinated to travel interstate as well as the reopening of domestic tourism within the same state (for states that have progressed to Phase 2) from 10 August onwards. The airport operator is also looking forward to the pilot project of Langkawi Island emulating the Phuket Sandbox Model by inoculating 80% of the island’s population in a move to open the island to fully vaccinated tourists. Apart from that, there is also the possibility of the resumption of domestic tourism activities across Malaysia in September that will provide the much-needed stimulus to the airports, airline partners and the tourism industry.