SEPANG – KL International Airport’s (KLIA) improves its ranking further to be the world’s top 9 airport in Q1 2021 for the category of over 40 million passengers per annum (mppa). The Airports Council International (ACI) recently announced the results of the global Airport Service Quality (ASQ) that benchmarks the world’s best airports. KLIA achieved a score of 4.99 over 5.00, from 4.98 in 2020. Apart from KLIA, the group’s efforts to improve service levels saw Langkawi International Airport (LGK) named as the world’s 3rd best airport in the 2-5 mppa category scoring 4.97 over 5.00 for the ASQ survey during the same period. The group continues to leverage on the lull period caused by international and domestic travel restrictions to carry out various initiatives to heighten passenger experience and ensure airport readiness when passenger traffic picks up again. Last month, the total number of passenger movements for Malaysia Airports was approximately 2 million for its local network of airports as well as its Turkish asset, Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISG).
According to group chief executive officer (Group CEO) of Malaysia Airports, Dato’ Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh, “Although we are facing an extreme contraction of traffic, we are not complacent when it comes to ensuring our services and facilities at the highest level. ASQ benchmarks the world’s best airports in terms of overall passenger satisfaction for terminal safety, facilities, services, and cleanliness. The encouraging results borne by the airport community’s efforts at both KLIA and LGK in upholding exceptional services and safety measures in the new travel norm will certainly help restore passenger confidence.”
The country’s border remains closed and movement control orders continue to be imposed as daily COVID-19 cases have been on the rise again recently. Nevertheless, total passenger movements for the local network of airports in April was registered at 630,000 which was close to 8% increase compared to the preceding month. This was borne by the pickup on airline operations for the domestic sector with an increase of 161 weekly flights or 19% growth compared to March 2021, sustaining an average load factor above 57.0%. AirAsia registered the highest average load factor of 60% in April. 1.89 million people in Malaysia have been vaccinated under the COVID-19 National Immunisation Programme so far with the majority being front liners and senior citizens. The vaccine rollout planned for the year may help pave the way for gradual recovery.
As for Turkey, the country has recently announced lockdown relaxation allowing interstate travel during non-curfew hours. In April, due to the previous partial border closure, ISG recorded 1.4 million passengers which was a 20% decrease from the preceding month. Despite the decrease, local airlines such as Pegasus and AnadoluJet remain optimistic with the former adding Shymkent, Kazakhstan to its network of operations with a weekly flight that is expected to launch this month. To date, they are operating a total of 56 domestic and 79 international routes in 48 countries.