SEPANG – In October 2020, Eurocontrol announced that Malaysia Airports’ overseas asset Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (IATA Code: SAW) in Turkey was ranked as the fifth busiest airport in Europe, registering a daily average of almost 500 flights. Eurocontrol is the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. The Malaysia Airports group’s sustainability is well supported by the encouraging recovery seen at SAW in the last several months. Since July 2020, passenger traffic at SAW contributed more than 50% to the group’s total.
Malaysia Airports group chief executive officer (CEO), Dato’ Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh said, “We are heartened to see better recovery at our airport in Turkey. In October 2020, SAW contributed 60% to the group’s total passenger traffic of 2.6 million. This had allowed the group to reach 22% of our pre-COVID-19 numbers year-on-year (YoY). Recovery at SAW is mainly driven by domestic travel in Turkey. For October, domestic passenger traffic was at 80% YoY of pre-COVID-19 numbers, while international was at 40% YoY. The latest foreign carrier to resume operations at SAW was Salam Air from Muscat with a frequency of twice weekly.”
For Malaysia operations, domestic passenger traffic continues to be affected by the re-imposition of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) in Sabah, Selangor and the Federal Territories. Nevertheless, 35 airlines are currently operating from Malaysia to 31 destinations in 23 countries, providing vital connectivity for the nation. The latest foreign carrier to resume operations in KL International Airport (IATA Code: KUL) was Nepal Airlines from Kathmandu on 26 October 2020 with a flight frequency of four times weekly.
With the commencement of operations of the e-fulfillment hub at Cainiao Aeropolis eWTP Hub, Malaysia in early November 2020, KUL is looking forward to improved airline connectivity at the airport with the increase in freighter frequency and capacity. Airline partners will also be able to leverage on belly space utilisation which in turn, helps with the profitability of their network and route planning.