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Malaysia’s Aviation Soars With 9.1% Surge In Number Of Operating Airlines

SEPANG - Malaysia's aviation remains firmly on a trajectory of recovery with a total of 72 airlines operating actively within Malaysia Airports’ (the Group) network of local airports at the end of 2023. This 9.1% surge from the preceding year has also resulted in a robust connection to a total of 147 destinations - 113 international, and 34 domestic. The expansion, marked by a 21.4% increase from 121 destinations (86 international, 35 domestic) in 2022 can be attributed to the launch of six new airlines, the resumption of seven others and the introduction of new routes by existing airlines. The encouraging traffic demand continued to be evident as the Group recorded 4.0 million international passengers in Malaysia in December 2023, the highest since February 2020. This was driven by the reopening of China borders, increase in airlines seat capacity and new aircraft deliveries.

In 2023, the Group achieved a momentous milestone by surpassing the 100 million total passenger movements for the first time since 2020, reaching an impressive 120 million passengers. This achievement not only highlights a substantial recovery rate of 84.6% against 2019 levels, but also underscores the Group's resilience and adaptability in the face of global challenges.

Local airports played a pivotal role in achieving yet another milestone. Despite rising air fares, inflation and severe weather changes, local airports contributed significantly, registering a record breaking 81.9 million total passenger movements, a 77.8% recovery of 2019 levels.

In December 2023, airports in Malaysia experienced a further uptick in passenger traffic with a total of 7.7 million recorded (4 million international, 3.7 million domestic) in line with the long year-end holidays. The international sector saw an 18% increase from 3.4 million passengers in November 2023. Concurrently, the domestic sector saw a 16% increase from 3.2 million passengers.

Meanwhile, the Group’s Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW) handled 3.1 million total passenger movements in December 2023. These movements comprised 1.7 million international passengers and 1.4 million domestic passengers respectively. SAW's performance contributed 29% to the total traffic of 10.9 million passengers recorded by the Group in December 2023.

Year 2023 also marked a significant milestone for SAW as not only did the airport surpass 2019 levels, but total passenger movements reached a record high of 37.6 million, which is a notable increase of 4.5% from 2019. This growth can be attributed to the airlines' rapid expansion and new operations in the international sector. For the first time, international traffic share reached more than 50% of the airport’s total passengers. Pegasus commenced services to four new routes namely, Alexandria, Egypt; Kutaisi, Georgia; Dortmund, Germany and Birmingham, United Kingdom. Ajet (previously known as Anodolujet) launched a new service to Belgrade, Serbia whereas British Airways increased services to daily flights to Heathrow. In addition, Flynas launched a new service to Madinah, Saudi Arabia.

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