SEPANG – Monthly domestic passenger movements across Malaysia Airports’ network of airports in the country increased three-fold from 362,000 in September to 1.18 million passengers in October. This increase of 226% followed the lifting of domestic travel restrictions which had also contributed to the Group achieving more than 1 million total passenger traffic movements in Malaysia for the first time this year. Meanwhile, the Group’s combined operations in Malaysia and Turkey recorded a total of 4.1 million passenger movements last month which was a 28% increase from September.
Dato’ Iskandar Mizal Mahmood, Managing Director of Malaysia Airports expressed his optimism that the recently announced Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) between KL International Airport (KLIA) and Singapore’s Changi Airport, as well as the Langkawi international travel bubble and upcoming travel corridor between Malaysia and Indonesia will further improve passenger traffic in the coming months, “The Government to Government (G2G) initiatives to facilitate safe international travel will certainly contribute to the recovery of the aviation industry that has been severely affected by the imposition of travel restrictions due to COVID-19. We are very optimistic that there is an inherent demand for travel, be it for business or leisure. On the part of the industry players, we have to ensure that safety measures are strictly implemented and adhered to so that passengers can travel with peace of mind and do not experience any deterioration in service level.”
He also added that pre-COVID-19, the KLIA-Changi route was the world’s busiest international flight route for two years in row, in 2018 and 2019, recording more than 30,000 flights a year. It is likely that the same demand will continue to exist for this route.
Malaysia Airports’ asset in Turkey, the Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISG) continues to consistently record encouraging passenger traffic movements, which signals Turkey’s strong recovery in the aviation sector. In October, ISG registered 2.7 million passengers with a 13% increase from the previous month for international passenger traffic movements. Turkey’s high vaccination rate i.e. 72.4% of its adult population, and the roll-out of its very own COVID-19 vaccine, Turkovac has boosted the confidence of international tourists to visit Turkey. On the whole, ISG is still the main contributor to the Group’s total passenger movements at 66%.
Year to date, Malaysia Airports had also registered 869,445 metric tonnes for its total cargo operations up to October this year, representing a significant increase of 26% from the same period last year. Homegrown cargo player, My Jet Xpress Airlines Sdn Bhd had announced this month that it would be increasing its fleet by an additional two aircraft in December. The cargo airline is also seeking to expand its flight routes to China with four new routes and plans to transport cargo from China to India via Kuala Lumpur.