SEPANG – Malaysia Airports’ network of airports in Malaysia recorded a total of 2.3 million passenger movements in November 2021, passing the 2 million mark for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in April last year. The 77% increase from the 1.3 million recorded in October was mainly contributed by domestic passenger movements which continued to improve since the easing of interstate travel restrictions. Airports in Malaysia recorded a total of 2.15 million domestic passengers last month, an 82% increase from 1.18 million passengers in the preceding month. In tandem with the rise in passenger movements, there was also a surge in domestic aircraft movements which grew 43% from 18,966 in October to 27,084 in November. Meanwhile, the Group’s combined Malaysia and Turkey operations recorded a 15% increase from October at 4.72 million total passenger movements. The Group’s Malaysia operations contributed 49% to the total performance.
Dato’ Iskandar Mizal Mahmood, Managing Director of Malaysia Airports said, “The encouraging demand seen in domestic travel in the last 2 months is good news not just for the aviation sector. Our retail and F&B partners are also seeing signs of gradual recovery. At KLIA, more than 63% of outlets have resumed operations. In fact, passengers are able to see the outcome of our commercial reset initiative at the airport. Some of the outlets have also gone through major renovation and relocation to larger spaces in line with the aim of the commercial reset, which is to uplift passenger experience and retail offerings. Not only are they now more spacious, but they also incorporate digital elements such as self-ordering kiosks and table service through QR code to ensure faster service while minimising contact with service staff for better safety.”
Other than commercial activities picking up at the airports, highlights in domestic aviation include the official launch of Mukah Airport in Sarawak. Opened last June, the new airport replaces the previous Mukah Short Take Off and Landing Port (STOLport). With an annual capacity that is 8 times greater than before, the new airport can handle up to 264,000 passengers a year. With a runway length of 1.5km and suitable for turboprop aircraft operations, the new airport is set to enhance connectivity within Sarawak and boost local economy especially in the areas of domestic tourism.
Meanwhile, the Group’s operations in Turkey at the Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISG) has consistently recorded more than 2 million passengers a month for the past several months including November. Turkey’s high vaccination rate and more relaxed quarantine requirements continue to drive ISG’s international passenger movements which stands at 1.03 million passengers in November, accounting for nearly 43% of the airport’s total passenger traffic.
The Group continues to remain optimistic in view of the initial signs of recovery observed in the past 2 months, as well as the anticipated increase in passenger movements in the coming months.