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PENANG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT LEADS WITH SURGE IN INTERNATIONAL ARRIVALS FOR MARCH 2024

SEPANG - Penang continues to demonstrate its attractiveness as a top travel destination as is evident by the surge in international arrivals at Penang International Airport (PEN) in March 2024.  Although March is not a peak travel period, PEN saw a 5% increase in total international passenger movements, rising from 313,000 passengers in the preceding month to 328,000. Among others, the increase was attributed to the addition of a new foreign carrier, Fly Dubai (FZ) which operates daily flights directly to PEN from Dubai International Airport (DXB). Presently, PEN hosts 19 international airlines servicing 16 global destinations through 514 flights weekly. The destination’s appeal remains strong, as the airport continually attracts new carriers. In April 2024, PEN is eagerly anticipating the arrival of Thai Lion Air, set to operate three weekly flights for its PEN - Don Mueng (DMK) route.

Apart from PEN, the entire Malaysia Airports Group (the Group) also saw robust traffic performance with a total of 10.2 million passenger movements recorded in March 2024, comprising 7.1 million in Malaysia and 3.1 million in Turkey.

For its Malaysia operations, the Group registered 3.8 million international passenger movements and 3.2 million domestic passenger movements. Several new routes were introduced in March and April 2024 - China Eastern Airlines (MU) commenced operations on the Kunming (KMG) - Kuala Lumpur (KUL) route, and Sichuan Airlines (3U) initiated service on the Chengdu (TFU) - KUL route, further expanding travel options for passengers.

Meanwhile, the Group's asset in Turkey, Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW), maintained a steady passenger volume of 3.1 million in March 2024. This comprised 1.7 million international passengers and 1.4 million domestic passengers, a sign of the airport's continued relevance as a key hub for both domestic and international travel.

The Group's quarterly traffic performance had also achieved a significant milestone. The first quarter of 2024 (1Q24) showed that the Group had surpassed the 90% recovery rate when compared to the first quarter of 2019 (1Q19), with a total of 31.4 million passenger movements. Notably, international passenger movements exceeded 1Q19 levels for the first time, reaching 16.9 million in 1Q24, marking a 5% increase. This growth was primarily propelled by the robust international expansion of SAW's airlines, which recorded a double-digit recovery rate of 73.8% compared to the same quarter in 2019. Domestic passenger movements remained steady at 14.5 million, with an 82.9% recovery rate over 2019 levels. This trend indicates a strategic focus by airlines on expanding their international routes over domestic ones.

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