By MARK RAO
Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) continued to post stronger traffic in May this year, with passenger movements up by 6.3% year- on-year (YoY).
The Malaysian airport manager that is handling 39 airports domestically and one in Turkey, recorded 10.61 million passenger movements last month, compared to the 9.98 million reported in the previous year’s corresponding period.
Excluding its Istanbul-based operation, namely Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SGIA), MAHB registered an 8.5% YoY growth in traffic for the month, with 7.92 million passengers versus the 7.3 million in May 2016.
International traffic was also higher by 12.6% at 4.8 million passengers over the same period, though traffic on the domestic front improved only slightly by 1.5% to 5.8 million.
Aircraft movements also rose by 0.7%, with the 4.8% increase internationally mitigating the 1.6% decrease domestically.
In an exchange filing yesterday, the aviation operator said the modest growth in domestic passenger movements was mainly due to the performance of Malindo Air, which helped offset the reduction posted by Firefly and Malaysia Airlines.
The company added that passenger traffic growth was registered at the 11 of 21 inter- national and domestic airports in the country. Of the total, four airports posted double- digit growth last month.
The filing stated that 18 airlines registered double-digit growth for international passenger traffic. They include AirAsia X, All Nippon Airways, Malindo Air, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Xiamen Airlines and Malaysia Airlines.
“All regions with the exception of Africa and the Middle East registered positive growth in passenger traffic for May this year, with Europe, North East Asia and South West Pacific growing by more than 20%,” the statement read.
Passenger traffic to and from nine countries was also 20% higher for the period under review, including Maldives, Laos, Ethiopia, the UK, Australia, Iran, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Taiwan.
On a 12-month basis, the MAHB network posted a 7.1% growth with 122.9 million passengers, the highest traffic handled by the company over a one-year period historically.
Kuala Lumpur International Airport recorded higher passenger movements both internationally and domestically, rising YoY by 15.9% and 3.5% respectively last month.
Similarly, international and domestic traffic at Malaysia Airports Sdn Bhd (MASB) was higher by 10.9% and 1.9% respectively, though travel within the Asean region was down by 10.8% to 541,000 passenger movements. Non-Asean traffic improved substantially by 54% to 252,000 for MASB.
Meanwhile, MAHB’s presence in Istanbul via SGIA, one of two international airports serving the Turkey capital, posted a marginal 0.3% YoY growth to 2.69 million passengers, with international traffic growing 1.9% and domestic traffic contracting by 0.5%.
The company said the increase was recorded despite a decline of 8.3% in total aircraft movements for its Turkey operation.