By FARA AISYAH
Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd’s (MAHB) network of airports, including the Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (Istanbul SGIA), recorded a traffic of 11.3 million passengers in July 2017, a 7.1% growth over the same month of 2016.
MAHB said in an exchange filing that international traffic recorded 5.3 million passengers with a year-on-year (YoY) increase of 12.3%, while domestic traffic improved by 2.9% to six million passengers, compared to the same period a year ago.
Overall aircraft movements at MAHB airports increased by 2.1% with international movements registering an increase of 10.1%, while domestic decreased by 2.5% over July 2016.
On the last 12-month basis, the total MAHB network of airports registered an 8.5% growth with 124.8 million passengers, the highest traffic handled over a 12-month period by the network.
On the local front, airports in Malaysia registered 8.3 million passengers in July 2017, a 5.2% YoY growth over July 2016.
The international sector reported 4.3 million passengers with an 11.7% increase, while the domes- tic sector recorded four million passengers, representing a decline of 1%.
The 5.2% growth and the minor decline in domestic travel for July are due to the shift of Hari Raya holidays from July 2016 to June 2017.
Apart from that, international traffic for Asean destinations grew 12.8% to 2.1 million passengers, whereas non-Asean traffic posted a 10.6% growth to 2.2 million passengers.
The international traffic growth was contributed, among others, by the shift in the Haj travel season to July 2017, visa relaxation for India and China, competitive fares, as well as a favourable exchange rate for foreign tourists.
In addition to that, the increased demand was supported by an adequate increase in airlines’ inter- national seat capacity.
As it is, the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) Main Terminal and KLIA2 recorded growth of 2.4% and 16.3% respectively over July 2016 passenger numbers.
“All regions with the exception of South West Pacific, Europe and Central Asia registered positive growth in passenger traffic for July 2017, with South-East Asia and North East Asia posting double-digit growth,” MAHB stated.
Passenger traffic to and from 12 countries recorded more than a 10% growth including Indonesia, China, India, Vietnam, South Korea, the Philippines, Cambodia and Saudi Arabia.
The 27 airlines that registered double-digit growth for international passenger traffic include AirAsia X, Malindo Air, Indonesia AirAsia, Silk Air, All Nippon Airways, Oman Air, Xiamen Airlines, as well as Saudi Arabian Airlines.
MAHB said the modest growth in domestic passenger movements was mainly contributed by AirAsia offsetting the reduction posted by Firefly, Malaysia Airlines and Malindo Air.
Meanwhile, Istanbul SGIA continued to register growth in passenger traffic for the fifth consecutive month in 2017, with July posting a double-digit growth for the first time since May 2016.