By IZZAT RATNA / Pic By TMR
Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd’s (MAHB) passengers traffic in its 39 local airports in May 2018 fell by 3.5% year-on-year (YoY) to 7.67 million from 7.95 million last year.
This is in tandem with a 0.6% decline in the international sector, recording four million passengers for the period under review.
Subsequently, the domestic sector recorded 3.7 million passengers, representing a decline of 6.4%.
International traffic for Asean destinations grew by 0.7% to two million passengers, whereas non-Asean traffic declined 1.9% to two million passengers. Overall movements fell 5.6% over May 2017.
In an exchange filing yesterday, MAHB said the decline in passenger traffic for May is due to a more subdued air travel demand during the Ramadhan fasting season, coupled with the absence of school holidays which generally fall on the last week of May.
“The two-week school holidays in 2018 were scheduled to June 2018 (11th to 24th) to coincide with the Hari Raya Aidilfitri festival season which is expected to fall on June 15 and 16, 2018.
“The downward trend in traffic was similar to the decline experienced in 2017 and in previous years during Ramadhan,” it said.
However, a majority of airports in Malaysia registered a positive growth in passenger movements year-to-date (YTD) in May 2018 over May 2017, with exceptions of eight domestic airports, due to the lower seat capacity offered by the airlines that operated at these airports.
North-East Asia and South-East Asia sectors registered a positive growth in passenger traffic for May 2017 while other regions experienced a decline.
International traffic registered lower movements partly due to unexpectedly lesser travel leading up to the 14th General Election (GE14) and also lesser demand during the fasting season.
“The decline in traffic during GE14 is unusual based on previous general trends. As such, the decline in traffic was further aggravated by lesser travel during Ramadhan and the shift in school holidays date.”
Moving forward, MAHB expects zero-rated Goods and Services Tax to make domestic air travel cheaper.
The company said airlines’ current schedules also indicated some upswing for the domestic sector, which has been in the negative territory for almost a year.
“From past studies, global passenger traffic growth remained steady despite fuel price increases. And the current oil price uptrend would unlikely hamper growth of air travel,” MAHB noted.
Kuala Lumpur International Airport’s (KLIA) passenger movements fell 2.8% in May 2019 compared to a year ago with 4.7 million passenger movements. A total of 1.6 million passengers were recorded for Asean destinations with a decline of 1.1%, while 1.7 million passengers were recorded for non-Asean destinations, a decline of 3.2%.
The domestic sector fell 4.2% with 1.3 million passengers. The last twelve-month passenger traffic for KLIA Main Terminal recorded 27.9 million passengers, a decline of 0.004%, while KLIA2 increased 13.3% to 31.4 million.
Overall aircraft movements at KLIA gained 1.3% compared to last year. International aircraft movements at KLIA rose 1.7%, while domestic aircraft movements grew 0.4%.
Passenger movements at Malaysia Airports Sdn Bhd’s airports declined 4.7% YoY with three million passenger movements in May 2018. International passenger movements increased 8.9% with 0.6 million passengers.
Asean traffic rose 9.4% to 0.4 million passengers, while non- Asean traffic gained 8.2% with 0.2 million passengers. Domestic traffic fell 7.6% with 2.4 million passengers in May 2018.
Aircraft movements in May 2018 declined 4.8%, mainly contributed by domestic movements that contracted 7.4%. International aircraft movements grew 12.3%.