By FARA AISYAH / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
MALAYSIA Airports Holdings Bhd’s (MAHB) network of airports, including the Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SGIA) in Istanbul, posted a 3.7% year-on-year (YoY) growth in passenger movements or 33.4 million travellers in the first quarter of 2019 (1Q19).
The international traffic registered a 3.4% growth with 16.1 million passengers, while domestic passenger movements increased by 4% with 17.4 million passengers.
MAHB said the growth in the three-month period was driven by both international and domestic sectors, albeit with a different traffic backdrop for Malaysia and Istanbul SGIA.
“Malaysia’s 1Q19 growth was driven by the domestic sector, partly due to higher seat capacity offered by airlines to match air travel demand.
“International passenger volume remained above the average high base traffic achieved in 2H18, although there were some signs of adjustments partly due to aircraft utilisation, exit and entry in airlines operations on parallel routes and the temporary suspension of FlyFirefly Sdn Bhd’s operation to Seletar (Airport) in Singapore,” it said in a statement yesterday.
The airports in Malaysia registered a 3.9% YoY growth with 25.4 million passenger movements. Its international traffic and domestic traffic increased by 0.6% and 7.7% respectively during the quarter.
Passenger movements at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) grew by 1% with 15.1 million passengers in 1Q19. Its international traffic declined 0.3%, while the domestic sector increased by 4.7%.
On the local front, airports in Malaysia registered another 3.1% YoY growth to 8.9 million passengers in March 2019 compared to the same month last year.
The domestic sector recorded 4.4 million passengers with a 6.9% increase, while the international sector recorded 4.5 million passengers — a decline of 0.4%.
KLIA passenger movements recorded a 0.04% increase in March 2019, registering 5.2 million passenger movements against March 2018.
The international sector declined by 0.7% with 3.8 million passengers, while domestic sector passenger movements increased by 2% with 1.5 million passengers during the month.
However, March 2019 passenger movements for the KLIA Main Terminal declined by 0.6%, while KLIA2 increased by 0.6%.
“Moving forward, the future seat capacity filings by airlines remain above expectations and MAHB remains cautiously optimistic that the projected 4.9% growth for 2019 will be achievable,” the airport operator said.