MAHB: Langkawi Airport airbridges expected to be ready in 2022

The airport operator plans to instal about 5 airbridges to support wide-body aircrafts at the airport

by SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH/ pic by BERNAMA

AIRBRIDGES for better passenger movement at the Langkawi International Airport are expected to be completed in 2022.

Malaysia Airport Holding Bhd (MAHB) airline marketing GM Mohamed Sallaudin Mat Sah said the airport operator plans to instal about five airbridges to support wide-body aircrafts at the airport.

“When we expanded the terminal about a year ago, we wanted to address congestion issues at the terminal, and we have done that so far.

“At the same time, we’re trying to accommodate additional facilities where we can segregate domestic and international arrivals and baggage handling which is now pending approval by the Malaysian Aviation Commission.

“We have submitted our plans to construct an additional pier and to instal at least four to five aerobridges to support wide-body aircraft,” he said at a Qatar Airways Ltd’s press conference in Langkawi on Wednesday.

It is learnt that RM4 million is needed to develop an airbridge. Mohamed Sallaudin said the previous expansion at the Langkawi Airport had managed to increase its passenger handling capacity from 1.5 million annually to four million.

“Langkawi’s airport is becoming one of the most important hubs for Malaysia for international destinations, bearing great international connectivity to the island,” he said.

He added that MAHB is offering free landing fees and growth rebate to Qatar Airways, who had recently included Langkawi as its third Malaysian destination, for two years.

Meanwhile, Langkawi Development Authority CEO Dr Hezri Adnan said five million tourists are expected to visit Langkawi in 2020, in line with the additional routes by Qatar Airways and the “Visit Malaysia” campaign.

“Langkawi had a direct flight to Heathrow Airport years ago, but it was discontinued due to out-bound issues and the low loading frequencies.

“It is a coterminal scheduling arrangement with Qatar Airways, meaning that they will have passengers come and go out of Penang as well. The loading factor then could be addressed.

“The reality is we’ve been stagnating about 3.6 million passengers for the last few years. Next year, we expect arrivals to increase between 4.5 million and five million,” he said.

Qatar Airways had commenced its third destination in Malaysia through the Doha-Langkawi route, serviced via the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

The Gulf carrier will operate four times a week for a period of two weeks until Oct 27.