Senai Airport handles 4m passengers in 2019

The airport operator allocating RM20m to expand Senai Airport to increase its capacity

by SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH/ pic credit:

SENAI Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd (SATSSB), the airport operator of Senai International Airport, has handled a record volume of four million passengers within the last 12 month.

SATSSB, a member of MMC Corp Bhd, has handled a total of more than 33 million passengers with a consistent double-digit growth since it took over the airport in 2003.

The volume growth of four million passengers is the airport’s maiden achievement since it began operation in 1974.

SATSSB chairman Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh said the airport has received a significant increase in passenger volume over the past years, as a result of commitment made by the airport’s airline partners.

“It has been an amazing year for Senai International Airport. There has been a steady upward demand combined with the commitment by our airline partners to increase capacity that made this achievement possible.

“This achievement is not possible without the support of our airline partners, government agencies, local authority, customers, and the people of Johor,” he said in a statement.

Deputy Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik said the state government is estimating RM29.4 billion in revenue next year for Johor alone as the country has embarked on its Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020) and Visit Johor 2020 (VJ2020) campaigns.

“As a whole, the Johor government has set a target of 8.4 million overnighting tourists with a total of RM18.4 million revenue for 2020, in conjunction with the VM2020 and VJ2020 campaigns. We are hoping to see an economic spillover of RM29.4 billion.

“With a budget for Johor 2020 announcement of RM15 million, the highest ever given to the tourism sector in the state, we hope to be able to achieve stellar returns in the coming year,” he said.

For 2019, Senai International Airport’s passenger volume is expected to reach a total of 4.2 million, an increase of 20% from the 3.5 million passengers that were handled in 2018.

The airport currently handles an average of more than 11,500 passengers and 110 flight movements daily with 80% of its operations and passengers contributed by AirAsia Group Bhd.

The airport is also connected to seven international and 11 domestic destinations operated by five airlines — AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines Bhd, FlyFirefly Sdn Bhd, Malindo Airways Sdn Bhd and Jin Air Co Ltd.

The airport operator said the growth will be mainly attributed to the increased capacity through the introduction of new routes and the additional flight frequencies to existing routes such as Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Seoul. At present, the airport is operating at its maximum capacity of four million passengers annually.

In line with the passengers’ growth, SATSSB CEO Md Derick Basir said the airport operator is allocating RM20 million to the airport expansion to increase its capacity.

“The RM20 million project shall include the extension of the existing arrival and departure halls towards the south of the existing terminal building.

“The key elements include the construction of four new departure and boarding gates, additional new seating area, a covered walkway connecting to aircraft parking bays, installation of additional baggage handling system and installation of escalator and elevator to link the existing terminal building to the new area,” he said.

Md Derick added that the project is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2021.