by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK/ pic by RAZAK GHAZALI
THE Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the country’s air movements severely with applications for Air Traffic Rights (ATR) in the first half of 2020 (1H20) reduced by 74.3% compared to the preceding period of the previous year.
According to the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom), during the period under review, it approved 27 ATR applications which comprised 87.1% of the total applications received.
Mavcom stated that the two ATR allocations were for domestic destinations, while the remaining 25 were for international destinations.
“Approvals for international routes consist of seven for destinations to China, one for Amsterdam, one for Auckland and the remaining 16 for other Asian destinations,” Mavcom said in a statement yesterday.
Out of the 27 approvals, Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) and Malindo Airways Sdn Bhd (Malindo Air) received the highest number of approvals totalling to 14.
“AirAsia Bhd, AirAsia X Bhd, Raya Airways Sdn Bhd and My Jet Xpress Airlines followed with allocations of six, five, one and one respectively,” the commission said.
As for allocations by airports, flights from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) were issued with 20 ATRs, while two from Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang and five from other Malaysian airports.
There were also ATRs that were approved prior to the period under review, but were not utilised, and have been subsequently returned to the commission during 1H20.
“The highest number of unutilised ATRs was from AirAsia Group Bhd at 17. This was followed by Malindo Air (15), MAB (5), Fly Firefly Sdn Bhd (one) and Raya Airways (one),” it said.
The commission had also removed the condition which automatically revokes rights which are not utilised within six months from the approval grant date in order to ease airlines’ administrative challenges during the pandemic.
This condition removal was effective from June 5, 2020, and thus allows Malaysian scheduled carriers to keep their current portfolio of rights for an indefinite period until further notice.
However, the removal will not apply to ATRs that have already deemed expired and automatically revoked, as well as for routes in which airlines have terminated wilfully.
An Air Traffic Right Certificate (ATRC) is required for any person who intends to undertake to carry by air or use any aircraft for the transport of passenger, mail or cargo for hire and reward upon any scheduled journey between two or more places of which at least one place is in Malaysia.
ATRCs are awarded by Mavcom, based on available capacity on each route, to airlines which have successfully applied for them.