MAHB’s asset in Turkey ranked 5th busiest airport in Europe

by BERNAMA / pic by BERNAMA

MALAYSIA Airports Holding Bhd’s (MAHB) overseas asset Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (IATA Code: SAW) in Turkey was ranked as the fifth busiest airport in Europe, registering a daily average of almost 500 flights.

MAHB said the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation headquartered in Brussels, Belgium known as Eurocontrol announced the ranking in October 2020.

“The Malaysia Airports group’s sustainability is well supported by the encouraging recovery seen at SAW in the last several months.

“Since July 2020, passenger traffic at SAW contributed more than 50 per cent to the group’s total,” it said in a statement, today.

MAHB chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh said in October 2020, SAW contributed 60 per cent to the group’s total passenger traffic of 2.6 million.

“This had allowed the group to reach 22 per cent of our pre-COVID-19 numbers year-on-year (YoY),” he said.

Mohd Shukrie said recovery at SAW was mainly driven by domestic travel in Turkey.

“For October, domestic passenger traffic was at 80 per cent YoY of pre-COVID-19 numbers, while international was at 40 per cent YoY.

“The latest foreign carrier to resume operations at SAW was Salam Air from Muscat with a frequency of twice weekly,” he added.

For Malaysia operations, MAHB said domestic passenger traffic continues to be affected by the re-imposition of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) in Sabah, Selangor and the Federal Territories.

Nevertheless, it said 35 airlines are currently operating from Malaysia to 31 destinations in 23 countries, providing vital connectivity for the nation.

“The latest foreign carrier to resume operations at the KL International Airport was Nepal Airlines from Kathmandu on Oct 26, 2020 with a flight frequency of four times weekly,” it said.

With the commencement of operations of the e-fulfillment hub at the Cainiao Aeropolis eWTP Hub, Malaysia, in early November 2020, the KLIA is looking forward to improved airline connectivity at the airport with the increase in freighter frequency and capacity.

Airline partners will also be able to leverage belly-space utilisation which, in turn, helps with the profitability of their network and route planning, it said.