By AZALEA AZUAR
THE Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) has approved 100% out of 24 air traffic rights (ATRs) applications received from airlines in the first quarter this year (1Q21).
The civil aviation regulator, in its recently released 1Q21 ATR report, stated that 21 out of the total applications were for international routes, while the remaining three were for domestic routes.
The ATR application rate fell by 51.7% compared to its last quarter, though it has increased by 33.33% year-on-year with 18 ATR applications.
MyJet Xpress Airlines Sdn Bhd received the highest number of approvals (21 ATRs), followed by Malaysian Airlines Bhd (MAB) with six, AirAsia Group Bhd (four) and Raya Airways Sdn Bhd (two).
No ATRs expired between Jan 1 and March 31 due to Mavcom’s measures to reduce the problems faced by airlines during the Covid- 19 pandemic. This marks the second consecutive quarter without any ATR expiration.
Unutilised ATRs within six months from the date of approval have automatically been revoked, which took effect since June 5 last year.
The ease of condition was meant to facilitate the airlines’ administrative and regulatory challenges, at the same time, enabling them to keep their current ATR portfolio active.
Mavcom executive chairman Datuk Seri Saripuddin Kasim said the commission recognises and continues to analyse the challenges faced by airlines in view of the impact of the Covid- 19 pandemic.
“We are pleased to note that the eased condition provided to airlines is able to support the continued recovery of the sector as it gradually prepares for resumption of full services in the future.
“Coupled with this, the commission continues to observe a healthy growth of the cargo segment given the accelerated and increased demand for logistics needs. This demonstrates the agility and resilience of the sector in overcoming the pandemic as we look forward to positive development for the nation’s aviation sector,” he said.