by LYDIA NATHAN / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
MALAYSIA Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) recorded an improvement in passenger volume at its airport in Turkey during July, with 3.02 million passengers versus 2.24 million in June.
In a filing to Bursa Malaysia, the airport operator said the surge was due to the easing of border restrictions and curfews in early June 2021 at the Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SGIA) in Istanbul.
Kuwait Air resumed operations to Istanbul SGIA from July 1, 2021 with four flights weekly, while Pegasus commenced operations to St Petersburg from July 22, 2021 with two weekly flights, bringing the total to 17 airlines operating at the end of July 2021.
“Istanbul SGIA passenger movements continued to show growth with July 2021 traffic registering the highest passenger movements in a month this year with three million passengers. International and domestic passenger movements grew by 275% and 106.5% over July 2021 with 982,000 and two million passengers. The domestic sector has largely contributed to the traffic growth and has since exceeded the pre-Covid levels of July 2019,” MAHB said.
It added that July passenger count in all Malaysian airports rose to 261,000, from 187,000 in June.
However, the increase is still 80.1% lower compared to the 1.31 million passengers registered in July last year.
The year-on-year decline is led by a 84.5% decline in domestic passenger count to 189,000, from 1.2 million. The higher base in July is on the back of temporary relaxation of the Movement Control Order at the time.
“Overall, aircraft movements declined by 45.4% over July 2020. International aircraft movements registered a growth of 31.4%, while domestic aircraft movements declined by 57.6% respectively,” it noted.
Passenger movements at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) registered a 76.2% contraction over July 2020 with 107,000 passenger movements while International and domestic passenger movements contracted by 20.3% and 90% over July 2020.
“The last-twelve-month passenger movements for KLIA Main Terminal recorded 1.3 million passengers, a contraction of 92.8%, while KLIA2 passenger movements contracted by 92% with 1.6 million passengers.”
“On another note, cargo movements in Malaysia continued to perform well, recording a growth of 13.6% for July 2021 over July 2020, resulting in an increase of 50% in aircraft movements carrying cargo. A new airline from Shenzhen, Central Airlines, has already commenced operations in July with three flights weekly from Zhengzhou,” MAHB said.