MAHB records higher passengers in August


MALAYSIA Airports Holdings Bhd’s (MAHB) domestic airports network has registered 296,000 passengers comprising 208,000 domestic and 88,000 international travellers in August, a slight increase from July. 

The group recorded a total of 3.5 million in passenger movements last month, mostly contributed by its Turkish asset, the Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISG). 

In Malaysia, the airport operator said traffic remained low with the prolonged travel restrictions on both the domestic and international sectors. 

“However, on a positive note, the group is looking forward to the opening of the domestic travel bubble this month with Langkawi as the first destination,” MAHB noted in a statement yesterday. 

The group added that all of its airports are ready for full swing operations with most states progressing between Phase 2 and 3 under the National Recovery Plan (NRP), enabling for the recovery of local tourism and travel. 

MAHB remains optimistic with the gradual increase in air travel globally and domestically, and will continue to ensure a world-class passenger experience with the highest standards of safety and health practised. 

All five international airports in Malaysia comprising Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Penang International Airport, Langkawi International Airport, Kota Kinabalu International Airport and Kuching International Airport, as well as ISG have received the ACI Airport Health Accreditation, providing assurance for passengers that globally recognised safety measures are in place. 

“As for the airport staff vaccination exercise, the group is looking at a 100% full vaccination rate of its workforce by the end of this month,” MAHB added. 

In Turkey, MAHB’s ISG recorded a 7% increase in passenger movements to 3.2 million in August compared to July. 

To-date, ISG has also registered the highest passenger movements in August, reaching 90% of August 2019 levels, driven by the increase in summer travels. 

“In Turkey, the relaxation of border and inter-city travel, the lifting of national curfew, the upbeat progress of the country’s vaccination rate, the equivalent acceptance of European Union Digital Covid-19 certificate, and Turkish Covid-19 certificate have further encouraged travel to and within Turkey and Europe, as well as inter-city of Turkey during this peak season,” MAHB said. 

For the first half of 2021, ISG was ranked fourth busiest airport in Europe with continuous traffic momentum in the past two months. 

Turkey and Istanbul were listed as the third best-performing country and major city at 62% and 56.5% pre-2019 level, respectively, according to flight bookings data. 

MAHB said Pegasus, the main local carrier, added a new route to Makhachkala, Russia, with three flights weekly following the increase in air travel demand. 

It will be the airline’s sixth new international route introduced in 2021 after Batumi, Odessa, Shymkent, Kherson and St Petersburg.