MAHB: Encouraging improvements in domestic traffic performance

By S BIRRUNTHA / TMR FILE PIX

MALAYSIA Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) said the country’s domestic traffic performance registered encouraging improvements after the launch of Langkawi travel bubble programme from Sept 16 this year. 

The group noted that daily domestic passenger movements for Langkawi International Airport recorded a significant increase from 251 passengers registered on Sept 15 to more than 2,400 passengers on the first day of the programme. 

“Prior to the reopening, an average of 170 to 250 passengers was recorded daily, having increased close to 4,000 passengers on the last seven days of September. 

“The programme had also helped to reinstate domestic flights to Langkawi from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), Penang International Airport, Kota Bharu Airport and Ipoh Airport. Previously, regular flights to Langkawi were only accessible from Subang Airport,” it said in a filing to Bursa Malaysia on Monday. 

On the international sector, MAHB said airlines are gradually increasing their weekly frequencies. 

It noted that Sri Lankan Airlines added one weekly flight to Colombo while Malaysia Airlines resumed Bangkok services. 

Cebu Pacific Air had resumed operations in October, while Malindo Air, Jetstar Asia, Emirates, Biman Bangladesh have also increased their weekly frequencies to KLIA. 

A total of 36 airlines have resumed their services in Malaysia by September this year. 

“The National Covid-19 Immunisation Plan vaccination drive had reached its milestone of 90% of adult population being fully vaccinated, a target that led to the much-awaited announcement from the government to allow fully vaccinated Malaysian residents to travel interstate while also relaxing travel restrictions to travel abroad. 

“The encouraging announcement coupled with MAHB’ initiatives ensuring health, safety and world-class passenger experience, would help elevate Malaysia’s traffic prospect for a favourable recovery in the near term as the aviation sector restarts and ultimately reaches normalisation,” it added. 

MAHB also said that Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport passenger movements continue to spearhead traffic recovery for the MAHB network of airports, sustaining growth momentum with September 2021 passenger movements reaching 86% of September 2019 passenger volume. 

Pegasus Airlines commenced operation to Oss, Kyrgyzstan, from Sept 30 with three flights weekly, and Pobeda Airlines resumed its daily flights to Krasnodar, Russia, on Sept 20. 

According to MAHB, its network of airports registered 3.2 million passenger movements in last month, a contraction of 9.5% over September 2020. 

The group noted that the international sector increased by 111.9% with 1.1 million passengers while the domestic sector contracted by 29.8% with 2.1 million passengers respectively. 

On a last twelve-month basis, passenger movements for the total MAHB network contracted by 60.5% over the same period to 28.6 million passengers. 

Overall aircraft movements declined by 15.8%, of which international aircraft movements registered a growth of 68.5% while domestic aircraft movements contracted by 33.4% respectively over September 2020. 

Meanwhile, MAHB said airports in Malaysia registered 500,000 passengers last month, contracting 73.4% over the same period last year. 

International sectors recorded 100,000 passengers with an increase of 8.3% while domestic sectors recorded a contraction of 77.8% with 400,000 passengers. 

Overall aircraft movements decreased by 42%, of which international aircraft movements increased by 51.9%, while domestic aircraft movements contracted by 54.8% respectively. 

Overall average load factor was 40.8%, with the domestic sector recording 50.3%, an increase of 6.9% points over previous the month partly due to the reopening of Langkawi from Sept 16 this year. 

For third-quarter of 2021 (3Q21), MAHB highlighted that its network of airports recorded 9.9 million passengers in 3Q21 representing a growth of 5.9% over 3Q20.