by BERNAMA / pic by HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN
KUALA LUMPUR – Monthly passenger movements for the Malaysia Airports group of airports including Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISG) in Turkey crossed the five million mark for the first time in December last year.
In the statement, the group said they registered a total of 5.35 million passenger movements where Malaysia operations contributed 3.11 million or 58%, and ISG contributed 2.23 million or 42%.
“For Malaysia, the growth was driven mostly by domestic traffic which registered 2.8 million passengers recording a 30% increase from 2.16 million passengers in November, arising from the long year-end festive holidays.
“International passenger movements also registered encouraging growth from November of 114% to 320,371 movements in December,” it said, adding that this increase mainly attributed to the resumption of umrah travel and the implementation of the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) programme between Malaysia and Singapore.
Malaysia Airports managing director Datuk Iskandar Mizal Mahmood said the demand generated by the VTL programme, as evidenced by the sold-out flights showed that such programme will be the catalyst for air travel recovery.
“We can also see the same demand arising from the resumption of umrah travel since October. Our December 2021 traffic performance is already at 41.6% of pre-COVID-19 levels.
“Our role as the airport operator is to make sure that we facilitate all the additional SOPs and processes required for such travel. We are in constant discussion with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC), the Ministry of Health (MOH), the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) and the KLIA Department of Immigration to improve passenger experience,” he said in a statement today.
Meanwhile, in tandem with the growth in passenger movements in Malaysia, Malaysia Airports recorded a total of 40,147 aircraft movements in December, a 21% increase from November. International flights also increased by 15% to 6,582 flights in December from 5,732 flights in the preceding month.
As for ISG, it continues to record consistent total passenger movements above 2 million since June 2021 as a result of the country’s high vaccination rate and the lifting of interstate travel restrictions and recorded 2.5 million passenger movements last month.