Mavcom: Air traffic rights applications 210% higher in 2Q22

Higher application is due to the reopening of Malaysia’s international borders in April 2022 and in line with airlines mapping out their international network to align with the reopening of international borders by other countries

by NURUL SUHAIDI / Pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

AIR Rights Application (ATR) has jumped by 210% for the second quarter of 2022 (2Q22).

In its recent report, the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) said from April 1 to June 30, 2022, the application rate was higher with 32 submissions, where 28 were for international and four domestic routes.

This represented an increase of 47.6% in ATR applications from 1Q22, and a significant 210% increase compared to the corresponding period in 2Q21.

Mavcom noted the higher application is due to the reopening of Malaysia’s international borders in April 2022, and in line with airlines mapping out their international network to align with the reopening of international borders by other countries.

It is reported that the jump in ATR applications in 2Q22 was also further supported by airlines exploring new sectors to strengthen their network.

This was signalled by ATR applications for several new routes from secondary airports in Malaysia, namely Johor Baru and Penang, to Asean destinations.

The commission also highlighted greater flight capacity into Australia and New Zealand by Malaysian carriers, particularly from Indonesia to Australia and Australia to New Zealand.

Mavcom executive chairman Datuk Seri Saripuddin Kasim said despite the challenging landscape in the aviation sector, there is a healthy increase in ATR applications, which signifies the steady recovery of airlines.

“Furthermore, we are glad to support the decision by airlines to explore new sectors as a recovery plan with the approval of ATR for new routes such as Penang to Denpasar, Phnom Penh and Pekanbaru as well as Johor Baru to Phnom Penh, Pekanbaru and Kualanamu,” he said in a statement today.

Meanwhile, for the current quarter under review, Mavcom has approved 31 ATR applications from airlines, representing a 96.8% approval rate, which was higher compared to the 95.4% approval rate reported for 1Q22.

AirAsia was awarded the highest number of approvals with 11 ATRs across domestic routes, followed by Batik Air Malaysia and AirAsia X, which received seven and six ATR approvals, respectively.

Meanwhile, MY Jet Xpress Airlines and Raya Airways were awarded three ATRs each, and MASKargo was awarded one ATR approval.

However, for ATR applications for the cargo sector, the commission saw a decline with only 29% of total ATRs issued in 2Q22 compared to those awarded in 2Q21, which represented 90% of overall ATRs awarded.

The decline was attributed to the reduction to the revival of passenger services which brought with it belly space cargo capacity.

Additionally, cargo air freight rates had also fallen from their record high rates in December 2021.

However, the commission noted that cargo air freight rates remain higher than the pre-Covid-19, and the lack of cargo capacity in certain markets continues to signal potential growth in the cargo sector.