Malaysian aviation industry recovers further as 2022 draws to a close

KUALA LUMPUR – Vibrant developments in terms of route resumption and the introduction of new destinations by airlines in November and December 2022 continue to signal recovery for the country’s aviation industry, said Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB).

The airport operator said the industry has welcomed two new airlines in these two months, and seen the resumption of four pre-pandemic route services as well as introduction of a new international route. 

On top of that, Emirates had also brought back the Airbus A380 – the world’s largest commercial aircraft – to operate the Dubai – Kuala Lumpur route, it said in a statement today. 

“This strategic move was made to cater to more passengers as the A380 is able to handle twice the load of the current Boeing 777 that is also being utilised for the same route,” it added.

A total of 13,869 aircraft movements were recorded at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in November, which was a 12 per cent increase from the previous month, partly due to the introduction of new Chinese low-cost carrier Spring Airlines at the airport as the only airline flying from Nanning once weekly. 

MAHB said AirAsia X also resumed its Kuala Lumpur – Jeddah route, flying six times weekly to provide affordable travel options for Muslims who wish to perform their umrah. 

Meanwhile, Kuantan Airport saw the resumption of Fly Scoot’s operations for the Singapore – Kuantan route. This three-time weekly service also marked the airport’s first international flight after the pandemic, it said.

These positive developments continued into December with the introduction of the country’s latest low-cost airline, MYAirline, flying from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu, Langkawi, Kuching, Kota Bharu and Penang daily. 

There is also the resumption of international routes such as AirAsia X servicing the Kuala Lumpur – Taipei route three times weekly and Cathay Pacific the Hong Kong – Penang route three times weekly. 

A further sign to the recovery of air travel demand can be seen from AirAsia’s introduction of the Singapore – Sibu four times weekly flight service this month. 

With regard to monthly passenger movements, MAHB said its Malaysia operations recorded 2.23 million international passengers in November, a 5.9 per cent increase from the preceding month. 

“Domestic passenger movements recorded an 11.5 per cent decrease at 2.93 million passengers, bringing the total passenger movements in Malaysia to 5.17 million. 

“As a group, Malaysia Airports registered a total of 7.84 million passengers with its Turkish asset, Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport, recording 2.66 million passengers for the month,” it added. – Bernama / pic TMR File