FOLLOWING a two-year extension of his contract, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) managing director Datuk Seri Bashir Ahmad Abdul Majid aims to improve the overall performance of the company.
“Investors can look forward to a stable management that continues to look for opportunities, not only in increasing profit levels, but also in services as well. Through this, we hope to give better returns to shareholders,” he told StarBiz.
MAHB manages 39 airports in the country – five international, 16 domestic and 18 short take-off and landing ports.
As at end-December last year, 51 international airlines were operating at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). Two new international airlines are expected to use KLIA by year-end.
Bashir said one of MAHB’s biggest achievements so far this year was the successful opening of the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in March.
Three no-frills airlines are presently operating at the terminal. They are AirAsia, Thai AirAsia and PT Indonesia AirAsia, and two new budget carriers are expected to fly into the LCCT by the end of this year.
The LCCT is likely to attract five million passengers this year. Last year, around 4.2 million passengers flew via AirAsia.
Runway resurfacing and associated works at the Penang International Airport are scheduled to be completed in August, while the second terminal at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport is expected to be ready by year-end.
In addition, upgrading works have also begun at KLIA to prepare for Airbus 380 operations next year.
Bashir said there were also plans to upgrade the airports in Labuan and Malacca.
“We will continue to attract airlines to fly via Malaysia and provide better services to our partners, customers and passengers,” he said.
On overseas expansion, MAHB penetrated the Indian market last year by providing airport operations and technical services for the development and maintenance of the new Hyderabad International Airport.
This year, MAHB, under a consortium formed with GMR Infrastructure Ltd, GMR Energy Ltd, GVL Investments Pvt Ltd, India Development Fund and Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide, won the bid to develop New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport.
Bashir said the overseas ventures not only provided additional revenue stream, they also served as an exposure for MAHB employees.
“We have sent four staff members to Hyderabad and will be sending another two to New Delhi. From time to time, we will be sending employees for ad hoc assignments,” he said, adding that MAHB was offering management expertise to the Indian airports.
The company is also pursuing projects in Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia.
Bashir said some of the discussions should be concluded by the end of this year.
MAHB’s share price depreciated by some 8% to RM1.85 on Friday. Sentiment on the stock weakened after Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) decided to remove the stock from its Malaysian index effective end-May.
Last year it declared a dividend of 2.16 sen, compared with 1.44 sen the year before.