KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s air passenger traffic is set to grow between 2.9% and 4.1% this year to between 105.5 million and 106.7 million passengers compared with 2018, according to the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom).
In its bi-annual industry report, the commission said it expected greater uncertainty ahead as global and local economic growth were expected to slow marginally.
Local carriers are also expected to price fares competitively to mitigate softening demand growth.
“For 2019, we expect to see downward pressure on yields and therefore, similar downward pressure on revenues for Malaysian carriers as seat capacity growth is expected to surpass passenger traffic growth.
“Jet fuel prices in 2019 could, on average, be lower than last year which could provide some respite to any financial pressures faced by the carriers,” executive chairman Dr Nungsari Ahmad Radhi said.
Mavcom’s fourth edition report, named Waypoint, provides an overview of the aviation sector including an analysis on industry structure and performance.
In 2018, Malaysia recorded 102.5 million international and domestic passengers.
Average revenue per available seat kilometre was marginally higher at 16.3 sen as average international fares fell 2.4% to RM486, while average domestic fares remain unchanged at RM221.
“Mavcom is monitoring domestic demand growth capacity closely in light of the expected increase in seat capacity as that will have a significant bearing on the financial health of Malaysian carriers.
“International traffic growth depends on many other factors but we would like to see better numbers for Asean traffic,” Nungsari said. — Bernama
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