Air passenger traffic set to grow by 6% next year

  • Aviation
  • Wednesday, 11 Dec 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: The country’s air passenger traffic is expected to grow by 5% to 6%t next year, driven by Visit Malaysia 2020 and a 3.2% year-on-year (y-o-y) increase in domestic seat capacity growth, according to the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom).

This would bring the total traffic figure to between 114.9 million and 116.0 million passengers, the regulator said.

“The forecast growth in 2020 follows Mavcom’s revised 2019 passenger traffic forecast to between 109.1 million and 109.7 million, being a growth of between 6.4% and 7.0% y-o-y, ” it said in a statement.

Mavcom had earlier projected a 2.9% to 4.1% growth y-o-y for 2019. Actual traffic for the first half (H1) of this year jumped 5.2% y-o-y to 53.1 million.

The projected growth was published in Mavcom’s fifth bi-annual industry report, Waypoint, which gives an overview of the Malaysian aviation sector’s performance for H1 2019 as well as prospects for 2020.

During H1 2019, Malaysia’s tourist arrivals by air surged by 8.8% y-o-y to 4.8 million, higher than the growth recorded for total tourist arrivals by all modes of transport of 4.9% y-o-y, which resulted in total arrivals of 13.4 million.

“This increase was mainly as a result of higher tourist arrivals from Indonesia, China, and Thailand, which offset the decline in tourist arrivals from Singapore and Brunei.

“Collectively, these five countries constituted 78% of the total tourist arrivals in H1 2019, ” it said.

On the average operating profit margin of Malaysian carriers, Mavcom said it fell to 0.3% y-o-y in the first six months of this year on the back of rising costs.

However, the average cost per available seat kilometre (CASK) increased 5.9% y-o-y to 17.9 sen, while revenue per available seat kilometre (RASK) fell by 2.2% to 15.9 sen, it said.

“Mavcom takes note of the greater RASK-CASK negative spread in H1 2019 compared with the corresponding period in 2018, reflecting decreasing profitability of Malaysian carriers and a challenging operating environment in Malaysia, ” said the regulator of civil aviation-related economic and commercial matters.

It added that stronger domestic passenger traffic growth relative to international passenger traffic growth could also influence aerodrome operators’ earnings in 2020 as passengers incur a lower passenger service charge for domestic travel. — Bernama

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