KUALA LUMPUR: Total passenger numbers at Malaysian airports increased more than three-fold to 1.3 million with aircraft movements doubling to 22,600 in July 2020, according to Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB).
In a statement, the airport operator attributed this mainly to domestic travel by locals since the government has opened up domestic tourism, and is a reflection of improved sentiment and confidence in the public to resume air travel locally.
"The steadily growing traffic is also an indication of the confidence of both local and international airlines to increase flight services, particularly at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL),” it said.
MAHB said presently 27 airline companies are operating global flight routes to 30 cities in 20 countries with 14 of these airlines making at least one weekly flight, to cater to the demand for repatriation, which also includes transit for flights connecting at KUL.
To date, these active operations and routes have translated into approximately 149 weekly flight frequencies at KUL.
There has also been an increase in cargo capacity offered by airlines, resulting in higher aircraft movements.
"Besides the 20 freighter airlines operating in Malaysia delivering cargo containing goods from origin countries to the country and vice versa, the local carriers have also converted some movements from passenger to cargo flights,” it explained.
MAHB group chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh said the positive recovery rate has reinforced its optimism that the air travel industry will gradually return to normalcy.
On top of the current ones operating from KUL right now, he said more than 30 other foreign airlines have indicated that they will resume operations once borders fully reopen.
"In fact, Turkish Airlines recently resumed operations at KUL on July 18 with their brand-new B787-9 Dreamliner fleet,” he said.
Meanwhile, Malaysia Airports’ Turkish operations at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW) also registered increasing numbers, with passenger traffic and aircraft movements doubling to 1.2 million and 9,300 respectively.
Four foreign airlines had recently resumed operations at SAW from Morocco, Doha, Russia and Kuwait, and this has resulted in total passenger traffic movements at Malaysia Airports’ entire network surpassing the two million mark for the first time since the imposition of travel restrictions. - Bernama
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