Lift for air cargo traffic

KUALA LUMPUR: Air cargo traffic continues to show improvement as demand for goods increases in line with the growth in e-commerce.

According to the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom), of the 21 Air Traffic Rights (ATR) applications it approved in the third quarter of 2021, 18 applications were from the cargo sector, signalling a continued healthy growth within the sector.

It had previously reported an expected expansion between 26.5% and 28.2% year-on-year in Malaysia’s air cargo traffic for 2021.

“In addition to the ATR approvals, the commission is continuing to support industry players in their recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic by extending its suspension of the evaluation of domestic ATR applications, which has been in place since October 2020 until further notice,” it said in a statement yesterday.

It added that the full approval of the 21 ATR applications during the quarter represents a 110% increase in application rates as compared to the second quarter of 2021.

Mavcom approved 14 ATRs for international destinations and seven ATRs for domestic routes.

MyJet Xpress Sdn Bhd and World Cargo Airline Sdn Bhd were awarded the highest number of approvals with five ATRs each, followed by AirAsia X Bhd and MAB Kargo Sdn Bhd with four ATR and three ATR approvals respectively, as well as two ATR approvals each for Malaysia Airlines Bhd and AirAsia Group Bhd.

“The growth of the cargo sector has certainly been a silver lining for the aviation industry during this pandemic. With the ballooning demand for e-commerce coupled with reduced belly space cargo capacity thrusting the cargo sector globally forward, we will continue to support local players to take advantage of the prospects ahead,” said Mavcom executive chairman Datuk Seri Saripuddin Kasim.

The commission also released its 10th biannual consumer report for the first half of 2021 yesterday, noting that a total of 157 complaints were submitted to Mavcom, which translated to a 59.1% reduction in filed complaints compared with the same period last year. Of the 157 complaints, 98.1% were regarding airlines, while 1.9% were related to airports.

Complaints against AirAsia represented 41.4% of the total complaints filed with the commission, followed by Malaysia Airlines at 28.7% and Malindo Air at 12.1%.

All airlines, except Firefly Airlines, observed a drop in the number of complaints filed with Mavcom, corresponding with a decrease in the number of passengers carried.

Mavcom noted that 60.1% of the complaints resulted in airlines reversing their initial decisions by providing resolutions that are more equitable or satisfactory to the consumers, reflecting a 2.3 percentage point increase compared with the corresponding period in 2020.

“As air travel resumes, the commission looks forward to further improving its efforts in protecting the rights of consumers and supporting aviation industry players in their post-pandemic recovery,” he said.

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