SENAI: Senai Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd (SATSSB) is expecting some 3.76 million air travellers to pass through Senai International Airport by the end of the year.
Its chief executive officer Md Derick Basir said based on statistics recorded over the last six years, the number of travellers using the airport had increased significantly.
He said in 2013, some 1.3 million passengers were recorded and that the figure went up to 2.3 million in 2014, 2.5 million (2015), 2.8 million (2016), 3.1 million (2017) and 3.5 million in 2018.
“We are optimistic about surpassing the 3.76 million target by the year-end and if everything goes well, we could even hit the four million mark,’’ Md Derick said.
He said the airport recorded the average daily air passengers of 11,640 people or 1.01 million passengers in the first quarter of 2019.
He said in the pipeline were plans for expansion of the terminal’s new domestic arrival hall and the new waiting area at the departure hall costing between RM13mil and RM15mil.
He said work on the project would start in the fourth-quarter of the year and among the new features at the new domestic arrival hall were baggage handling system, retail lots, office spaces and covered walkway.
Md Derick said the new waiting area at the departure hall, which could cater to 180 passengers at a time, would include two new gates, toilets and new ramp walkway.
He said Senai Airport would also be connected to Shanghai, China, its newest international route in the fourth quarter of the year.
“Air connectivity is important if Johor wants to attract more domestic and foreign tourists to visit the state and have repeat visitors,’’ said Md Derick.
Senai International Airport started its operation in 1974 and is the only privately managed civilian airport in the country. SATSSB is a member of MMC Group.
Prior to the acquisition in 2003, the airport was handling only approximately 800,000 passengers.
On Visit Johor Year 2020 (VJY2020), he said Senai Airport would be working closely with the state government and Tourism Johor to promote it as a tourist destination.
“We will organise a joint promotion event called ‘Airport Festival’ as a teaser to VJY2020,’’ he said, adding that there would also be familiarisation and marketing trips for airlines and social media influencers to introduce attractions and tourism products in Johor.