Airline passenger numbers soar to 1.4 million in August, says MAHB

  • Nation
  • Friday, 11 Sep 2020

PETALING JAYA: An increase in flight frequencies and new routes by its airline partners in both commercial and cargo operations led to Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) recording over one million passenger movements in August.

Group chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh said the domestic sector was still the main driver in the country's gradual traffic recovery, with 90% of total passenger traffic being made up of domestic traffic movements.

"For the month of August, Malaysia operations registered 1.4 million passenger movements.

"We are happy to see signs of the public regaining confidence in the safety of air travel as evident by the demand shown from the increase in flight frequencies," he said in a statement on Friday (Sept 11).

According to MAHB, there was a substantial increase in flight frequencies by airlines at all airports in Malaysia, with KL International Airport (KLIA) seeing a 33% increase.

"KUL (KLIA) currently registers 149 flight frequencies per week. This was mainly due to the newly launched Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) with Singapore that saw the three local airlines, as well foreign carriers Scoot Airlines and Jetstar Asia, resuming operations for these routes," said Shukrie.

Meanwhile, other international airports such as Penang, Kota Kinabalu, and Kuching, showed a combined increase of 75%.

"Domestic air travellers also took advantage of the school holiday breaks, National Day and Awal Muharram long weekends to visit local tourism destinations," said MAHB.

It also announced that Etihad Airways became the first airline last month to resume daily flights as per their pre-Covid-19 schedule.

"Etihad Airways is among the 29 airline companies at KUL, operating global flight routes to 30 cities in 20 countries to cater to the demand for repatriation and transit flights," it said.

Aside from that, My Jet Xpress Airlines introduced two new routes out of its home base, KUL to Kota Kinabalu (BKI) and Kuching (KCH), respectively.

My Jet Xpress Airlines, which was once known as Neptune Air when it was first established in 1970, currently operated both charter passenger and cargo flights, said MAHB.

Meanwhile, MAHB’s Turkish operations at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport continues to register a 50% increase in both passenger traffic and aircraft movements, to 1.8 million and 13,472, respectively.

"Three foreign airlines recently resumed operations at the airport due to upturns in forward bookings and load factor.

"Pobeda, Jazeera and Nile Air each resumed daily, three times weekly and four times weekly flight frequencies respectively in Aug 2020.

"With the encouraging increase at the Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen, MAHB has now surpassed the three million mark from the earlier two in the preceding month for total passenger traffic movements at its entire network of airports," it said.

Shukrie said MAHB would be continuing its efforts in improving the passenger experience from all angles, such as safety and efficiency, to future proof its airports once air travel returned to normalcy.

“We want to be well-prepared as we are expecting a surge in passenger movements when the borders reopen.

"We remain committed and will give our fullest support to our airline partners and retailers to recover from this pandemic together while ramping up the airport readiness in operating in the new normal and practising the highest standards of safety, ” he said.

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