Air travel picking up as public regains confidence

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) recorded an increase in flight frequencies and new routes by its airline partners for both commercial and cargo operations, surpassing August’s record of one million passenger movements.

The domestic sector is still the main driver in the country’s gradual traffic recovery, with 90% of total passenger traffic made up of domestic traffic movements, said MAHB group chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh in a statement yesterday.

“Operations registered 1.4 million passenger movements in August. We are happy to see signs of the public regaining confidence in the safety of air travel,” he said.

According to MAHB, there was a substantial increase in flight frequencies by airlines at all airports in Malaysia, where the Kuala Lumpur International Airport saw a 33% increase.

“KUL 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 as foreign carriers Scoot Airlines and Jetstar Asia resuming operations for these routes,” said Shukrie.

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

“Domestic air travellers had also taken advantage of the school holiday breaks and public holiday long weekends to visit local tourism destinations,” he added.

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

Shukrie said MAHB would continue its efforts in improving the passenger experience from all angles such as safety and efficiency to future-proof its airports once air travel picks up again and returns 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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