SEPANG (Oct 20): Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) said the total local passenger movements in the third quarter of this year reached 21.7 million, a more than 80% recovery in total quarterly traffic for the first time since the same period in September 2019.
In a statement on Friday, MAHB attributed the increased traffic to the addition of three new airlines — Salam Air, Super Air Jet and Sichuan Airlines — at KL International Airport (KUL) and addition of 12 new destinations and resumption of seven routes by existing partner airlines.
The local airports within the group achieved a significant milestone, with 3.3 million international passengers, marking a 79.3% recovery compared to September 2019, and 3.6 million domestic passengers, which is an 86.7% increase from September 2019.
Overall, Malaysia’s performance for the same month reached an impressive 83% of September 2019 levels.
In September 2023, the group’s airport in Türkiye, Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW), consistently exceeded the three million passengers at the tail end of the summer travel season.
On a quarterly basis, SAW achieved a total of 10.9 million passenger movements, with 5.6 million in the international sector and 5.3 million in the domestic sector.
This performance represents 133.5% of the passenger levels seen in 2019 for international travel and 89.8% for domestic travel.
New routes added boosts traffic
MAHB noted that the new routes introduced were KUL-Muscat by Salam Air, KUL-Lombok, KUL-Pekanbaru and KUL-Surabaya by Super Air Jet, and KUL-Haikou by Sichan Airlines.
The new destinations offered by existing airlines from KUL are Auckland, Jeddah, and Okinawa by Batik Air Malaysia, Chengdu by AirAsia X, Air China and Batik Air Malaysia, and Shanghai Pudong by China Eastern.
New services from Penang International Airport (PEN) are Kuala Namu by Batik Air Indonesia, Guilin by Batik Air Malaysia, Hong Kong by AirAsia, and Xiamen by Xiamen Airlines.
“New services from Langkawi International Airport (LGK) are Chengdu by Batik Air Malaysia, and from Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI) is Beijing Daxing by AirAsia,” it said.
At the same time, Batik Air Malaysia will resume its services to Hong Kong, Zhengzhou, Adelaide, and Chennai from KUL, while AirAsia X has also reinstated its route connecting KUL to Raja Sansi. Over at BKI, Shanghai Airlines has resumed its service from Shanghai and Loong Air from Xi’an.
Notably, the effect of the typhoon in September does not affect much of the arrival of international passengers, despite affecting some parts of China, Hong Kong, Macau, Philippines, Taiwan, and Japan.
At the midday break, MAHB shares were down five sen, or 0.69%, at RM7.20, giving the group a market capitalisation of RM12.01 billion.
Source: The Edge Malaysia