Six Additional Foreign Carriers In May To Boost Recovery
International traffic recovery at Malaysia Airports’ local network of airports gets a further boost with the addition of one new foreign carrier and the recommencement of five others last month.
Lanmei Airlines, a low-cost carrier from Cambodia launched its inaugural weekly flight connecting Phnom Penh (PNH) – Kuala Lumpur (KUL), utilising the Airbus A320 aircraft. It is the third airline, after Malaysia Airlines (MH) and AirAsia (AK) to serve this route. Meanwhile, the five airlines that have recommenced operations in Malaysia include IndiGo, India’s leading low-cost carrier operating the Chennai (MAA) and Tiruchirappalli (TRZ) flights to KUL, and Thai Smile Airways flying the Bangkok (BKK) – Penang (PEN) route. In East Malaysia, Royal Brunei Airlines resumed flights from Brunei (BWN) to both Kuching (KCH) and Kota Kinabalu (BKI) while Jin Air from Korea reinstated its Incheon (ICN) – BKI route. Philippines AirAsia (Z2) had also resumed its Manila (MNL) – BKI route. For May, the Group recorded a total of 1.03 million international passenger movements in Malaysia, hitting the 1-million mark for the first time since March 2020 when borders closed.
Managing Director of Malaysia Airports Dato’ Iskandar Mizal Mahmood said, “With the reopening of borders two months ago, Malaysia Airports has recorded an average monthly increase of more than 50% in international traffic. The demand is there for airlines to seize the opportunity and speed up recovery. For an airport operator, every new entry of a foreign airline into the country signals positive growth for the aviation landscape. Lanmei Airlines is the second new foreign carrier that we welcomed into the country this year, adding up to a total of 43 foreign airline partners operating at our network of airports in Malaysia. We look forward to attracting more new airline partners this year while welcoming returning airlines.”
Apart from the recommencement of flight services, the Group also witnessed the introduction of new routes in May, such as the much-awaited KUL – Doha (DOH) flight by Malaysia Airlines and the domestic Subang (SZB) – Tioman (TOD) flight by SKS Airways. Meanwhile, the AirAsia group of carriers resumed their flights from KUL to BWN, Male (MLE), Chiang Mai (CNX), Bengaluru (BLR), Kolkata (CCU), Kochi (COK), Sihanoukville (KOS) and Siem Reap (REP). The AirAsia group also recommenced its Miri (MYY) – Singapore (SIN) route.
For May, Malaysia Airports recorded a total of 7.10 million passenger movements for its local airports and Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW). Traffic performance for the Group continues to grow and had surpassed the 7-million mark for the first time in two years. Both Malaysian and Turkish operations had also recorded the highest passenger volume for the year at 4.57 million and 2.60 million respectively. This encouraging performance was fuelled by the Aidilfitri celebrations, the Sabah and Sarawak harvest festivals and the onset of summer holidays in Turkey that had all happened in May.
On the local front, domestic passenger movements continued its recovery trajectory by recording more than 3 million passenger movements for the first time since February 2020 or 91% of pre-COVID levels. The traffic momentum gained in May continued into June with an 11% increase in daily average passenger movements to 163,000.
Meanwhile, SAW’s leisure traffic, airlines route and capacity expansion continue to drive passenger movements by recording 1.20 million international passengers in May, which is also the highest volume to-date for the year. Anadolujet and Pegasus commenced new services to Milan-Bergamo and Helsinki with daily and 4 times weekly flights respectively.