Vibrant Airline Developments Continue To Signal Recovery For Malaysia
Vibrant developments in terms of route resumption and introduction of new destinations by airlines in the months of November and December continue to signal recovery for the aviation sector in Malaysia.
Within these two months, Malaysia Airports welcomed two new airlines and witnessed the resumption of four pre-pandemic route services as well as the introduction of one new international route. On top of that, Emirates (EK), had also brought back the Airbus A380 which is the world’s largest commercial aircraft to operate the Dubai (DXB) - Kuala Lumpur (KUL) route. This strategic move was made to cater to more passengers as the A380 is able to handle twice the load of the current Boeing 777 that is also being utilised for the same route.
A total of 13,869 aircraft movements were recorded at KUL in November, which was a 12% increase from the previous month. Contributing factors to this increase included the introduction of new Chinese low-cost carrier Spring Airlines (9C) at KUL as the only airline flying from Nanning (NNG) once weekly. AirAsia X (D7) also resumed its KUL - Jeddah (JED) route flying six times weekly providing affordable travel options for Muslims who wish to perform their Umrah. Meanwhile, Kuantan Airport (KUA) saw the resumption of Fly Scoot’s (TR) operations for the Singapore (SIN) - KUA route. This 3-time weekly service also marks the airport’s first international flight after the pandemic.
These positive developments continued into December with the introduction of the country’s latest low-cost airline, MYAirline (Z9) flying from KUL to Kota Kinabalu (BKI), Langkawi (LGK), Kuching (KCH), Kota Bharu (KBR) and Penang (PEN) daily. There is also the resumption of international routes such as D7 servicing the KUL - Taipei (TPE) route three times weekly and Cathay Pacific (CX) for the Hong Kong (HKG) - Penang (PEN) route three times weekly. A further sign to the recovery of air travel demand can be seen from AirAsia’s (AK) introduction of the SIN - Sibu (SBW) four times weekly flight service this month too.
In regard to monthly passenger movements, Malaysia operations recorded 2.23 million international passengers in November, a 5.9% increase from the preceding month. Domestic passenger movements recorded an 11.5% decrease at 2.93 million passengers bringing the total passenger movements in Malaysia to 5.17 million. As a group, Malaysia Airports registered a total of 7.84 million passengers with its Turkish asset, Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport recording 2.66 million passengers for the month.