Malaysia Airports Gearing Up Initiatives to Increase Passenger Traffic
Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) had earlier announced an encouraging recovery momentum in its passenger movements at its network of airports especially the main gateway KL International Airport (KLIA). For first quarter of 2023, domestic passenger movements have reached 81.2% of 2019 level. Meanwhile, international passenger movements were at 78.4% of 2019. MAHB expects the positive momentum to continue in 2023 and 2024.
Recognising the importance of airport infrastructure and services' direct contribution towards the nation’s economy especially via tourism and international trade, MAHB is resolved towards improving its infrastructure and services. MAHB had earlier announced the much-needed ageing critical asset replacement programme such as KLIA’s Aerotrain system and baggage handling system. The replacement of these critical assets will be completed within the next two years.
MAHB Managing Director, Dato’ Iskandar Mizal Mahmood said “MAHB is embarking on a transformation exercise involving its service delivery and infrastructure. This is critical in delivering the goal of bringing its airports especially KLIA back on the top tier global rankings. Several operational improvements to achieve enhanced service delivery are being undertaken including ambience improvement, self-service check-in and bag drop, digital solutions and many more.”
MAHB will be rolling out these initiatives in stages to keep up with the ever-discerning needs of travellers. Iskandar admitted “We may have been a bit slow in keeping up with the evolving needs of the passengers, but we are geared up to implement these initiatives and deliver better services.”
MAHB is also positioning itself to be an integral part of Malaysia's economic machinery in bringing in tourism dollars into the country. “China has proven to be a strong market for Malaysia’s tourism initiatives in the years prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. We are focusing on this proven market to capitalise on the potential and grow it further. However, we need to be strategic and smart in targeting China as every country in this region is chasing after that market. We need an effective platform not only to shout-out Malaysia’s offerings, but also provide most of the travel and leisure services fulfilment.”
MAHB is in the midst of finalising several such initiatives to establish exactly this. One of it being a digital super application, with an already existing subscriber base of over a billion users. “Such initiatives are carefully identified and chosen to maximise impact given that time is of the essence. And of course, being a public listed company, MAHB has to run the process through its governance structure and appropriate requisite approvals by the Board. As a business entity, MAHB will focus on high impact initiatives. Speed to market is an important criteria.
"Smart initiatives with established players will ensure minimal or no investment requirement from MAHB, hence ensuring maximum returns and more importantly, delivering results of bringing in tourism dollars into Malaysia” said Iskandar. He further added “MAHB is excited about these transformational initiatives. We are committed in making our airports relevant and playing a pivotal role in contributing towards Malaysia’s growth.”