Asian airport operator Malaysia Airports is confident its five-year business plan, Runway to Success 2020 (RtS2020), will deliver its goal to position Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) as the preferred ASEAN hub. It is continuing to engage with its airline partners and stakeholders in order to capture key markets and improve short to medium haul connectivity in high growth markets for mutual benefits of all parties and strengthen the airport’s role in the regional air transport system.
Recent meetings with major airline partners and industry organisations have suggested the strategy is already delivering benefits. Garuda Indonesia’s vice president of Asia Region, Uun Setiawan, has applauded Malaysia Airports’ efforts and initiatives to strengthen relationship with its long-term airline partners.
The Indonesian flag carrier offers high frequency flights between Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta with three daily flights utilising Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Malaysia Airports is confident that the airline will be able to further tap into the growing market and increase the number of passengers to Malaysia in view of Indonesia’s large population and high traffic between the two countries.
The importance of the Kuala Lumpur market is also evident at Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways (ANA) whose rapid development underlines how important the market is for the airline. ANA is one of Malaysia Airports’ main far-eastern carriers and it commenced daily operations into Kuala Lumpur from Tokyo Narita in September 2015. Last October, the airline added daily services from Tokyo Haneda too and has since experienced encouraging traffic growth for both routes.
Malaysia Airports’ RtS2020 plan was launched last spring and charts its business direction for the 2016 – 2020 period. It follows the previous plans progress of turning the leading airport operator into a world class business operator and aims to position it as a global leader.
“This initiative is focused on increasing our connectivity and coverage by targeted route development across more airlines and attracting at least four or five new airlines to fly to Malaysia each year,” says Malaysia Airports. The aim is to improve short- to medium-haul connectivity in high growth markets and expand long-haul destination coverage. The result of this will be an increase of between 20 and 25 million passengers per annum at KLIA, while at the same time delivering shorter reducing transit times for full-cost and low-cost carrier passengers by between 18 per cent and 40 per cent.
Schedule data from intelligence provider OAG shows that departure capacity and flight frequency at KLIA have grown significantly over the past ten years. Summer departures have doubled between 2007 and those planned for 2017, while winter operations have expanded almost four fold during the same period. Last year, KLIA’s summer schedule exceeded 20 million departure seats for the first time and is forecasted to grow a further 9.1 per cent in summer 2017, based on published schedules.