The global Airport Service Quality (ASQ) survey by Airports Council International (ACI) has named KL International Airport (KLIA) and Langkawi International Airport (LIA) as among the world’s best airports in their respective categories for the year 2021. KLIA and LIA achieved a perfect score of 5.00 in the airport categories serving over 40 million passengers per annum (mppa) and 2-5 mppa respectively. ASQ benchmarks the world’s best airports in terms of overall passenger satisfaction for terminal safety, facilities, services, and cleanliness. This recent industry accolade by a global body will give added impetus to Malaysia Airports to continue maintaining high service standards especially in view of the expected increase in passenger movements after Malaysia borders reopen on April 1.
In February, the Group recorded a total of 4.66 million passenger movements. Out of which, 2.54 million passenger movements or 55% were contributed by its local network of airports and 2.12 million or 45% were from its Turkish asset, Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISG). For Malaysia, domestic passenger traffic movements stand at 2.27 million and international at 0.28 million while ISG registered 1.09 million domestic and 1.03 million international.
Dato’ Iskandar Mizal Mahmood, Managing Director of Malaysia Airports said that the airport operator is proud that two Malaysian airports are recognised for this prestigious award, “Although we had achieved a high score in 2020, we were still points shy of a perfect score. In 2021, the team had put in tremendous effort to close this gap because as an airport operator, we cannot compromise on operational efficiency and service standards – more so as we are expecting an influx of international passengers into country from next month onwards.”
Apart from resuming their usual routes, airlines have also started to introduce new ones. Among airlines that have resumed previous routes include Air Asia X for the Kuala Lumpur – Sydney weekly flight, Thai Airways for the Bangkok – Kuala Lumpur twice-weekly flights, and Vietnam Airlines for the Ho Chi Minh City – Kuala Lumpur twice-weekly flights. Meanwhile, Scoot introduced the Singapore – Miri twice-weekly flights on top of its current Singapore – Kuching three times weekly flights.
Local player, Firefly, also announced the reinstatement of its jet operations starting April from its new hub at Penang International Airport to Johor Bahru, Kuching, and Kota Kinabalu.
On top of border reopening, implementation of the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) programme continues apace. New VTL programmes include Kuala Lumpur – Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur – Pattaya, and Kuala Lumpur – Cambodia that have commenced on 15 March, as well as Penang – Singapore on March 16.
As for cargo operations, the Group recorded a 17.4% increase in total tonnage last month which was about 86,768 metric tonnes for both cargo operations in
Malaysia as well as Turkey, when compared to the same period last year. Malaysia’s own Kargo Xpress has started a new Kuala Lumpur – Hong Kong route. Kargo Xpress first started out in KLIA last June and operated two local cargo flights to Kuching and Kota Kinabalu respectively. It now offers daily flights to Hong Kong as a result from growth in demand for air cargo driven by e-commerce, postal services, transshipment, and industries requiring high-value logistics services.