28/02/2024 09:40 PM

LANGKAWI, Feb 28 (Bernama) -- Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) has welcomed five new international airlines flying to Malaysia in January and February 2024, offering travellers more connectivity options and strengthening the position of the country’s airports as a hub within the region. 

MAHB said in a statement that among the new flights serving the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) are Air Macau (NX) from Macau (MFM), Loong Air (GJ) from Hangzhou (HGH), Turkmenistan Airlines (T5) from Ashgabat (ASB), and Iraqi Airways (IA) to Baghdad (BGW).

“Meanwhile, at other airports in the country, flydubai (FZ) is now serving daily flights to Penang International Airport (PEN) and Langkawi International Airport (LGK) from Dubai (DXB),” it said.

Acting group chief executive officer Mohamed Rastam Shahrom said the airport operator has seen a significant increase in air traffic owing to proactive strategic route development initiatives implemented post-pandemic.

“By hosting Routes Asia again this year, we aim to entice new airlines to start operations into Malaysia, and encourage others to introduce new routes or return to the country.

“Over this year and the next, we have identified 17 potential airlines from seven distinct regions to operate in Malaysia,” he said.

MAHB said that in January 2024, the local network of airports operated by the group recorded 6.9 million total passenger movements, reaching 83 per cent of 2019 levels, while the international traffic captured 3.8 million passenger movements, and the domestic sector accounted for 3.1 million passenger movements. 

“The continuous growth for international traffic was partly driven by the 30-day visa-free entry for Chinese visiting Malaysia and the 15-day visa-free policy for Malaysians visiting China, coupled with 25 additional weekly flights by partner airlines. 

“Apart from the introduction of new airlines, airlines such as China Eastern Airlines (MU) started operating four-weekly flights from Beijing (PKX), while Etihad Airways increased its service frequency from daily to twice per day,” it said.

MAHB noted that by the end of January, the domestic sector experienced a rise in the average load factor, surpassing 80 per cent, driven by increased travel activity during the Chinese New Year festivities, which coincided with school holidays.

“Overall, local airports played a significant role in the group's performance for January 2024, accounting for 69 per cent of the total passenger movements, which amounted to 10.1 million passengers.

“As for the group’s Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport in Turkey, total passenger movements continued to hit above the 3 million mark at 3.2 million passengers which surpassed 2019 levels by 14.2 per cent.

“The international and domestic passenger movements registered 1.7 million and 1.5 million passengers, respectively,” it said.

The three-day Routes Asia, which is held in Langkawi from Feb 27, is a platform for the region’s airlines, airports, tourism authorities and aviation stakeholders from across the world to foster collaboration and explore new opportunities within the Asia-Pacific region. 






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