AirAsia looks forward to adding more flights to JB

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 23): AirAsia Bhd is looking forward to adding more flights or increasing frequency of existing flights to Johor Bahru as Senai Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd’s (SATSSB) expansion is set to serve five million passengers annually.

In a statement today, AirAsia chief executive officer (CEO) Riat Asmat said AirAsia was happy to see its partner growing further and contributing towards the industry as a whole.

“Not to mention the value it brings to Malaysia’s Shared Prosperity Vision as well.

“We are pleased to provide our input (on expansion) to SATSSB and we appreciate the fact that our opinions are considered,” he added.

SATSSB has announced an RM20 million expansion project, which will include the extension of the existing arrival and departure halls towards the south of the existing terminal building.

Key elements include the construction of four new departure and boarding gates, additional new seating area, covered walkway connecting to aircraft parking bays, installation of additional baggage handling system and installation of escalator and elevator to link the existing terminal building to the new area.

“The fact that AirAsia is actively engaged and consulted for this project shows that SATSSB is great partner, who tries to better understand our low-cost model in order to give our guests the best airport experience, apart from increasing efficiency and keeping costs low,” Riat said.

He also congratulated SATSSB for having successfully handled four million passengers in a single year to reach its maximum capacity.

He said 80 percent of the total passenger numbers were contributed by AirAsia flights.

“The key behind this successful partnership is the importance placed on collaboration and teamwork as the way forward to improve operational efficiency.

“SATSSB CEO Md Derick Basir and his team is always there to engage and discuss with our team. The focus has always been on keeping customers at the heart of everything we do – physically and digitally, with both eventually merging to create a seamless journey from start to finish.” Riat added.

He said when AirAsia started its automation project in early 2018, SATSSB was the first to show their support, clearly leading the way in partnering with airlines to provide a better travelling experience for passengers.

“It is only with their support that AirAsia got our second entry into the Malaysia Book of Records in September 2018 as the ‘First Airline to Introduce Facial Recognition Technology in Malaysia’ for our FACES (Fast Airport Clearance Experience System),” Riat said

FACES allows AirAsia’s passengers to board their flights without having to present any travel documents as it uses biometric facial recognition to authenticate travellers.

“We are delighted to have a great airport partner like Senai International Airport which has been supportive of all our digitalisation efforts, and we look forward to grow Johor Bahru together especially with the news of expansion plans for the airport,” he noted.