KUALA LUMPUR (July 15): Air travel in Malaysia showed further signs of recovery in the first nine days of July 2020 compared to late June 2020 as the relaxation in travel restrictions continue into the second month, said Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB).
In a statement, the airports operator said statistics from the 39 airports it manages in Malaysia showed that passenger and aircraft movements in the first nine days of July doubled with a daily average of about 37,000 and 550 respectively compared to a daily average of about 18,650 and 290 in the last nine days of June.
It said as Malaysia has not fully opened its borders for international travel, these numbers mainly represent domestic traffic movements.
Nevertheless, it said that at Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport – MAHB’ fully owned asset in Turkey – international travel has resumed with the opening of Turkey’s borders since 12 June 2020.
MAHB said in June, Pegasus Airlines started operations to 18 destinations in ten countries while AnadoluJet started operations to 11 destinations in six countries.
Beginning July, Pegasus increased its operations to 43 destinations in 27 countries with AnadoluJet also increasing its operations to 12 destinations in seven countries, it said.
MAHB group chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh, this is a positive sign of gradual recovery for the country’s aviation industry.
“We are hoping to see larger increases in traffic numbers as we go forward especially with Hari Raya Aidiladha approaching at the end of the month.
“Malaysians who did not get the opportunity to spend Aidilfitri with their families will surely take the opportunity to travel back to their hometown,” he said.
Mohd Shukrie said carriers had launched aggressive sales campaigns to increase load factors.
He cited reports that AirAsia sold over 200,000 of its Unlimited Passes, while Malaysia Airlines had also launched a joint business partnership with Japan Airlines where they will offer a four-weekly service between Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo Narita starting July.
“We also know that there have been discussions between governments on the implementation of travel corridors.
“Therefore, the introduction of the Malaysia - Singapore Reciprocal Green Lane, announced by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia and Singapore on July 14 is a welcome start for further relaxation in the opening of our borders,” he said.
Mohd Shukrie added that MAHB is not letting up on efforts in ensuring a safe airport environment for travellers and restoring confidence in air travel.
These measures include facial recognition, self-check-in and bag-drop, contactless security screening and automated disinfection using UV.
Mohd Shukrie said more technology is also being explored by continuously benchmarking best practices at other airports around the world.