MAHB reports 118.5m passengers at its airports in 2016, up 5.7%

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 10): Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) saw 118.5 million passengers pass through its airports including Istanbul's Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SGIA) throughout 2016, up 5.7% from 2015.

"International traffic recorded 52.8 million passengers, a year-on-year (y-o-y) increase of 6.1%, while domestic traffic recorded 65.7 million passenger movements with a 5.4% growth," MAHB said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia today.

International passenger growth momentum picked up in the second half of 2016 (2H16), improving from 5% y-o-y in 1H16 to 11% in 2H16, it said.

MAHB said on the home front, Malaysian airports registered a 6% growth at 88.8 million passenger movements from 2015 while the international sector recorded 43.2 million movements, an increase of 8%.

Domestic traffic on the other hand recorded 45.6 million passenger movements, an improvement of 4.1% compared with 2015.

MAHB said airports that registered a strong increase in traffic in 2016 include Kota Kinabalu, Penang, Langkawi, Alor Setar, Ipoh, Tawau and Mulu. Ipoh experienced high growth rate (more than 20%) following the introduction of a direct service to Singapore.

"All the five international airports in Malaysia grew between 3% and 13.6%, and 11 of the 21 international and domestic airports posted growth ranging from 1% to 21%.

"This growth is achieved despite capacity reduction by Malaysia Airlines and its subsidiary Firefly as part of its restructuring process," it added.

Average load factor overall was 74.8%, an improvement by 4.3% over 2015.

Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) surpassed the 50 million mark in passenger handling for the first time, reaching over 52.6 million passengers in 2016 while SGIA's total passengers increased by 4.8% in 2016.

In Istanbul, passenger traffic was negatively affected by the spate of security incidents and visa restrictions that affected tourism traffic to Turkey.

Comparing KLIA and klia2, about 6.3% more passengers or 27.1 million flew from klia2 compared to 25.5 million from KLIA, but the latter saw a 12.8% growth in passengers y-o-y versus a 3% rise in klia2.

"This was additionally contributed by the transfer of Malindo Air and Lion Air from klia2 to KLIA (whereas) klia2 handled 27.1 million passengers, a growth of 3% in 2016 over 2015," it said.

On aircraft movements in Malaysia, MAHB said it decreased by 0.6% in 2016 mainly due to the reduction in domestic aircraft movements of 5.9% by AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines and Firefly.

On the other hand, Malindo Air aircraft movements increased by 25.9% while the foreign airlines aircraft movements increased by 2% but overall cargo movements declined by 10.4% in 2016 to 882,593 tonnes.

Meanwhile, December registered the highest number of passengers for 2016 crossing the eight million mark.

International sector recorded 4.3 million passengers with a 9.6% increase while domestic sector recorded 4.4 million passengers, representing a growth of 4.9%.

"Overall aircraft movements increased by 4.8%. There was an increase of 4.1% and 5.1% respectively for international and domestic aircraft movements in Malaysia over December 2015," said MAHB.

Moving forward, MAHB said Malaysia passenger traffic in 2017 is expected to continue to perform well in view of the upward trend in the second half of 2016.

MAHB's share price rose one sen or 0.17% to close at RM6.04 for a market capitalisation of RM10 billion.