MAHB sees 5.3% fewer passengers in October

MAHB sees 5.3% fewer passengers in October
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 11): Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) handled 5.3% fewer passengers in October this year compared with the same month last year, due to runway closure and cancellation of flights primarily caused by the haze that had blanketed the Southeast Asian region for months.

It saw 6.47 million passengers passing through its 39 airports in Malaysia in October 2015 compared with 6.84 million in October last year.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, MAHB said the international sector recorded 3.15 million passengers, down 3.6% year-on-year (y-o-y) from 3.26 million a year ago, while domestic traffic fell 6.8% to 3.33 million passengers from 3.57 million in the previous year.

"Overall aircraft movements declined by 4% (in October this year to 66,145), with international and domestic movements registering contractions of 0.3% and 6% respectively over October 2014," said the airport operator.

Passenger movements at the KL International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang fell 18.5% to 1.6 million passengers in October 2015 from 1.97 million in October 2014, while that at klia2 grew 10.4% to 2.21 million from 2 million a year ago partly due to Jetstar Asia's shift from KLIA to the low-cost carrier terminal.

Year to date, MAHB's total system of airports handled 1.2% more passengers at 68.85 million compared with 68.06 million in the January to October period last year.

This was despite international passenger movements falling 0.2% y-o-y to 32.87 million during the first 10 months of this year, which was offset by a 2.4% increase in domestic traffic to 35.98 million.

Aircraft movements grew 4.7% to 679,372 from 648,569 over the same period last year.

MAHB said more than a thousand flights, especially for the domestic sector, were cancelled in October this year. Among the worst affected airports include Langkawi, Subang, Penang, Kota Baru, Alor Setar, Ipoh and KLIA.

"Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB), which is undergoing restructuring, has cut its flights by 14% in October 2015 compared with October 2014. MAB is still in a consolidation stage and we foresee these cuts will be filled up by other carriers in the short and medium term," it added.

MAHB pointed out that the Southeast Asia sector recorded negative growth in October partly due to the haze, while the Oceania sector was affected by AirAsia X Bhd's cuts in its flight frequencies.

"The China sector continued to show improvement. (Meanwhile,) Istanbul SGIA's passenger traffic performance remained robust with a growth of 17.1% to 2.51 million in October 2015 from 2.14 million in October 2014," it said.

Shares in MAHB closed up five sen or 0.95% at RM5.30 today, bringing it a market capitalisation of RM8.73 billion.

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