52% increase in international traffic in March prior to border reopening

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airports’ network of airports nationwide recorded a 52% increase in international traffic in March compared to the preceding month.

Malaysia Airports registered 420,000 international passenger movements between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, Bangkok, Phuket and Phnom Penh as well as between Penang and Singapore due to the implementation of various Vaccinated Travel Lane programmes prior to border reopening.

Malaysia Airlines resumed flights to five cities in India in March, operating to New Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad. Partner airlines also continued to resume more international routes such as Malindo Air flying to Perth upon the reopening of the Australian borders on March 3.

Additionally, KL International Airport welcomed a new international airline, Air India Express which serves a three-time weekly flight from Tiruchirappalli International Airport in Tamil Nadu, India on March 28.

Malaysia Airports managing director Datuk Iskandar Mizal Mahmood (pix) said the airports have been recording a daily average of 20,000 international movements with the reopening of borders on April 1.

“We are expecting a further increase to this number once Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI) begins to receive international passengers this month. Prior to the pandemic, BKI was our third busiest airport for international traffic with an average of 8,460 international passenger movements per day,” he added.

Last month, the group recorded a total of 5.31 million passenger movements with its local airports in Malaysia serving the majority of 57% or 3.03 million passengers. For Malaysia, the overall passenger movements increased by 19% in March from February. Its domestic passenger traffic movements also increased by 15% at 2.61 million passengers from the previous month.

Its Turkish asset, Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport served 2.29 million passengers with 1.15 million international and 1.14 million domestic passengers respectively.