KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 26 — The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) has revised its 2021 passenger traffic forecast downwards, expecting a contraction of between 77.0 per cent and 80.2 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y), equivalent to between 5.3 million and 6.1 million passengers.

This was significantly lower compared to the 18.9 million-20.6 million passengers previously projected in April 2021, the commission said.

“This revised forecast assumes a lower load factor and a longer period of seat capacity recovery by airlines,” it said in a statement today.

In the second quarter of 2021 (Q2 2021), the total passenger traffic stood at 1.3 million -- the lowest since Q2 2020 when it was at 0.8 million, it said.

Mavcom said the re-imposition of the movement control orders (MCO) in Q4 2020 until Q2 2021 had halted the recovery of domestic passenger traffic.

“International passenger traffic remains marginal due to the ongoing international border closures.

“Despite the current low passenger traffic numbers, the near-term biggest anticipated travel trend is an increase in the domestic, short-haul travel by fully vaccinated passengers,” it said.

In terms of cargo, Mavcom said the total volume expanded by 80.4 per cent y-o-y in Q2 2021 due to high demand for vaccines, medical equipment, personal protective equipment, electrical and electronic components as well as the solid growth seen in e-commerce.

It anticipated air cargo traffic in 2021 to expand by between 26.5 per cent and 28.2 per cent y-o-y and subsequently recover to pre-crisis levels. — Bernama