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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 — Passenger movements for Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd’s (MAHB) network of airports contracted by 82.6 per cent to 2.1 million in January 2021 from 11.89 million in the same month last year.
The airport operator said Malaysia recorded overall passenger movements of 800,000 for January, a contraction of 91.6 per cent compared with January 2020.
Meanwhile, the Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISGA) registered 1.3 million passenger movements during the month, a contraction of 55.4 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y).
“Traffic at MAHB’s network of airports continues to be affected by the renewed interstate travel restriction of the movement control order (MCO) from Jan 13, 2021 in Malaysia and restricted curfew in Turkey,” it said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia today.
It said the one million passenger volume recorded by ISGA in January 2021 indicated the underlying demand and significance of air travel in Turkey despite the restricted curfew and flight suspension from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Denmark.
Meanwhile, it said the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) registered less than 300,000 passenger movements, with international and domestic segments recording a decrease of 97.6 per cent y-o-y and 88 per cent y-o-y, respectively.
It said passenger movements for KLIA Main and klia2 each recorded just over 100,000 passengers in January.
“Overall aircraft movements at KLIA decreased by 85.8 per cent y-o-y for January 2021. International and domestic aircraft movements decreased by 87.4 per cent y-o-y and 82.4 per cent y-o-y, respectively,” it said.
MAHB said the overall aircraft movements in its Malaysian airports decreased by 78.3 per cent y-o-y, while international and domestic aircraft movements decreased by 87.3 per cent y-o-y and 72.4 per cent y-o-y, respectively.
“Overall average load factor was 40.7 per cent, with the domestic sector recording 54.7 per cent—a decrease of 12.2 percentage points over January 2020, partly due to the renewed interstate travel restriction,” it said.
Moving forward, MAHB said it expected a gradual recovery in the domestic sector over the next few months once the COVID-19 daily cases are effectively reduced, interstate travel restrictions are relaxed and air travellers’ confidence builds up with the increasing number of populations vaccinated.
It said MAHB is closely monitoring the latest developments and challenges regarding the new virus variants and the vaccine rollout for Malaysia, Turkey and the surrounding regions.
The positive impact of the vaccine on air travel in Malaysia is expected to be more pronounced once the healthcare workforce and high-risk population are vaccinated in the first phase of vaccinations, to be followed by the rest of the population from May onwards, it added. — Bernama