KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 23 — Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd’s (MAHB) net loss for the second quarter ended June 30, 2021 (Q2 2021) widened to RM226.09 million from RM91.07 million in the same quarter last year.

However, revenue increased 18.8 per cent to RM323.42 million from RM272.18 million a year ago due to higher passenger volumes in Turkey, it said.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, MAHB said overall, its Malaysian operations’ revenue declined by 43.3 per cent to RM125.8 million.

Conversely, revenue from its Turkey operations surged from RM35.1 million in Q2 2020 to RM176.3 million in Q2 2021, while its Qatar operations’ revenue increased from RM15.5 million to RM21.3 million.

For the first half of this year (1H2021), the company posted a net loss of RM447.39 million from a net loss of RM111.45 million in 1H2020, while revenue dropped 45.2 per cent to RM660.23 million from RM1.21 billion previously.

MAHB said the performance was in tandem with the 55.4 per cent contraction in passenger movements due to the prolonged Movement Control Order (MCO) and continued interstate and international travel restrictions.

The decline in passenger movements saw revenue from its airport operations contracting by 49.2 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) in 1H2021 to RM567.3 million, while the aeronautical segment’s revenue declined by 46.0 per cent y-o-y to RM295.9 million.

MAHB said revenue from non-airport operations increased slightly by 3.8 per cent or RM3.4 million due to higher revenue from agriculture as a result of higher fresh fruit bunches (FFB) price and higher project and repair maintenance businesses.

“Overall, Malaysia operations’ revenue fell by 67.2 per cent y-o-y to RM289.2 million in 1H2021, while Turkey and Qatar operations’ revenue rose by 14.6 per cent y-o-y to RM328.5 million and 13.6 per cent y-o-y to RM42.6 million, respectively,” it said.

MAHB noted that its network of airports recorded 12.0 million passengers in 1H2021, a contraction of 55.4 per cent y-o-y.

“During the same period, the group’s international and domestic passenger traffic contracted by 72.9 per cent y-o-y and 41.7 per cent y-o-y, respectively.

“Correspondingly, the group’s aircraft movements decreased by 41.7 per cent y-o-y, with both international and domestic aircraft movements decreasing by 51.0 per cent y-o-y and 36.4 per cent y-o-y, respectively,” it said.

Generally, the airport operator said its performance would continue to be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic this year, with travel restrictions in place.

However, it noted that the high daily vaccination rate in Malaysia provides some optimism on the resumption of domestic traffic, as efforts to ramp up inoculations to achieve herd immunity continue.

Meanwhile, in other regions, there are some early signs of cautious cross-border traffic arrangements, allowing vaccinated travellers to travel with standard safety measures in place, including digital health passes and testings prior to departures or upon arrivals, it said.

Moving forward, MAHB said it would continue to implement its aggressive cost-optimisation plan.

“This includes recalibrating operational efficiencies such as rebasing cost and prioritising capital expenditure to conserve cash reserves and ensure that the group can meet its financial and operational obligations.

“As of June 30, 2021, the group managed to reduce core operational expenses by 13 per cent y-o-y,” it added.

Meanwhile, in a separate statement, MAHB said its wholly-owned Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport’s (ISG) total passenger traffic movements stood at 53 per cent of its pre-pandemic level, and an average load factor of 70 per cent for its flights in 1H2021.

Group chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh said that the ISG is a significant contributor to the group’s recovery as the traffic recovery in Turkey is more robust compared to the Malaysian operations.

“For ISG, passenger movements rose by 17.6 per cent y-o-y in 1H2021, whereas the Malaysian operations contracted by 84.6 per cent y-o-y,” he said.

He added that the domestic traffic is expected to gain traction once 70 to 80 per cent of the population have been fully vaccinated. — Bernama