KUALA LUMPUR, July 7 — Total passenger traffic improved to 8.7 million in the first quarter of this year (Q1 2022) — the highest since the start of the pandemic, said the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom).

Due to the low base effect, passenger traffic grew 415.6 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) compared with -91.2 per cent y-o-y in the same quarter last year.

In a statement today, Mavcom executive chairman Datuk Seri Saripuddin Kassim said following the easing of travel restrictions in Malaysia, the aviation industry has made further progress in its recovery from the pandemic as indicated by the increase in total passenger traffic in early 2022.

“With the reopening of the country’s international borders since April 2022, we have continued to see an uptick, driven by pent-up demand for travel.

“While we understand the public remains cautious in the face of global conflicts and existing economic uncertainties, the commission remains positive that the aviation sector will continue to recover in 2022 with the right measures in place,” he said.

In the biannual industry report, Mavcom said domestic passenger traffic accounted for 88.8 per cent of total traffic in Q1.

It also reported that total cargo volume recorded a growth of 5.9 per cent y-o-y in Q1 2022, driven by the return of belly cargo capacity following the gradual resumption of international flights.

This translated into a growth in cargo volume to 5.1 billion in terms of freight tonne-kilometres (FTK), up from 4.8 billion FTK in Q1 2021, it said. — Bernama