KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 15): About 62%, or 55, of 89 foreign airlines operating out of the five international airports in the country that had suspended their operations due to Covid-19-related travel restrictions, have resumed operations, according to airport operator Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB).
The international gateways are the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), the Langkawi International Airport, the Penang International Airport, the Kota Kinabalu International Airport and the Kuching International Airport.
In a statement on Thursday (Sept 15), MAHB said a total of 1.7 million international passengers passed through the five international airports it manages in August, a 7.1% increase compared to the preceding month.
"Other than resumption of flights and introduction of new routes, other factors that contributed to the increase were relaxation of visa requirements by Saudi Arabia, leading to more Umrah flights; and [the] easing of travel entry requirements for foreign travellers into Malaysia.
"The number of international passengers for the group’s Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISG) in Turkey also increased by 4.9% year-on-year (y-o-y) to 1.5 million in August," it added.
The number of domestic passengers who passed through the 39 airports MAHB manages in the country totalled 3.1 million passengers in August — 65.7% of pre-pandemic levels in 2019. ISG, meanwhile, registered 1.6 million domestic passengers in August, which is equivalent to 79.1% of pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
"All these had contributed to the group’s recovery, where total passenger movements for the group stood at 7.9 million passengers (Malaysia: 4.8 million; ISG: 3.1 million) in August — the highest passenger volume recorded for the year thus far," said MAHB.
At 2.52pm on Thursday, MAHB shares were up one sen or 0.17% at RM6, bringing it a market capitalisation of RM9.96 billion.