SEPANG – Effective COVID-19 safety measures at KL International Airport (IATA Code: KUL) continue to contribute towards increasing confidence in air travel. In early October 2020, three more international airlines resumed operations at KUL with British Airways (IATA Code: BA) offering four flights a week from KUL to the UK and beyond, Oman Air (IATA Code: WY) offering twice weekly flights to Muscat, and Ethiopian Airlines (IATA Code: ET) offering a weekly flight to Addis Ababa.
Airports in Malaysia continue to see gradual monthly increases in both passenger and traffic movements. In September 2020, passenger traffic movements rose by 19% from August to 1.7 million, while aircraft movements increased by 9.8% to 27,010. Meanwhile, our operations at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (IATA Code: SAW) continue to see close to 2 million passengers last month with 5 international airlines operating at SAW to date. This led to the Group registering a total of 3.5 million passenger traffic movements in September 2020.
A freighter airline, Pos Asia Cargo Express (IATA Code: 3G) also recently introduced a new route from KUL to Sibu Airport (IATA code: SBW) that operates six times a week using a B737-400F aircraft. Throughout the year, air cargo operations in Malaysia has remained relatively stable. Despite the significant drop in passenger aircraft movements, cargo movements has shown resilience. Data from January to August 2020 showed that cargo operations in Malaysia averages about 65,000 metric tonnes a month compared to about 76,000 metric tonnes a month in 2019.
According the Group Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Airports, Dato’ Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh, KUL has maintained the same number of freighter airlines operating from the airport since 2019, “There are 21 freighter airlines in KUL (including charters). Although there was an initial dip in air cargo tonnage in March and April due to a reduction in belly cargo capacity, this capacity crunch was immediately taken up by full freighter airlines. This proves that KUL remains an attractive regional hub for aviation.”
“With the upcoming operationalisation of the e-fulfillment hub at KLIA Aeropolis - a joint venture between Malaysia Airports and Alibaba group’s logistics unit, Cainiao – it will further cement KUL's position as a regional distribution hub,” he added.