KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 13): Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) saw further improvement in passenger volume at its airport in Turkey during July, with 3.02 million passengers versus 2.24 million in June.
The improvement represents a return to pre-Covid-19 levels for the Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SGIA), which averaged just under 3 million passengers each month in 2019.
“It is also encouraging to note that July domestic passenger movements for Istanbul SGIA have exceeded the passenger volume recorded for any month in 2019, with 1.5% growth over July 2019,” said MAHB in its latest passenger traffic snapshot.
As at the end of July, 17 airlines, both scheduled and chartered, were operating at Istanbul SGIA, it said.
Meanwhile, the July passenger count in all of MAHB’s Malaysian airports rose to 261,000, from 187,000 in June. This is however 80.1% lower compared with the 1.31 million passengers registered in July last year.
The year-on-year decline is led by a 84.5% decline in domestic passenger count to 189,000, from 1.2 million. The higher base in July is on the back of temporary relaxation of the movement control order (MCO) at the time.
“On a positive note, the recent government announcement to allow some flexibility for those that are fully vaccinated to travel between states and for domestic tourism within the same state for states which has progressed to Phase 2 (of the National Recovery Plan) is a positive indication of a cautious traffic restart,” said MAHB.
Additionally, international passenger count in Malaysia also fell 20.2% on-year to 73,000, the airport operator said.
Concurrently, the improvements in July saw total aircraft number in MAHB’s network rise to 32,712, up 18.68% from 27,563 aircraft in June. On a year-on-year basis, the total flight count is down 1% from 33,054 in July 2020.
MAHB said in the report that “cargo movements in Malaysia continued to perform well” with a 13.6% year-on-year growth in July, resulting in an increase of 50% in aircraft movements carrying cargo.
“Year to date July 2021 cargo movements recorded a 21.2% increase, compared to the same period last year.
“A new airline from Shenzhen, Central Airlines, has already commenced operations in July with 3 flights weekly from Zhengzhou. Central Airlines is also the 18th full freighter airline to operate at KLIA,” MAHB said.
Shares of MAHB closed up 6 sen or 1.02% at RM5.93 today, valuing the group at RM9.84 billion.