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MAHB: Air passenger traffic to grow faster this year
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s air passenger traffic is set to grow at faster rate of 4.9% this year, up from 2.5% last year.
Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) forecast domestic passenger traffic would grow by 7.6% and international traffic by 2.4%.
“The higher domestic growth is a correction from the lower capacity registered in 2018. The recent announcement made to extend the 15-day visa exemptions for China and India tourists to December 2019 would help spur traffic,” the company said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday.
It said tourism support activities were necessary to boost the numbers in a maturing traffic.
MAHB said the continuous relatively low Brent crude prices expected in 2019 was also a positive factor for air travel industry.
“However, traffic growth is expected to remain vulnerable with significant changes in the macro economic environment despite the lower fuel price expected,” it said, adding that the US-China trade tension remained a concern to the industry.
Last year was a challenging period for the aviation industry against the backdrop of uncertainties. Malaysia passenger movements grew 2.5% to 99 million passengers (2017: 8.5%), with domestic and international movements increasing by 0.4% and 4.5%, respectively.
Malaysia passenger traffic performance was mainly driven by the international sector. Sixty international city pairs registered double-digit growth over last year, including Tianjin, Brisbane, Jeju, Cam Ranh, Ningbo, Guiyang, Sihanouk, Nanjing, Honolulu, Jinjiang, Bhubaneswar, Zhengzhou and Amritsar.
MAHB said AirAsia Group Bhd, Malaysia Airlines Bhd and Malindo Air were the main contributors to international traffic in 2018.
The year also saw three new airlines – Citilink Garuda Indonesia, Condor Flugdienst and Indigo Airlines – commencing their operations at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) main terminal and klia2. — Bernama