KUALA LUMPUR, April 21— Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) network of airports nationwide have witnessed a 52 per cent increase in international traffic in March compared to the preceding month.
In a statement, it said the increase recorded by the 420,000 international passenger movements was due to the implementation of various Vaccinated Travel Lane programmes between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, Bangkok, Phuket and Phnom Penh as well as between Penang and Singapore.
KL International Airport also welcomed a new international airline, Air India Express on March 28 that serves a three-time weekly flight from Tiruchirappalli International Airport in Tamil Nadu, India.
It is the only foreign carrier with a scheduled service between Tiruchirappalli and Kuala Lumpur, said MAHB.
Meanwhile, partner airlines also continued to resume more international routes such as Malaysia Airlines (MH) and Malindo Air flying to Perth upon the reopening of the Australian borders on March 3.
MH resumed flights to five cities in India in March as well, operating to New Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad.
“We continue to be encouraged by the gradual increase in international passenger movements at our local airports with the reopening of borders on April 1,” said MAHB’s managing director Datuk Iskandar Mizal Mahmood.
“Since then, we have been recording a daily average of 20,000 international movements. We are expecting a further increase to this number once Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI) begins to receive international passengers this month.”
Prior to the pandemic, he noted that BKI was its third-busiest airport for international traffic with an average of 8,460 international passenger movements per day.
Last month, the group recorded a total of 5.31 million passenger movements with its local airports in Malaysia serving the majority of 57 per cent or 3.03 million passengers.
Its Turkish asset Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport served a total of 2.29 million passengers with 1.15 million international and 1.14 million domestic passengers respectively.
For Malaysia, the overall passenger movements increased by 19 per cent in March from February.
Its domestic passenger traffic movements also increased by 15 per cent to 2.61 million passengers from the previous month.
“With air travel on the rise, Malaysia Airports remains committed to providing a safe and seamless experience to all passengers who pass through our airports,” he added.