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Passenger Traffic For February Increased 12.6PC To 8.1 Million, Says MAVCOM

KUALA LUMPUR: The passenger traffic statistics for February 2024 showcased a notable increase in air travel demand and a promising trajectory towards recovery.

The February growth attributed to various factors, including the Chinese New Year festive period, the month-long school break, and the establishment of 30-day visa exemptions for tourists from China and India, collectively stimulating travel demand.

According to the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM), passenger traffic reached 8.1 million, a substantial 12.6 per cent month-on-month (MoM) increase from 7.19 million passengers recorded in January 2024.

This represents a substantial 34.8 per cent year-on-year (YoY) growth compared to 6.01 million passengers recorded in February 2023.

Of the 8.1 million, 7.81 million or 96.5 per cent, constitutes passenger traffic at all airports operated by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), while the remaining 0.29 million passengers or 3.6 per cent, represent movements at Senai International Airport, operated by Senai Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd.

The data showed notable MoM growth across all regions, with domestic passenger traffic leading with a 20.4 per cent increase, from 3.32 million in January to 3.99 million in February 2024.

International passenger traffic saw a positive MoM growth rate of 5.9 per cent.

This growth can be attributed to various factors, including the Chinese New Year festive period, the month-long school break, and the establishment of 30-day visa exemptions for tourists from China and India, collectively stimulating travel demand.

Domestic and international passenger traffic contributed 49.3 per cent and 50.7 per cent of overall traffic in February 2024, respectively, marking a 3.2 percentage point increase in domestic passenger traffic share compared with January 2024.

As of February 2024, year-to-date passenger traffic totalled 15.3 million, marking a notable increase from the same period in 2023, which recorded 12.6 million passengers.

MAVCOM’s air passenger traffic forecast for 2024 ranges between 93.9 and 107.1 million passengers, underscoring the anticipated growth trajectory in the aviation sector.

The recovery momentum is further evidenced by February 2024’s passenger traffic, reaching 95.4 per cent of February 2019.

MAVCOM executive chairman Datuk Seri Saripuddin Kasim said the aviation sector is on a trajectory towards robust recovery, with air passenger traffic for February 2024 showcasing a significant upturn.

“The present data indicates that the demand for air travel in Malaysia may reach pre-pandemic level by the end of 2024 and potentially surpass it in 2025.

“However, the current aircraft capacity remains a pressing issue due to supply chain disruption, causing delays in aircraft deliveries.

“Therefore, it is imperative that airlines meticulously plan their network and allocate their resources efficiently.

“In addition, airport operators must ensure that existing infrastructures are sufficient and able to accommodate the increased demand to maintain a high degree of service quality,” he said in a statement.

He said beyond just an increase in numbers, the significant uptick in air travel reflects restored faith in safe travel and a resurgent desire for connection, underscoring the aviation sector’s pivotal role in facilitating economic vitality and the rekindling of connections.

“As a regulator, MAVCOM is keenly aware of these developments and remains committed to ensuring that the sector’s growth continues to be matched by our robust consumer protection and service quality frameworks and regulatory oversight. This ensures that the recovery is strong but also equitable and sustainable,” he said.

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