This month, Dato’ Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh assures that as a caring and responsible custodian of the main entry points into Malaysia, the airport operator has been making the necessary changes to improve passenger experience besides increasing preventive measures to ensure that the process is hygienic and safe amidst fears of the coronavirus infection from Wuhan, China.
Acting Group CEO Speaks
Living up to our service transformation as a Caring Host, I am elated to share the changes we have made, especially at our flagship KL International Airport (KLIA) and klia2 terminal. We have embarked on a three-month pilot on the single token journey concept with Malaysia Airlines Berhad and SITA, an aviation information technology company on the airline’s two daily flights to Narita International Airport in Tokyo and Kansai International Airport in Osaka.
Leveraging on facial recognition, this single identification verification used at KLIA touchpoints from check-in to the boarding gate will dispense with the tedious need to present passports or boarding passes. This pilot, together with the use of body scanners for domestic departures at KLIA, forms part of the Airports 4.0 initiative to transform KLIA into a smart airport using big data analytics. This is timely in view of the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign to promote additional movements within and into the country.
At the immigration arrival processing area of about 1,400 sqm in our busy klia2 terminal, we have almost doubled its capacity to accommodate 1,000 people comfortably after relocating the immigration counters. Our revamped immigration arrival hall here is passenger friendly as we have introduced priority lanes for disabled passengers and family with small children in addition to the 10 auto-gates for Malaysian passport holders.
Ensuring smoother passenger flow and joyful experiences have always been our top priority. Hence, the introduction of the snake queueing system instead of separate lines at the check-in and immigration counters to shorten the average wait time at KUL. In the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak, we have been working closely with the Health Ministry on mitigation measures such as screening by thermal scanners. At the same time, we have heightened measures to sanitise handrails of the escalators, trolleys and other common areas in order to ensure a hygienic environment at our airports for our staff, stakeholders and passengers. Safety has always been our concern.
Our recently released January statistics show that there is still underlying demand for air travel at MAHB airports as our total passenger movements registered 6.5% growth to 11.9 million passengers compared to the previous corresponding period. Our international sector also rose by 8.2% to 5.9 million passenger movements while the domestic sector grew by 4.9% to 6 million passenger movements. Overall, our aircraft movements also increased by 7.4% over January 2019, mainly driven by the Lunar New Year festive season. While closely monitoring the coronavirus situation, we are working hand-in-gloves with our stakeholders, including the airlines, to impart the correct message and awareness programme out there to ensure confidence in air travel remains high.