A corporate leader with diverse experience, he is harnessing the latest technological advances to spur Malaysia Airports to greater heights as a smart aviation regional hub.
This month, Dato’ Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh is optimistic of continued demand for air travel with new flight offerings by various airlines although passenger traffic figures remain lower for the first quarter of 2021 compared with the previous corresponding period. The airport operator also supported its retailers and many local brands by reintroducing two KLIA Crazy Sales in March and April this year.
Despite travel restrictions still being immposed by both Malaysia and Turkey, we will continue to step up our services at our network of airports to prepare for the return of travellers as we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. Our country’s flag carrier Malaysia Airlines has already reinstated destinations such as London and Jakarta at KL International Airport (KLIA). Its addition of 80 extra flight frequencies to domestic destinations had helped increase KLIA’s total domestic weekly frequencies by 26.7%.
Although British Airways had to temporarily suspend its passenger flights for London- Kuala Lumpur, it is maintaining its presence in Malaysia by introducing new cargo services on this route. We are happy to note our other partner airlines are also forging ahead with their services and evolving to meet up with the demand in the new normal. Local cargo airline Raya Airways recently expanded its fleet with a new Boeing 767- 200F aircraft to increase capacity, frequency and connectivity due to the boom in the e-commerce sector during the pandemic.
Dato’ Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh
Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad
Despite our passenger movements contracted during the first quarter of this year, we saw some improvements with the relaxation of movement control in certains parts of Malaysia and Turkey. Kota Kinabalu, Subang, Labuan, Lahad Datu, Sandakan and Tawau showed higher passenger movements for March compared to the first two months of 2021. Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport’s (ISGIA) also achieved overall growth for the first time since the Covid-19 outbreak with a 7.4% growth in March 2021 over March 2020 with 1.2 million passengers for the domestic sector.
While air traffic recovery will largely be dependent on the efficacy of vaccine rollout and the level of control both the Malaysian and Turkish authorities have on the number of Covid-19 cases, as a responsible airport operator, we are continuously raising our safety standards to curb the pandemic. Besides KLIA, our other airports in Penang, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Langkawi and Subang are currently undergoing the Airport Health Accreditation (AHA) programme by the Airport Council International, which has already been received by ISGIA recently.
Following the public’s positive response towards the two KLIA Crazy Sale last year which saw over 19,000 shoppers turning up and average daily sales up, we recently reintroduced two such sales. The first, held from 25-28 March, offering discounts of up to 70%, was participated by eight of our major airport retailers: Eraman, Valiram, Dimensi Eksklusif, Heinemann, Sprint Cass, DR Group, Karyaneka and Retail One.
They comprised exclusive duty-absorbed travel retail products ranging from perfumes and cosmetics, chocolates and confectionery, fashion apparels and accessories as well
as lifestyle products such as electronic gadgets. We also focused this time on local artisanal brands such as Batik Boutique that are part of the HIMPUN Online initiative on shopMYairports, Malaysia’s first travel-retail e-commerce platform which aims to diversify the product offerings and showcase the very best of Malaysia.
This is in line with our commercial reset strategy to transform our airports into shopping and lifestyle destinations from being just mere transportation hubs. The success of the March KLIA Crazy Sale has led us to mount a second one with more mind-blowing deals from 22-25 April to take advantage on the pre-shopping for the Hari Raya festive season, raise revenue for our airport retailers, and to help stimulate our local economy. Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri!