Airport GCEO Speaks


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 shares how the opening of Malaysia’s borders to Singapore and its first travel bubble agreement will further improve passenger and aircraft movements. This augurs well as Malaysia comes to the end of the fourth stage of the country’s Movement Control Order on Independence Day. The airport operator continues to manage its airports efficiently and carries out critical upgrades throughout this period of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak in the country.

With the relaxation in the opening of our country’s borders through the implementation of the first Malaysia-Singapore Reciprocal Green Lane, which was announced on 14 July by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs from these two countries, we look forward to welcome more such travel corridor agreements following the government-to-government discussions with other countries such as Japan, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea.

We applaud our local carriers’ relentless and aggressive sales campaigns to increase load factors during such unprecedented tough times when our international borders have not been fully opened. Despite such odds, AirAsia reportedly sold over 200,000 of its Unlimited Pass Cuti-Cuti Malaysia while the launch of Malaysia Airlines and Japan Airlines’ joint business partnership is a welcome breath to Malaysia’s aviation industry.

Many are looking forward to how the travel bubble between Malaysia and Japan will be panned out by the two governments as far as the standard operating procedures are concerned. It is good to know that Malaysia’s national carrier has started offering hygiene kits onboard all its flights that contains a disposable face mask, gel sanitiser and hand sanitising wipe sealed in a zip-lock bag for the passengers’ convenience.

Statistics from the 39 airports managed by us in Malaysia show that passenger and aircraft movements in the first nine days of July have doubled, with a daily average of about 37,000 and 550 respectively compared to about 18,650 and 290 in the last nine days of June. Although these numbers mainly represent domestic traffic movements, we are happy with the progress made and expect the Hari Raya Aidiladha long weekend break to stimulate travel within the country.

At our fully-owned Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport in Turkey, I am happy to observe that Pegasus Airlines and AnadoluJet continue to show strong growth in their operations as they are expanding their reach to more destinations and countries over the last two months since the travel restrictions were lifted.

Facing the new challenges arising from the Covid-19 outbreak, we successfully conducted our maiden virtual annual general meeting (AGM) with live webcast and remote online voting last month as part of the new way of conducting business taking into account the safety concerns of our shareholders. All the resolutions were passed.

During this slowdown period arising from Covid-19, Malaysia Airports took advantage to conduct critical upgrades without disrupting much of the operation at our airports. We also implemented several technology-enabled measures at KL International Airport in order to provide a safe and contactless experience for our passengers. Among them were contactless security screening, automated disinfection using ultraviolet rays and facial recognition.

As part of our digitalisation transformation journey, more technological advancements are also being explored continuously to benchmark ourselves against the best practices of other airports globally. Expect to see cleaner, safer and greener airports from us!

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