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 salutes the start of another new year with recent achievements bagged by Malaysia Airports such as the British Standards Institution’s (BSI) latest certification ISO45001:2018 and International Customer Experience Awards (ICXA) 2020. They also include the milestone made by its Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISGIA) with the entry of Dufry, one of the world’s leading organisations in the field of travel retail.

We are honoured to obtained BSI’s new certification, especially given our role as the country’s main gateway and host in providing joyful connections within a safe travelling environment. Our ability to meet such global standards serves as a strong testament of the emphasis we place on our passenger and airport community’s safety, particularly when the world at large is still grappling with the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic after its onset almost a year ago.

In curbing Covid-19 at KL International Airport (KLIA), we have adopted the latest ultraviolet (UV) disinfection technology that can interrupt the transmission of airborne infectious pathogens with the installation of UV Chamber devices in our toilets. We are grateful that the low travel period has enabled us to speed up our toilet refurbishment with minimum disruption to our airport operations. Now in its final phase involving 94 toilets, this project is expected to be completed in June.

At the recent prestigious ICXA 2020, where Malaysia Airports was the sole Malaysian from Penang to Kuching, Kota Kinabalu nominee, we clinched the Silver Award for our Host Culture Transformation programme aimed at uplifting the standards of customer experience based on our service philosophy of ‘Happy Guests, Caring Hosts’. It is important to keep this momentum going so that we can continue to deliver our promise to host joyful connections, especially with more flights expected to resume or commence this year.

We look forward to welcoming Starlux Airlines’ inaugural flight from Taipei to Kuala Lumpur on 5 January at KLIA. The Taiwanese carrier will be operating a two-weekly service on this route, which will be an addition to its Taipei-Penang service which started in early 2020.

At Penang International Airport (PIA), Indonesia AirAsia was the sixth foreign airline to resume its operations with its Kuala Namu-Penang service that recommenced on 5 December. In addition, Firefly will be using PIA as its second hub when it introduces new Boeing jet services from Penang to Kuching, Kota Kinabalu and Johor Bahru respectively in January by utilising the B737-800 aircraft.

As for our fast-growing ISGIA, it recently welcomed Dufry, the world’s largest airport duty-free operator with its diverse range of retail offerings and state-of-the-art shopping experience that incorporates digital technology. We remain confident of the recovery in the airport retail business with travel gradually picking up in 2021, not only in Turkey but also in Malaysia considering several measures that have been unveiled recently to help them survive the Covid-19 crisis.

They include our new customised relief package which offers 100% rental rebates from July to December 2020 to our local airport retailers with a special rental tied to the passenger growth rate starting from this January in lieu to the pandemic’s prolonged impact on passenger traffic recovery. I would like to reiterate that we are committed to ensure the airport community survives this crisis together.

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