Airport MD Speak


Dato’ Iskandar Mizal Mahmood returns to Malaysia Airports after almost 20 years with his wealth of experience gleaned from many multinationals and government linked companies to elevate and transform Malaysia Airports in the fast-changing aviation landscape with new travel norms and innovative technological advances.

This month, he shares his optimism on the recovery of the travel and tourism industry following the successful launch of the Langkawi pilot travel bubble project where the Langkawi International Airport plays a crucial role in welcoming both the fully vaccinated domestic and international tourists. The commencement of the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) between KL International Airport (KLIA) and Singapore’s Changi Airport has not only witnessed more flights and increased frequencies from airlines but will also set the tone for other upcoming positive developments for the industry.

Dato’ Iskandar Mizal Mahmood Managing Director Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad

Having joined Malaysia Airports in 1999 to lead in its IPO exercise and subsequent listing on Bursa Malaysia and returning now in my current capacity, I cannot help but notice the tremendous growth the Group has gone through over the years. It has sustained itself well through the ravages and onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic and survived by adopting rigorous cost and resource optimisation.

I certainly cannot wait for more travel restrictions to be lifted across our borders and to have travellers enjoying the upgraded amenities at our airports nationwide under the new norms of travel. These include our renovated washrooms and enhanced MyAirports app at KLIA, just to name a few, which are expected to be completed by the end of the year. The use of biometric facial identification to speed up airport processes and queueing time are among the other innovations that our passengers can expect. Our priority has always been to ensure that our passengers have a seamless, safe and joyful experience at our airports.

The government’s launch of the Langkawi pilot travel bubble project and lifting of domestic travel restrictions have a positive impact on our October domestic passenger movements across our network of airports nationwide, which saw a three-fold increase to surpass the one million mark to reach 1.18 million passengers for the first time.

We are optimistic of passenger traffic improving in the coming months and are committed to continue working hands-in- gloves with various parties such as the government agencies and ministries as well as the private sector to ensure that aviation and tourism, the two badly hit industries from the Covid-19 pandemic, emerge stronger and more resilient.

It was a joyous moment to not only see local carriers such as Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia and Malindo Air taking off to the skies but also to witness the return of Jetstar Asia, Scoot and Singapore Airlines to KLIA as we commence the VTL between KLIA and Singapore’s Changi Airport to reactivate the demand for this once world’s busiest route in 2018 and 2019.

We expect to see business travel pick up alongside the surge in demand for leisure travel from this air VTL arrangement and have the facility in place at KLIA to accommodate the business travellers. Together with our airline partners, we aspire to ensure a secured travelling experience for our passengers as the momentum for air travel gains strength.

We thus welcome the government’s negotiations to establish other VTLs, including the upcoming travel corridor between Malaysia and Indonesia, as it would not only benefit the aviation industry but also our country’s economy as a whole. As we wrap up 2021, which has been another challenging year for us, we wish all our passengers safe travel during this year- end holiday season.

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