of airports in the country has surpassed the two million mark for the first time in terms of passenger movements in November 2021 since the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, the airport operator’s strategic collaboration with ExecuJet MRO Services Malaysia (ExecuJet) to build a state- of-the-art maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) hangar for private jets at Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, popularly known as Subang Airport, will further cement Malaysia’s position as a preferred hub for business aviation in Asia Pacific.
I am happy to note that the continuing strong momentum for domestic air travel has contributed a hefty 2.15 million domestic passengers out of the total 2.3 million passenger movements based on our latest statistics for November 2021. This was just after it crossed over the one million passengers mark in October.
Moving in tandem with the uptrend, domestic aircraft traffic also rose 43% to 27,084 in November 2021 compared to the previous month. This encouraging demand trend for domestic travel after interstate travel ban was lifted augurs well not only for the aviation sector but also for our retailers and food and beverage operators at the airports.
We are now on the last leg of our tender exercise for 226 commercial lots as part of our Group’s commercial reset initiative to attract more new brands at our airports nationwide from both local and global players. We have seen the successful implementation of this initiative at the Langkawi International Airport. Besides enhancing the retail offerings, our aim is to provide a unique travelling experience to the airports’ guests.
The recent commencement of the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) between KL International Airport (KLIA) and Singapore’s Changi Airport has resulted in higher average daily movements of over 2,000 passengers for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore route from 500 passengers previously. As the travel borders gradually opens up, we have also been increasing our international connections, which saw the recent resumption of services to five city pairs, namely Madinah, Phuket, Don Mueang, Cam Ranh and Cebu.
Meanwhile, our group’s operation in Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport has also been consistently achieving over two million passengers monthly since June 2021, with Pegasus Airlines adding a new four times weekly service to Tabriz, Iran from 26 November.
We are also elated that Execulet is subleasing 186,000 sq ft of land from us at Subang Airport to establish its new facility that will be positioned as Dassault Aviation Asia’s Centre of Excellence for MRO. Expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2023, its RM100 million facility will not only create job opportunities but also upskill our local workforce with technical knowhow. This will surely enhance the ability of Subang Airport, one of the more mature developments under the Aerospace & Aviation cluster of our Group’s Aeropolis initiative, to attract more investments from global players.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting up with the members from the Board of Airline Representatives Malaysia and look forward to working together with them to revive the aviation industry as borders gradually reopen in the coming months, especially from the Asean region. We hope for an exciting year ahead and to all our airline partners, airport retailers and stakeholders, be safe, stay well and Happy New Year!