Airport MD Speak


Dato’ Iskandar Mizal Mahmood Managing Director Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad

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 is elated that Malaysia Airports has continued to be resilient despite the Covid-19 pandemic by achieving higher RM220.3 million earnings before tax, interest, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) and improved net operating cash generation of RM271.1 million for the financial year (FY) 2021. Besides adopting bold measures to succeed in the new normal, the airport operator will at the same time continue to uphold aviation safety and security as well as enhance its airports capacity and operational efficiency as more airlines expand their routes and increase their flight frequencies.

I am happy to announce that our pandemic mitigation initiatives have reduced our core operational expenses by RM723.3 million over the past two years besides increasing our cash and funds to RM2.31 billion for FY2021. The group as a whole posted total revenue of RM1.67 billion and 36.1 million passenger movements across its network of airports.

For the first quarter of 2022, our group continued to register strong EBITDA of RM186.9 million after a negative RM16.2 million over the previous corresponding period, thanks to air traffic recovery for its operations in Malaysia and Turkey.

Our cost-efficient measures and improved operations at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport are mainly responsible for enabling us to achieve 70.6% of our pre-Covid passenger traffic. This has helped us to retain our AAA and A3 credit ratings by RAM Holdings Bhd and Moody’s amid the headwinds posed by the pandemic. The replacement of our aging assets is also taking shape as planned to ensure that our passengers continue to enjoy a safe and seamless experience at our airports.

We are looking at new revenue streams and exploring growth opportunities, among other connectivity as global air travel gradually recovers. We have been recording an average of 30,000 international passenger movements daily since Malaysia opens its borders on April 1.

We are pleased that to see Batik Air, formerly known as Malindo Air, had reinstated its four times weekly Kuala Lumpur-Denpasar direct flights on June 2, and further increased it to twice daily from June 25. The airline also resumed its service to Batam, Indonesia from Sultan Abdul Aziz Airport, popularly known as Subang Airport on June 24.

We are likewise delighted Firefly had resumed its twice-weekly flights from Subang Airport to Singapore’s Seletar Airport effective June 13 after more than two years of suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic and borders closure. The airline is partnering with Tourism Malaysia to encourage domestic tourism via livery advertising and the recent launch of the #GoJalanlah campaign.

Our international airports have also shown significant passenger movement improvements of late. For example, Penang International Airport (PIA) recently saw the resumption of 10 direct international service to destinations such as Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and Taiwan. PIA witnessed Indonesian low-cost carrier (LCC) Citilink’s new daily Medan- Penang service on June 10 and Lion Air’s resumption of its Medan-Penang route on June 17.

Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA), which saw the reinstatement of Jin Air’s Incheon-Kota Kinabalu flight on May 27, had two more Korean carriers, Air Busan and JejuAir, returning to KKIA from Incheon International Airport on June 24 and June 29 respectively. We expect to see more flight resumptions from other countries soon.

One of our primary aims is to strengthen more routes and our market development efforts while enhancing our engagement with the airlines. I am certain that in years to come, Malaysia Airports will continue to innovate and initiate in order to constantly improve the high standards of excellence we have set for ourselves, to be the premier aviation hub of choice.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram