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 as we enter into the second half of 2022, he welcomes the initiatives of various airlines which had recommenced new routes
and expanded their international network as air travel picks up momentum. Recently concluded events such as the second Asia Parks Congress (APC) 2022 in Sabah, where Malaysia Airports is one of the partners, and the Gawai Festival, which is celebrated by the Sabahans at end-May followed by their Sarawakian counterparts from June 1-2 have seen increased flight bookings from Peninsular Malaysia to these two East Malaysian states. More local and foreign passengers are also expected to come to the Land of the Hornbills with the 25th edition of the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) and Borneo Jazz Festival (BJF) taking place in June.

We are happy to witness the opening up of more international connections with Malaysia Airlines’ recent direct flight to Doha, its third Middle East destination after Jeddah and Madinah via its codeshare agreement with Qatar Airways. This will not only boost passenger traffic flow via KL International Airport (KLIA) but will also open up Malaysia globally.

The same is true of Indian low-cost carrier (LCC) Indigo’s recommencement of its Chennai-Kuala Lumpur flight and a new service for Tiruchirappalli-Kuala Lumpur route, which will help promote not only tourism but also trade across the regions as air travel demand picks up. We also welcomed Cambodia’s LCC, Lanmei Airlines’ schedule flight from Phnom Penh to our flagship KLIA, which we are keen to promote as a hub for Southeast Asia.

We are glad to see the return of events such as the RWMF and BJF, which are now made available in physical and hybrid versions. We expect to see more passengers coming not only through the KLIA but also our main gateways in Sarawak and Sabah namely Kuching and Kota Kinabalu. Malaysia Airlines is benefitting from the revival of such music festivals and regional events like APC 2022 as the official carrier. The national carrier has also come up with attractive packages to stimulate travel and support the travel industry’s supply chains such as the travel agents, products, local artisans and other business partners.

As an airport operator, we work closely with our stakeholders to build travellers’ confidence by maintaining high safety and hygiene standards besides ensuring our passengers’ whole journey is a memorable and joyful experience. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, in its Asia Travel Ready Index, Malaysia ranks alongside Singapore and Australia as having some of the most favourable conditions for tourism recovery in Asia Pacific.

As part of our country’s tourism recovery, we congratulate the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Arts’ timely and recent launch of its tourism recovery plan for 2022 and a new song for its Cuti-Cuti Malaysia programme. We look forward to more positive vibes as air travel and the country’s travel industry gradually regains itself.

Lastly, I am honoured that the Airports Council International Asia Pacific has appointed me as its regional board director to represent Malaysia for a three-year term starting June. I look forward to advocating policies for the betterment of our stakeholders and the aviation industry in general.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram