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 envisages the government’s latest relaxation of the health standard operating procedures (SOPs) will boost air travel recovery. More international traffic is expected to pick up as other Southeast Asian countries have also reopened their borders and eased travel restrictions. Furthermore, Malaysia Airports has recently implemented facial recognition technology on certain flights at its flagship KL International Airport (KLIA) for passengers to enjoy more seamless travel. With more inbound travellers coming into the country, this will fuel further shopping at the Mitsui Outlet Park KLIA (MOP KLIA), a joint-venture project with Mitsui Fudosan Co Ltd, with the recent completion of its phase three expansion.

We welcome the easing of various travel SOPs effective May 1 which will not only hasten Malaysia’s economic recovery but will also make the travelling to our country less costly as Covid-19 pre-departure and on-arrival tests are no longer required for all fully vaccinated travellers and children. Covid-19 travel insurance is also not mandatory for inbound travellers to the country.

Moving in tandem with our initiative to deliver an easier and faster boarding experience for our passengers, I am happy to announce that our newly installed biometric system can scan your face as verification for your check-in and at the boarding gate instead of having to use a boarding pass. This new feature is currently applicable for adults only as children below 12 years old will still need to go through the manual check-in.

So far, we have introduced this facility to passengers flying with Malaysia Airlines to Langkawi via KLIA on selected dates. All they have to do is to register themselves at the Enrolment Totem near the departure level entrance with their boarding pass, MyKad or passport. Rest assured that the biometric data collected will be deleted three hours after your flight departure.

With the reopening of Malaysia’s international borders, many airlines have announced the recommencement of their flights and increased their frequency to various parts of the country. For example, Royal Brunei Airlines will be flying into Kota Kinabalu, Sabah from May 6 with twice weekly flights. The East Malaysian state had received its first international flight from AirAsia on April 16 followed by its second international flight from Singapore’s low-cost carrier Scoot on April 29.

With the majority of the Southeast Asian countries also reopening their borders and easing their travel requirements given the higher rate of vaccination that has been achieved, we expect to see passenger and aircraft traffic gaining traction.

The Labour Day holiday followed by Hari Raya festive season at the start of May, which are expected to see more flights being mounted within the country, will further give a fillip to both the tourism and aviation sectors which are on their path to recovery. The recent opening of five large concept stores at the newly completed phase 3 expansion of MOP KLIA will also be a bonus to both our local and foreign visitors. Happy travelling and shopping in beautiful Malaysia!

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