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 shares that Malaysia Airports’ passenger traffic continues to grow, especially with international arrivals reaching new levels in August due to the easing of more entry procedures into Malaysia and more foreign carriers resuming operations at its five international airports since the pandemic. He also welcomes news of the recently announced DE Rantau Pass which encourages digital nomads to make Malaysia their hub in the four pioneer locations – Kuala Lumpur (KL), Penang, Kedah and Langkawi – under phase one of this programme.

So far, we have more than 60% of the foreign airlines resuming their operation at KL International Airport (KLIA), Langkawi International Airport, Penang International Airport, Kota Kinabalu International Airport. We are happy that Airasia X, which welcomed its Sydney-KL flight on September 9 after a two-year hiatus, will be resuming its direct services to Melbourne and Perth besides recommencing its twice-weekly flight to Auckland, New Zealnd in early November.

Vietnam Airlines operated its direct Da Nang-Kuala Lumpur flights from September 2 while Batik Air Malaysia resumed its direct twice-weekly services from Kuala Lumpur to Amritsar on September 9 and to Penang and Pekanbaru from Melaka on September 12. The reopening of borders by Bhutan on September 23 also saw chartered flights from KL to this Himalayan kingdom being promoted by travel agents at the recent MATTA Fair.

With Malaysia easing its entry procedures through eliminating the Traveller’s Card, pre- departure and on-arrival tests as well as the Home Surveillance Order requirement from August 1 for fully-vaccinated travellers, this has also helped increase inbound arrivals into the country. As announced by our Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dato’ Sri Nancy Shukri recently, Malaysia is optimistic of receiving almost 10 million international tourists by end-2022.

Coupled with our Communications and Multimedia Ministry commencing applications for the DE Rantau Nomad Pass effective October 1 via Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation, we expect to see more mobility among digital professionals into our country. With the benefits of this programme reportedly extended to their spouses and children and the new Malaysia Premium Visa Programme, targeted at attracting high net- worth individuals, also starting on October 1, we anticipate that both programmes will be a boost to the country’s economy.

I am glad to announce that the replacement of our ageing aerotrains is underway with its phase one design works scheduled for completion in March 2023. Additionally, our current bus fleet ferrying our passengers between the main terminal and satellite building 24/7, will have two new ones arriving in November and the remaining four by February 2023. The new buses can cater up to 110 passengers each, doubling the existing capacity.

The buses are innovatively designed and furnished with WiFi and digital displays for infotainment. They also come with a tracking and surveillance system and closed-circuit television cameras for improved safety as our aim is to provide a seamless and secured journey for our air passengers.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram