Dato’ Sri 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 rejoices as Langkawi International Airport (LGK) received its win for Best Airport of two to five million passengers in Asia Pacific (APAC) at the recent Airports Council International Customer Experience Global Summit held in South Korea although the results for the annual Airports Service Quality Awards had been announced earlier in the year. He looks forward to the upcoming Centre for Aviation (CAPA) Asia Aviation Summit and Sustainability Awards for Excellence 2023 from November 2 to 3 where Malaysia Airports plays host.
I would like to announce that to date, we have received confirmation from some 20 local and foreign speakers of their participation at the one-and-a-half-day CAPA conference to be held at Sama-Sama Hotel KLIA. As the perfect host, we have arranged an hour of cruise tour of the scenic Putrajaya Lake before the start of the conference proper.
Meanwhile, we are proud that Sama-Sama Hotel KLIA has bagged the Airport Hotel of the Year for the APAC region at the recent Airport Food and Beverage (FAB) + Hospitality Conference & Awards 2023 in Bangkok which returned after a four-year absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
During our Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s recent bilateral meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in New York, it was announced that Malaysia Airports will continue operating the Istanbul Sabiha Gokchen International Airport (SAW) and that Turkiye is keen to expand their airport operations here, including building a longer runway.
We are grateful for the confidence they have in us managing SAW, which is the sixth busiest airport in Europe. The airport has been showing strong traffic momentum, surpassing pre- pandemic passenger volumes for at least three consecutive months this year.
As for LGK, we have been working closely with the Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) and are in discussions with ITAKA, one of Poland’s largest tour operators, to bring in direct chartered flights from Warsaw to Langkawi next year.
Malaysia Airports has an Airlines X-Celeration Programme while LADA has its Charter Flight Incentive Programme to woo charter flight operators to consider our legendary island of Langkawi.
So far, Batik Air Malaysia has been mounting weekly chartered services from Chengdu to Langkawi from July to October using the 180-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft to bring in tourists who had bought holiday packages from Sichuan Global Travel Service Company, China.Other airlines that fly into Langkawi are AirAsia, Firefly, Malaysia Airlines, MYAirline and Scoot.
On September 28, we had Xiamen Air launching its thrice-weekly direct service from Xiamen to Penang on B737-800. Earlier on September 21, another Chinese carrier Sichuan Airlines commenced its inaugural flight from Haikou to Kuala Lumpur on Airbus A321.
We are always ready to receive more new airlines and routes to our country, with its rich and diverse attractions. ‘Selamat Datang’ or welcome to Malaysia!