Acting Group CEO Speaks
A leading corporate leader with strong financial background and extensive experience in various fields, he is currently steering Malaysia Airports to greater heights.
This month, Raja Azmi Raja Nazuddin reflects how Malaysia Airports continues with busy route expansions as it enters into the second quarter of 2019, which promises yet to be another robust period for the airport operator with its on-going efforts to improve the services and facilities at its various airports.
As we enter into the second quarter of 2019, our airline stakeholders continue in their aggressive drive to launch new routes geared towards providing both our leisure and business passengers with more choices in terms of destinations and connectivity.
Malindo Air, which launched at the onset of March its new thrice weekly flights from Malacca to Langkawi and Kota Bharu respectively, debuted yet another new thrice-weekly Langkawi-Phuket route on 31 March. These new flights from Langkawi, for instance, augur well for our Langkawi International Airport, which earned the “Highly Commended” recognition in the “Under Four Million Passengers” category at the prestigious Routes Asia 2019 Marketing Forum held recently in Cebu, Philippines.
Malindo Air, which began its new service from Kuala Lumpur to Hokkaido via Taipei on 23 March, will also be introducing new routes to China come 1 May from Kuala Lumpur to Chengdu and Zhengzhou. Meanwhile, following Condor Airlines’ successful winter campaign, which saw its Frankfurt-Kuala Lumpur route enjoying over 90% load factor and carrying more than 16,000 passengers into our flagship KL International Airport (KLIA), it will be starting twice-weekly service from 2 May to 31 October for its summer season. I am happy that our joint collaborations with the airline and Tourism Malaysia have worked well for all parties, with German arrivals into Malaysia expected to increase to 147,000 in 2019.
With Malaysia Airlines’ commencement of its new Kuala Lumpur-Kochi route on 31 March, this will help boost more passenger traffic from India, one of our target destinations, which has been projected to become the world’s third aviation market by 2024. The national carrier not only expanded its codeshare to Europe with Etihad Airways recently but also changed its aircraft from Airbus A330-200 to A330-300 for its Kuala Lumpur-Guangzhou sector until 5 May to cater to more passengers. AirAsia’s latest Kuala Lumpur-Lanzhou destination to grow the Northwest footprint come 1 May, will also bode well for us.
In view of the prevailing challenging economic conditions coupled by the extra seat capacity offered by our partner airlines, we expect passenger traffic from our Malaysian airport operations to grow by 4.9% this year, with international and domestic passenger traffic up at 2.4% and 7.6% respectively.
Our recently released results for the financial year ended 31 December 2018, which showed higher group revenue of RM4.85 billion and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of RM2.38 billion, is a testimony of our strong commitment to deliver world-class services to our stakeholders.
Always mindful of our customers and passengers’ needs, we are currently building an outdoor planespotter observation deck at KLIA which is expected to be completed this month (April). It will not only transform the airport and its surrounding area into an attractive destination but will also be a place where they can have many memorable and joyful experiences.