KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 27): Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) saw monthly passenger movements reaching a record high in December 2022, with 6.8 million passengers for its operations in Malaysia.
In a statement on Friday (Jan 27), the airport operator said the year-end holiday season contributed to the significant 31% increase from the preceding month, and enabled the group to reach 50% of 2019 levels for its Malaysian operations.
MAHB said from the 6.8 million, 2.9 million were international passengers, the highest recorded to date since border reopening last April, while 3.9 million were domestic passengers, a 33% increase from November 2022.
It said among the five international airports, the highest passenger increases were recorded for the Langkawi International Airport at 51% and the Kota Kinabalu International Airport at 39%.
Malaysia's passenger traffic growth was in tandem with the 10% increase recorded for total aircraft movements in December at 56,645 as compared to November.
For the whole year, MAHB recorded a total of 52.7 million passengers for its local network of airports.
The recovery momentum of domestic passenger movements continued in 2022, after the lifting of the interstate travel ban on Oct 11, 2021, recording 36.2 million passengers for the year, reaching 69.6% of 2019 levels.
International passenger movements recorded a total of 16.5 million passengers as a result of 17 airlines resuming services to 32 cities, with the highest traffic to destinations in Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea, Vietnam, and India.
The annual growth in passenger movements was also supported by the introduction of new routes by 27 airlines to 38 cities. Among the cities with the highest growth in traffic in 2022 over 2021 were Denpasar-Bali, Lahore, Ujung Padang, Male, Brisbane, Bangkok, Perth, Phuket, Batam, and Bangalore.
Overall, 59 airlines operated flights to 84 international and 35 domestic destinations last year, compared with 48 airlines to 51 international and 32 domestic destinations in the preceding year.
Meanwhile, MAHB's asset in Türkiye, namely the Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SGIA), recorded 2.7 million passengers in December, contributing to a total of 31.2 million passengers in 2022, reaching 86.7% of 2019 levels.
Total international passenger movements in 2022 surpassed 2019 levels, with a 10.4% growth over 2019, while domestic passenger movements recorded 15.5 million passengers, reaching 71.2% of 2019 levels.
The Istanbul SGIA's international aircraft movements recorded a growth of 48.1% over 2021, while its domestic aircraft movements recorded a slight decrease, as airlines restructured their network expansion to the international sector.
MAHB shares traded at RM7.25 each in early trade on Friday, implying a market capitalisation of RM12.03 billion.