The imminent COVID-19 vaccination rollout and reciprocal green lane/travel corridor arrangement (RGL/TCA) between Malaysia and Indonesia are expected to facilitate the recovery of the national aviation industry in coming months.
Malaysia Airports group chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh is also hopeful that airport frontliners will be in the first batch to receive the vaccine once the programme begins.
“Since the start of the pandemic, we have been vigilant in ensuring the highest safety standards at the airport so that people can travel safely, thus the national vaccination programme will certainly help our efforts,” he said in a statement today.
He said having the RGL/TCA in place meant more travel bubbles could be implemented with other countries within Southeast Asia (SEA).
“Nearly 50 per cent of the international traffic is from the SEA region during pre-COVID-19,” he said.
According to Malaysia Airports, passenger traffic movements in January 2021 for Malaysia operations dropped by about 30 per cent compared to the preceding month, whereas it had increased by more than 240 per cent when comparing December against November 2020.
It said air traffic data for last month showed that border closures and re-imposition of domestic travel restrictions had adversely affected air traffic movements that had been showing initial signs of gradual recovery after the easing of travel restrictions in the second half of 2020.
However, it said, international passenger traffic increased by about 25 per cent from the preceding month, even with border closures and strict quarantine measures.
“Group traffic movements are still largely contributed by operations at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (IATA Code: SAW).
“Despite the implementation of curfews and flight suspensions from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Denmark, SAW still recorded 1.3 million passenger movements or about 60 per cent of the group’s total of two million in January 2021.”
Meanwhile, it added, cargo operations remained resilient, with Kuala Lumpur International Airport welcoming its latest cargo airline partner from Lithuania, Get Jet Airlines last week.
“The private charter airline has chosen KLIA as its main base for its Jakarta-Kuala Lumpur route and will look to connect to more destinations from SEA to Central Asia.”
Source: BERNAMA News Agency