2016 has been a good year for Malaysian airports, especially when it comes to the most important metric – passenger traffic movement. One of the biggest airports in Malaysia, Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA), for instance, has continued to stay in double digits when it comes to international passenger traffic movement growth.
Between January and October, KKIA’s month-on-month growth ranged from 20 per cent to 37 per cent when compared to the same period in the previous year when we talk about international passenger traffic movement.
In addition the airport also registered a YTD combined passenger growth (including both domestic and international passenger numbers) of 10 per cent. International passenger year-to-date growth was registered at 28 per cent.
Also, the Sabah Tourism Board reported an increase of 5.2 per cent in domestic and international tourist arrivals to the state between January and September compared to last year’s numbers. According to the Sabah Tourism Board, the number of total passengers to the state numbered around 2.5 million.
According to Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) General Manager Mohd Suhaimi Abdul Mubin, passenger numbers could increase even further starting from the third week of December and ending with the first week of next year when people start to prepare for Christmas and New Year leisure travel.
In a statement, MAHB GM said:
Today, KKIA handles and average of 180 flights and approximately 18,000 passengers daily. However, during this upcoming holiday season, we expect to handle approximately 20,000 passengers per day. Therefore, the traveling public is reminded to check details of their flight departure time with their respective airlines to avoid any inconveniences.
Passengers should also arrive early at the airport as check-in counters are open three hours prior to departure and will close one hour before your flight time.
Suhaimi also added that MAHB will continue to ensure efficient collaboration within the airport community, as well as with Malaysian government agencies and service operators, all in order to make sure that airport operations keep running smoothly despite the high traffic.
Fortunately, Kota Kinabalu Airport prepared for the eventual passenger growth and has upgraded its facilities back in 2010, at a cost of RM1.7 billion.
The strong KKIA passenger growth was in good part the result of a strong performance by airlines operating from it, including AirAsia.