Langkawi Airport is an hour by plane from the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur and is on the western side of Langkawi about 25 minutes from Kuah, the capital of the island.
The airport is the centre of attraction every two years when the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) is held there. Not just one of the biggest and best air shows in the world but LIMA is also a showcase for the most up-to-date products and technology in the aerospace industry.
In 2012 the airport handled 33,056 aircraft movements and 1,594,106 passengers. The airport is owned by the Malaysian government and operated by Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad.
Before 1987 only about 20 passengers a day used the small landing strip at Langkawi. Major renovation took place and in July of the same year the airport became operational as a “proper” airport. The following year the first international flights were welcomed to the island. In 1991 after a lot more development and improvement Langkawi Airport was put on the map as it started hosting LIMA.
As demand grew and more tourists discovered the charms of Langkawi the airport expanded again in 1995. It has been redesigned to cope with up to 2.5 million passengers a year and is already receiving 1000 passengers per hour at peak times. The car park spaces have increased from 100 to 500 and the arrivals and departure halls are now four times the original size.
The airport has all the necessary systems in place for air travel but no extras. There are no sky bridges so a short walk from your plane to tarmac in the blistering heat leads you to the, thankfully, air-conditioned terminal. If it is raining you might get offered an umbrella by one of the staff, if you are lucky!
The terminal is bright and shiny and has several retail outlets and many of the more well-known fast food places to grab a bite to eat. As all of Langkawi is duty free there really isn’t much need to rush to the shop at the airport for cheap booze.
There are ATM’s from Maybank and Al Rahji in the arrivals hall as well as a Maybank Bureau de Change. Trolleys are free of charge and can be taken outside to the taxi rank. For phone calls there are plenty of public phones that accept credit cards, local coins or calling cards.
The Tourist Information Centre in the arrival area has free maps and brochures and will suggest the best attractions and places to visit on the island.
Flights and Destinations
Aeroflot - operated by Vladivostok Air Charter: Vladivostok
AirAsia - Kuala Lumpur-LCCT, Penang, Singapore
Berjaya Air - Kuala Lumpur-Subang
China Southern Airlines - Seasonal: Guangzhou
Finnair - Seasonal: Helsinki
Firefly - Kuala Lumpur-Subang, Penang
Malaysia Airlines - Kuala Lumpur-KLIA
SilkAir - Singapore
.Transport To and From the Airport
There is no public transport on the island and the best way to get around is by rental car or motorbike. Taxi prices are high so car hire is probably worth it. Car rental is keenly priced on the island but better deals are available if you pre-book online. There is a car rental desk in the arrivals hall but the prices are non-negotiable. If you haven’t pre-booked there are car hire reps outside the airport who will shout out prices to you. If you are prepared to bargain you can sometimes get a better deal.
There are taxis outside the airport, make sure you buy a coupon at the desk in the arrivals hall first and then hand it to the driver. There are set fares to each destination which is great as it means you can’t be ripped off!