Malaysia Airports: Kuching sees fastest growth

Malaysia Airports (MAHB) is expecting to accommodate over 104 million passengers at its 39 airports in 2019, after passing the 100-million mark in 2018. We asked General Manager Airline Marketing Mohamed Sallaudin Hj Mat Sah which airports grew the fastest.

Connectivity is improving in many of our airports and we have registered large interest from airlines for Langkawi, Kota Kinabalu and Penang. For example, Penang is now linked to the Gulf for the first time, thanks to Qatar Airways, which also launches flights this year to Langkawi. Last year, Kuching was however the fastest growing airport up by 9% in total passengers traffic followed by Kota Kinabalu and Penang with 8%.

Please tell us more about the group’s evolution in 2018.

We are generally happy that we reached the 100-million passenger mark last year although we saw growth moderating due to external factors such as national elections. The result was therefore not that bad. For 2019, we now expect further growth of 3.5% to around 104.5 million passengers.

How is your future development going? Any increases in capacity?

We are already thinking about the way to extend Kuala Lumpur International Airport as we slowly approach our saturation point. Our two terminals have a total capacity of 75 million passengers and we are currently working to optimize KLIA Main Terminal to stretch capacity to 33 million. We also look at expanding Penang as total capacity is currently for 6.5 million passengers while last year the airport received 7.7 million passengers. We are working on a masterplan which is due to be released soon. Kuching is also to be expanded in the near future.

How important is ITB Berlin for MAHB?

We actually chose Berlin to renew our marketing cooperation with Condor airlines in partnership with Tourism Malaysia. We also seized opportunities to talk with airlines and tour operators.

Photo: Mohamed Sallauddin Hj Mat Sah, General Manager Airline Marketing, Malaysia Airports