Malaysia’s Air Passenger Traffic Sees Significant Growth in April 2024

Malaysia’s Air Passenger Traffic Sees Significant Growth in April 2024

KUALA LUMPUR Malaysia’s air passenger traffic surged by 19.5 percent year-on-year to 7.9 million in April 2024, marking an eight percent increase from March 2024, according to the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM). This growth reflects the ongoing recovery in the aviation sector.

In a statement, MAVCOM Executive Chairman Datuk Seri Saripuddin Kasim highlighted that the resurgence of international traffic is a positive indicator for the overall recovery of the global travel and tourism sector, demonstrating sustained consumer confidence in air travel. “We anticipate further growth in international travel, especially with the 30-day visa exemption for tourists from China and India,” he said.

Domestic air travel was a major contributor to the surge, according to MAVCOM, with 3.9 million passengers registered over the Hari Raya Aidilfitri holiday season—a 14.9 percent increase from March 2024. While international traffic increased moderately month over month to 4.0 million passengers, domestic traffic accounted for 49.8% of all passenger traffic in April 2024.

“Passengers traveling to and from the ASEAN region specifically increased by 4.4 percent month-on-month to 2.1 million, while non-ASEAN international traffic experienced a slight decrease of 0.7 percent month-on-month to 1.9 million passengers,” MAVCOM added. Overall, international traffic represented 50.2 percent of total passenger traffic in April 2024.

The total number of passengers carried by air between January and April 2024 was 30.5 million, a 17.0% year-over-year increase over the 26.1 million passengers registered during the same period in 2023. The primary driver of this expansion was a 39.4% surge in international air passenger traffic, which increased from 11.4 million in the first four months of 2023 to 15.8 million. Both the speed of the industry’s comeback and the resumption of foreign routes and frequencies are reflected in this. However, domestic traffic decreased by 0.4 percent year over year to 14.7 million.

In a related development, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) reported a 7.6 percent increase in passenger movement to 11 million in April 2024, up from 10.2 million in the previous month. MAHB’s domestic airports recorded 7.6 million passengers in April, an eight percent increase from 7.1 million in March 2024.

In a statement, MAHB attributed this growth to a significant increase in domestic travel during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri and school holiday seasons, with over 3.7 million domestic passengers in April, up from 3.2 million in March 2024.

“Local airports under Malaysia Airports saw a 15 percent surge in domestic travel in April 2024, coinciding with the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations and the school holiday season,” MAHB stated.

Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) recorded the largest gain in passenger numbers, rising by 20% to 1.3 million. Penang International Airport (PEN) and Langkawi International Airport (LGK), both experiencing 15% increases, followed KUL in passenger numbers.

“PEN and LGK recorded 298,266 and 169,326 passengers, respectively, reinforcing their positions as key hubs driving domestic travel growth,” MAHB added. International passenger movement remained stable at 3.9 million, accounting for 51 percent of total traffic.

“KUL continued to demonstrate resilience as the main gateway, recording a four percent increase in international passenger movement to 3.3 million in April, up from 3.2 million in March 2024,” the airport operator said.

Meanwhile, MAHB-managed Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW) in Turkey registered 1.7 million passenger movements in both international and domestic sectors in April 2024, for a total of 3.4 million passengers that month. The domestic sector increased by 21%, with passenger movements reaching 1.7 million in April 2024, up from 1.4 million the previous month.

MAHB stated that this considerable increase was fueled by the peak travel season, ideal weather conditions, and holidays such as Aidilfitri and Easter.

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