KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 – Airports operated by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) recorded 83.3 million passenger movements in 2014, a growth of 4.7 per cent over 2013, despite the unprecedented Malaysia Airlines’ aircraft incidents.
In a filing to Bursa Malaysia, the airport operator said this was the first time that passenger movements exceeded the 80 million mark.
“Despite the unprecedented incidents that affected sentiment and traffic performance from May 2014, there was a progressive recovery in the air travel market towards the end of the year,” it said.
For the whole of last year, international passenger traffic increased by 4.9 per cent, while domestic movements rose by 4.5 per cent.
“Aircraft movements recorded a growth of 7.3 per cent while cargo movements grew by 8.0 per cent, registering a volume of 1,011,904 metric tonnes, which is the highest cargo volume handled by MAHB since 2006,” it said.
Of the 83.3 million passengers, AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines accounted for nearly 80 per cent while foreign carriers accounted for just below 15 per cent.
However, in terms of growth, the largest contributor for 2014 was Malindo Air, followed by AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines while foreign carriers as a whole registered a decline, partly due to the MH370 incident, which affected the China sector traffic and the MH17 incident, which caused a dent in the Europe sector.
Passenger movement in December 2014 was better-than-expected at 8.2 million, up 0.3 per cent over December 2013 while average load factor at 76.5 per cent was the highest in 2014, potentially portends to recovering industry demand in 2015.
MAHB expects 2015 passenger traffic to increase by 3.0 per cent year-on-year to 85.8 million, assuming Malaysia’s economic growth remained between 5.0 per cent and 6.0 per cent, as well as stable fuel prices.
“There is room for further optimism in 2015 with the opening of Southeast Asia’s largest modern outlet mall at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in the middle of the year as well as the return of British Airways to Malaysia.
“We also foresee another major carrier returning to Malaysia this year,” it added.