Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd's (MAHB) passenger movements at its domestic airports grew 8.7 percent to a record of 96.6 million passengers in 2017, surpassing the 90 million mark for the first time.
In a filing to Bursa Malaysia today, MAHB said the passenger traffic was mainly driven by the international sector, which rose 14.6 percent to 49.5 million passengers in 2017 over 2016.
"Domestic traffic, on the other hand, recorded 47.1 million passenger movements, an increase of 3.1 percent over the same period in 2016. The Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) recorded 58.6 million passengers in 2017, a double-digit growth of 11.4 percent over 2016.
"KLIA handled 28.3 million passengers, 11 percent higher than in 2016 while klia2 handled 30.3 million passengers, a growth of 11.8 percent over 2016. KLIA and Kota Kinabalu were among the airports that registered a double-digit growth in passenger movements" it said.
MAHB said other airports that also registered positive growth were Penang, Kuching, Langkawi, Kota Bharu, Melaka, Tawau and Bintulu, while overall aircraft movements for airports in Malaysia increased by 4.5 percent in 2017.
It said the international movements increased by 11 percent while domestic sector increased by 0.7 percent, with the overall average load factor for 2017 at 76 percent, the highest since 2012.
Despite the high increase in the international aircraft movements, MAHB said average load factor for the international sector was an all-time high of 77 percent, while overall cargo movements increased by 7.9 percent in 2017 to 955,936 tonnes, the first positive growth since 2014.
Meanwhile, MAHB said the Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport's (SGIA) total passengers surpassed the 30 million mark for the first time in 2017, registering 31.3 million passengers, an increase of 5.7 percent over 2016.
"International passengers increased by 8.4 percent, while domestic passengers increased by 4.5 percent. Istanbul SGIA's passenger traffic picked up momentum after February 2017" it added.
Based on prevailing economic conditions and the additional airline's seat capacity offered, MAHB said Malaysia passenger traffic in 2018 is expected to register 103.7 million passengers over 96.6 million recorded in 2017.
"The international and domestic passenger traffic is expected to register 53.9 million and 49.8 million movements, respectively. It is expected that fuel cost (single largest airline cost at 20-40 percent) will remain close to current prices.
"Malaysia would continue to benefit from visa relaxation for Chinese and Indian tourists. The 2018 traffic numbers are expected to be mainly contributed by China, India and Southeast Asia sectors which currently make up 75 percent of the international traffic" it said.
For the Istanbul SGIA, it said this year the airport is expected to register 34 million passenger movements with 12 million international and 22 million domestic movements.
"While the Turkish economic growth is expected to record a stable 4.0 percent growth, passenger growth is expected to remain moderate resulting from runway capacity constraints" it added.