Omicron generated worries throughout the world that it would stifle economic development and cause lockdowns, but those fears were unfounded, as MAHB’s passenger traffic increased in January.
The Omicron wave resulted in the reintroduction of temporary travel restrictions and the tightening of travel procedures, but that is already history.
From 261,000 passengers in 2020 to 1.04 million in 2021, KLIA recorded a 299 percent rise in passenger volume.
However, once the school year began, Malaysia’s daily average passenger movements slowed, owing to the temporary suspension of the VTL and Umrah pilgrim services.
VTL ticket sales have restarted, however with a 50 percent decrease in ticket quotas in the meantime and the ability to raise aircraft frequency depending on risk assessments of COVID instances in Malaysia and Singapore.
Omicron is history?
Despite the obstacles posed by the new variant, January’s 8,700 daily average passenger movements were two-fold more than November 2021’s daily average.
Yet, this was somewhat lower than December 2021’s daily average by 2,000 passengers though the month has generally been a peak month.
Meanwhile, SKS Airways began service to Pangkor and Redang Island on the 26th and 31st of January, respectively, from Subang’s Lapangan Terbang Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport.
In addition, AirAsia has launched additional services from Kuching to Langkawi with two weekly flights, Bintulu to Johor Bharu with one weekly flight, Penang to Sibu with two weekly flights, and Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Terengganu with one weekly flight.
Malindo Air also launched new four-times-weekly services from Kota Bharu to Langkawi on the 27th of January.
The average load factor for these new routes was strong, ranging from 53% to 75%, demonstrating that there is a need for more domestic flights.