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MAVCOM Anticipates Clear Skies Ahead for the Malaysian Aviation Industry

9 Dec 2021


The Commission Forecasts between 316% to 525% Year-on-Year Increase in Air Passenger Traffic in FY2022


KUALA LUMPUR, 9 December 2021 – The Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) today published the tenth edition of its Industry Report, Waypoint. The Waypoint report outlines the performance of the Malaysian aviation sector in the third quarter of 2021. Additionally, the report revolves around the post-pandemic revival and the recovery prospects of the aviation industry for the final quarter of 2021 and 2022 from a macroeconomic and an industry-specific perspective.

In the report, MAVCOM has indicated early signs of recovery for the Malaysian aviation sector in September and October 2021 as evident from the 56.6 per cent and 190.2 per cent month-on-month (MoM) growth in air passenger traffic, respectively. The Waypoint report also noted that air passenger traffic for both months stood at 5.3 per cent and 14.9 per cent of the air passenger traffic recorded in the same months of 2019. Furthermore, total air passenger traffic for FY2021 is expected to be closer to MAVCOM’s best-case scenario forecast of 6.9 million to 7.8 million of air travel passengers.

The Executive Chairman of MAVCOM, Datuk Seri Hj. Saripuddin Hj. Kasim said, “The Commission is pleased to note the easing of travel restrictions, travel bubbles, the reopening of international borders in light of Malaysia’s rapid vaccination rollout, as well as the recent Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) to Singapore. These initiatives have allowed for tourism activities to restart with early indications pointing towards a positive outlook for Malaysia’s air passenger traffic in 2022.”

He added, “The Malaysian aviation sector’s journey to full recovery is still far from over. Aviation industry players may still face significant challenges ahead with the rise in Brent crude oil and jet fuel prices that could impact operational costs, as well as possible outbreaks of new COVID-19 variants, including the fast-spreading Omicron variant. However, we remain hopeful that the industry will continue to make progress, particularly as the Malaysian Government considers reopening mutual borders with several countries.”

FY2022’s air passenger traffic is forecasted to increase between 316 per cent and 525 per cent year- on-year (YoY), representing between 32.6 million and 49.0 million air travel passengers, marking a 30 to 45 per cent recovery from the pre-pandemic air passenger traffic levels in 2019. Additionally, airlines are expected to gradually expand seat capacity as pent-up travel demand and accrued savings drive passenger traffic growth in 2022.

The Langkawi domestic travel bubble, which commenced on 16 September 2021, saw a significant increase of domestic air passengers in September and October 2021 by 2,411.0 per cent MoM and 261.4 per cent MoM, respectively. The recent easing of border restrictions for international travellers is expected to further support this growth in air passenger traffic.

Meanwhile, demand for air cargo remains resilient as Malaysia’s air cargo volume in terms of total Freight Tonne Kilometre (FTK) recorded a robust growth of 19.7 per cent YoY in 3Q21. The Commission expects air cargo to remain vital to the industry for the remainder of 2021 and in 2022.

For 2022, air cargo traffic is forecasted to grow by between 3.9 per cent and 6.7 per cent YoY, which translates into 20.8 billion to 21.6 billion FTK, underpinned by the progress of vaccination programmes, strong growth of e-commerce, electrical and electronics (E&E), as well as demand from Malaysia’s main trading partners.

The Waypoint Report is released on a biannual basis and more information can be found on MAVCOM’s website here.