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Newsroom / News Releases / Reopening of International Borders Boosts Air Traffic Rights Applications by 650 Per cent

Reopening of International Borders Boosts Air Traffic Rights Applications by 650 Per cent

21 Apr 2022


KUALA LUMPUR, 21 April 2022 – The Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) has published its Air Traffic Rights (ATR) report for the first quarter of 2022 (Q1 2022). The report outlines MAVCOM’s ATR allocations for the period spanning 1 January until 31 March 2022.

For Q1 2022, MAVCOM approved 95.4 per cent of the total 22 ATR applications, granting 21 approvals to 8 airlines. The 22 ATR applications submitted to the Commission represent a slightly reduced application rate of 0.08 per cent in contrast with the 24 applications received in the corresponding quarter of 2021. According to the Commission, the lower application rate was due to airlines awaiting the reopening of Malaysia’s international borders.

Of the 22 applications received in total, 14 were for international routes, while the remaining 8 were for domestic routes. SKS Airways Sdn. Bhd., which is among the newest airlines in Malaysia, was awarded the highest number of ATR approvals with a total of 4 ATRs across domestic routes. Meanwhile, AirAsia Berhad, Malaysia Airlines Berhad, M Jets International Sdn. Bhd. and MyJet Xpress Airlines Sdn. Bhd. each received 3 ATR approvals followed by MABKargo and MASwings, which both received 2 ATRs. AirAsia X Berhad was awarded 1 ATR approval.

There has been a significant jump in ATR applications following the Government’s announcement that Malaysia’s international borders would reopen on 1 April 2022. A total of 15 ATR applications were submitted between 1 April 2022 and 15 April 2022, comprising 7 ATRs for the cargo sector including Passenger to Cargo (P2C) flights, 3 ATRs for passenger flights on domestic routes, and 5 ATRs for passenger flights on international routes. This represented an increase of 650 per cent in applications received during the 15-day period, compared to the 2 applications received between 1 and 15 March 2022.

Datuk Seri Hj. Saripuddin Hj. Kasim, Executive Chairman, Malaysian Aviation Commission, said, “Since the Government’s announcement of Malaysia’s international borders being fully reopened on 1 April 2022, there has been a spur of ATR applications from airlines. This is indeed an encouraging development as it signals that the industry is gradually transitioning towards recovery.”

“Moreover, pursuant to MAVCOM’s investigations on the issue of high airfares to Sabah and Sarawak, MAVCOM is pleased to report that 1,141 flight frequencies have been approved for the routes between Peninsular Malaysia to Kota Kinabalu, Tawau, Sandakan, Sibu, Kuching, Bintulu, Miri and Labuan for flights during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri travel period of 27 April to 8 May 2022. MAVCOM’s latest observation on 21 April 2022 shows that most economy one-way airfares for flights from Peninsular Malaysia to Sabah and Sarawak are around RM200 to RM500 during the same travel period. This is due to the increased flight frequency and more seats being made available for the public. At the same time, the Commission does not regulate airfares as it is determined based on a dynamic pricing mechanism applied by airlines globally and is also utilised in various industries.”

As for ATR applications for the cargo sector, MAVCOM received and approved a total of 8 ATR applications in Q1 2022. While this represents a 38.5 per cent decrease compared to the 13 ATRs received in the fourth quarter of 2021, cargo growth remains healthy as a result of the continued lack of cargo capacity. In addition, cargo rates remain higher than pre-pandemic levels.

The Air Traffic Rights Report is released on a regular basis and more information can be found on MAVCOM’s website at