Newsroom / News Releases / Total Passenger Traffic Reached Record High Since Start of Pandemic
Total Passenger Traffic Reached Record High Since Start of Pandemic
415.6 per cent YoY increase to 8.7 million in 1Q22
KUALA LUMPUR, 7 July 2022 – The Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) today provided an overview of the country’s aviation industry performance in the first quarter of 2022 (1Q22), the industry outlook for 2022, as well as airfare trends since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in the 11th edition of its bi-annual Industry Report, Waypoint.
MAVCOM reported that total passenger traffic for the first 3 months of the year stood at 8.7 million, recording a growth of 415.6 per cent year-on-year (YoY) due to the low base effect, whereby passenger traffic during the first quarter of 2021 was 1.7 million. These figures indicate that the aviation industry is on a gradual but steady recovery path. According to the Commission, passenger traffic was significantly driven by domestic travellers who accounted for 88.8 per cent of total traffic in 1Q22. As of May 2022, Malaysia’s year-to-date (YTD) air passenger traffic stood at 16.3 million, signifying a 574.6 per cent growth compared to the same period in 2021. International air passenger traffic reached 1.0 million in May 2022, the first time since March 2020.
The Executive Chairman of MAVCOM, Datuk Seri Hj. Saripuddin Hj. Kassim, said, “Following the easing of travel restrictions in Malaysia, the aviation industry has made further progress in its recovery from the pandemic as indicated by the increase in total passenger traffic in early 2022. With the country’s international borders having reopened since April 2022, we have continued to see an uptick driven by pent-up demand for travel. While we understand the public remains cautious in the face of global conflicts and existing economic uncertainties, the Commission remains positive that the aviation sector will continue to recover in 2022 with the right measures in place.”
The Commission also reported that total cargo volume recorded a 5.9 per cent YoY increase in 1Q22, driven by the return of belly cargo capacity following the gradual resumption of international flights. This translated into a growth in cargo volume to 5.1 billion in terms of freight tonne kilometres (FTK), up from 4.8 billion FTK during 1Q21. Further supporting this expansion was the solid growth seen within the e-commerce industry and the electrical and electronics (E&E) sector.
On the 2022 air passenger traffic and cargo outlook, MAVCOM has maintained its forecast reported in the December 2021 edition of the Waypoint Report as both air passenger traffic and air cargo have performed within expectations. The Commission predicts that passenger traffic will increase between 200 per cent and 350 per cent YoY, representing an estimated 32.6 million to 49.0 million passengers,whereas air cargo traffic is expected to expand between 3.9 per cent and 6.7 per cent YoY, translating to 21.5 billion to 22.0 billion FTK.
Meanwhile, the Commission highlights a divergence in the domestic and international airfare trends since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. On average, domestic airfares for the economy class in ASEAN, Australia, and China have mostly been below pre-pandemic levels, while international airfares for the same countries recorded a significant hike and have remained above 2019 levels.
Additionally, as of 31 March 2022, MAVCOM had received a total of 22 Air Traffic Right (ATR) applications, of which 21 were approved, representing a 95.5 per cent approval rate. 13 ATRs were allocated for international routes, while the remaining 8 ATRs were awarded to domestic routes, half of which were awarded to SKS Airways, one of the newest airlines in Malaysia. AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines, M Jets International, and MyJet Xpress received 3 ATRs each, while both MAB Kargo and MASwings received 2 ATRs, followed by AirAsia X which was accorded 1 ATR. This signifies an encouraging development in the continual recovery of Malaysia’s aviation industry.
The Waypoint Report is released on a biannual basis and more information can be found here.