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Air Traffic Rights Applications in Q4 2022 Surpasses Pre-Pandemic Levels

31 Jan 2023

Aviation Industry Recovery Uptrend Remains Intact with 100 per cent Air Traffic Rights Applications Approved


KUALA LUMPUR, 31 JANUARY 2023 – The Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) today released its Air Traffic Rights (ATR) report for the fourth quarter of 2022 (Q4 2022), which consisted of 44 ATR allocations for the Malaysian civil aviation sector during the period of October to December 2022

As the aviation industry charts its way through the post-pandemic phase of COVID-19, the ATR report notes a steady recovery in the uptrend of ATR allocations for Q4 2022. In total, the Commission received a 15.8 per cent increase in ATR applications compared to the third quarter of 2022 (Q3 2022), in which 100 per cent of ATRs applied were approved by the Commission. The ATR allocations for Q4 2022 consisted of 28 international and 16 domestic routes. 

Furthermore, the Commission recorded its highest number of ATR allocations in Q4 2022, against the same quarter over the past four years, which saw 27 ATRs awarded in Q4 2021, 40 ATRs in Q4 2020, and 37 ATRs in Q4 2019 respectively. 

MAVCOM’s Executive Chairman, Datuk Seri Hj. Saripuddin Hj. Kasim said, “Wrapping up a year of recovery for airlines and the aviation industry, the Commission is pleased to report that ATR applications submitted in Q4 2022 reached 12.8 per cent of ATR applications received before the pandemic in Q4 2019. The gradual resumption of air travel since the re-opening of regional and international borders has boosted the ATR applications rate for the quarter, which was especially driven by the opening of new domestic routes. Reflecting this is the significant 220 per cent increase in ATR applications received and awarded for local destinations in Q4 2022, which is mostly attributed to MYAirline, Malaysia’s newest low-cost passenger airline that began operating in December 2022.”

Of the 44 ATRs allocated by the Commission, MYAirline was awarded the highest number of approvals, receiving 12 out of 16 domestic ATRs. This was followed by AirAsia, AirAsia X, and Batik Air Malaysia with 9 ATRs each. Meanwhile, both Firefly and Raya Airways were granted 2 ATRs respectively, and Malaysia Airlines was awarded 1 ATR approval.

In terms of year-on-year (YoY) comparison, the Commission reported a 31 per cent jump in ATR applications in 2022 compared to 2021, and an increase of 29 per cent compared to 2020. Following steady recovery throughout 2022, ATR applications reached 78 per cent of pre-pandemic ATR applications received by the Commission in 2019. Moreover, MAVCOM approved 52 more ATRs in 2022 than in 2021 for international passenger travel, indicating the positive impact of worldwide border re-openings that set the industry on the path of recovery.  

Datuk Seri Hj. Saripuddin Hj. Kasim added, “To support this recovery, the Commission granted ATR approvals to airlines for new destinations across  Asia Pacific, such as Australia and Bangladesh, amongst others. This included approval for 4,241 extra seats for scheduled services to Australia, daily flights to Dubai, 7 weekly flights each for Jeddah and Madinah, as well as Amritsar and Trivandrum in India. The Commission also approved daily direct routes from Penang to Singapore and Kuala Namu, Indonesia. We are confident that the nation’s aviation industry will stay on a steady path to recovery by 2024 as forecasted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).” 

On the other hand, ATR applications for the cargo sector were lower by 80 per cent in the quarter under review with 2 applications submitted compared to Q3 2022, which recorded 10 ATR applications. On a YoY basis, ATR applications for cargo in Q4 2022  declined by 85 per cent compared to Q4 2021, due to reduced demand for cargo freighter business as passenger belly space has increased significantly following the surge in air travel.

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