4.2 million passengers at Senai Airport this year20 Dec 2019, by New Straits Times

JOHOR BAHRU: Senai Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd (SATS), a member of MMC Group, today had successfully handled four million passengers in a single year for the first time since its opening in 1974.

SATS chairman Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh said there has been a steady upward demand combined with the commitment by its airline partners to increase capacity that make this achievement possible. 

"Since taking over the airport in 2003, SATS managed to handle a total accumulation of more than 33 million passengers with a consistent double-digit growth since 2013.

“This achievement is not possible without the support of our airline partners, government agencies, local authority, our customers and the people of Johor,” he said in a statement.
SATS chief executive officer Md Derick Basir said passenger volume for full year 2019 will hit 4.2 million, a significant increase of 20 per cent as compared to 3.5 million passengers handled in 2018.

"The growth is mainly attributed by the increased capacity created by the introduction of new routes and the additional flight frequencies to existing routes such as Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Seoul," said Md Derick.

The airport is currently operating at its maximum capacity of 4 million passengers per annum and is expanding its terminal to create more capacity in future.

The RM20 million terminal expansion project will include the extension of the existing arrival and departure halls towards the south of the terminal building. 

Key elements include the construction of four new departure and boarding gates, additional new seating area, covered walkway connecting to aircraft parking bays, installation of additional baggage handling system and installation of escalator and elevator to link the existing terminal building to the new area.

Senai Airport handles an average of over 11,500 passengers and 110 flight movements daily with 80 per cent of its operations and passengers contributed by AirAsia. 

Md Derick said currently, the airport is connected to seven international and 12 domestic destinations operated by five airlines including AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines, Firefly, Malindo Air and Jin Air. 

The expansion project will add the terminal building capacity by 1 million passengers per year and once completed, the airport will be able to handle 5 million passengers yearly.

"As an important gateway to Johor State, we are always striving to enhance the passengers travelling experience as well as to upgrade the safety and security inside the terminal building and at the apron compound area. 

"When the project completes in the second quarter of 2021, airport guests will enjoy better comfort, access and facilities when compared to the current situation," Md Derick said.

Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik said the government has set targets in conjunction with Visit Malaysia 2020 and Visit Johor 2020 campaigns.

"The Johor state government has set a target of 8.4 million over-nighting tourists and a total of RM18.4 million visitors for 2020 and we are hoping to see an economic spillover of RM29.4 billion.

"With Budget Johor 2020 allocating RM15 million, the highest ever for tourism promotion in the state, we hope to be able to achieve stellar returns in the coming year,” Bakhtiar said.

He said Senai International Airport will continue to play a significant role to help the state government to boost the tourism by maintaining the existing 12 domestic and seven international flight routes and adding more.