Senai airport aiming for three million travellers13 Sep 2023, by The Star

2281405-(1).jpgWater cannon salute to welcome the maiden flight of TransNusa Airline from Jakarta at Senai International Airport. — Photos: ZAZALI MUSA/The Star

SENAI Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd (SATSSB) is expecting some three million travellers to pass through Senai International Airport by the end of the year.

Its chief executive officer Kennedy Ayu said the forecast was based on the arrivals and departures of two million passengers recorded from January this year until the first week of September.

“We are optimistic about passenger growth,” he said at a ceremony to welcome the inaugural flight of Indonesia-based TransNusa Airline from Jakarta to Johor Baru.

Kennedy said air travel was on an upward trend again since the opening of the country’s international borders on April 1, 2022.

He said that in 2019, 4.27 million passengers were recorded and in the first three months of 2020 before the first movement control order was imposed, the airport received one million passengers,

“At the height of the pandemic, we witnessed only 371,000 passengers passing through,’’ he added.

Kennedy said the situation started to improve with 2.25 million passengers recorded in 2022 after the opening of borders.

He added that the declaration by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on May 4 that Covid-19 was no longer a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIS) further boosted air travel worldwide.

2281406.jpgKennedy (left) presenting a commemorative plaque to Bernard (right) to mark the maiden flight by TransNusa Airline. Looking on is Kulai Municipal Council president Mohd Fahmi Salam.

The airport is currently connected to 12 domestic destinations and five international routes – China’s Guangzhou, Bangkok in Thailand, Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh as well as Jakarta and Surabaya in Indonesia.

It started operations in 1974 and is the only privately managed civilian airport in the country. SATSSB is a member of MMC Group.

TransNusa Airline Group Aviation chief executive officer Datuk Bernard Francis said Jakarta-Johor Baru was the airline’s second new international route after Jakarta-Kuala Lumpur which started on April 14.

“The flight from Jakarta to Johor Baru had a full load and went on without any issues,” he said in a press statement.

Bernard said the airline planned to operate five weekly flights from Jakarta to Johor Baru, departing at 12.30pm (Indonesian time) and arriving at 3.15pm.

The flight will depart Johor Baru the same day at 3.45pm and arrive in Jakarta at 4.20pm (Indonesian time).

TransNusa has two bases in Indonesia – Bali and Jakarta – and currently operates 10 daily flights between Jakarta and Bali, as well as three daily flights between Jakarta and Jogjakarta.