Senai International Airport handles 3.52 million passengers in 201828 Jan 2019, by NST ONLINE

KUALA LUMPUR: Senai International Airport has handled 3.52 million passengers in 2018, a 13 per cent increase from the number of passengers recorded in 2017.

The airport operator, MMC Group Bhd said the growth was mainly driven by domestic passengers, with a nine per cent increase to 2.91 million in 2018 from 2.68 million in 2017, while international passenger traffic rose 37 per cent to 0.60 million in 2018 from 0.44 million in 2017.

Senai Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd (SATSSB) chief executive officer Md Derick Basir said 2018 has been the airport’s busiest year yet and anticipated for further growth in 2019.

“The growth was fuelled by the southern region’s rigorous economic activities, escalating the demand for business and corporate travel, as well as the leisure sector,” he said in a statement today.

He said the rise in total passenger traffic in 2018 was mainly due to the introduction of new routes including Seoul by Jin Air, Sanya and Haikou by Malindo Air as well as Alor Setar and Ipoh by AirAsia.

In addition, flight frequencies from existing routes in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Kota Kinabalu, Langkawi and Bangkok also contributed to the growth.

“We are aggressively collaborating with industry players, including the tourism bodies and airlines, to promote Johor as a destination. Ultimately, the aim is to encourage the demand for more air connectivity,” he added.

Md Derick said SATSSB aims to handle 3.76 million passengers for 2019 in Senai International Airport, citing that it would be a busy and exciting year for the company as it has expanded its portfolio to manage Kertih Airport in Terengganu.

Meanwhile, commercial aircraft movements recorded at eight per cent higher with a total of 32,574 landings and takeoffs.

The airport’s retail offerings have also improved with the opening of international brands such as Pizza Hut, Gong Cha, WH Smith, O’Briens Irish Sandwich Bar, Boost Juice and Burger King.

The presence of the brand new outlets offers more value and choices for the airport’s users, in-line with the airport’s aim to increase international and local retailing brands to cater to the growth of passengers’ movement