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Strengthening KLIA as an Asean Hub
by honhub14. September 2017 14:21
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September 13, 2017


Strengthening KLIA as an Asean Hub


MALAYSIA Airports Holdings Berhad (Malaysia Airports) is committed in its effort to strengthen the position of Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) as a regional hub by growing its network connectivity and evolving into a service leader. One of the world’s top five airport operator groups, Malaysia Airports manages 39 airports nationwide as well as one in Istanbul, Turkey.


Last year, the group handled nearly 120 million passenger movements with its Malaysia operations registering 89 million. Not only does Malaysia Airports operate five international airports and 16 domestic airports in Malaysia, it also helps to connect the country’s remote rural population through 18 short take-off and landing ports (STOLports). Last year, these STOLports helped connect nearly 170,000 and moved a total of 480,000 kg of cargo and mail.


It has also brought international repute to Malaysia through its international ventures, being involved in managing seven international airports in countries such as Cambodia, Kazakhstan, India, Maldives and Turkey since 1995. Coupled with its strong financial performance, Malaysia Airports is one of Khazanah Nasional’s top performing investee companies.


According to Malaysia Airports’ managing director, Datuk Badlisham Ghazali, the company’s revenue had tripled from ten years ago with its market capitalisation growing more than five times during the same period. He added that their success is largely contributed by the country’s main gateway, KLIA, especially with the opening of its second terminal, klia2 in 2014. The addition of the second terminal allowed for more robust growth in the aviation industry.


KLIA now ranks among the top 25 busiest airports in the world and top 15 busiest for international traffic. Serving as the hub to four strong local carriers — Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, AirAsia X and Malindo Air — this regional hub now caters to more than 60 other airlines serving more than 120 direct destinations.


“KLIA has had many globally-recognised achievements over the years. For several years, we were ranked the highest in the world in the Airports Council International’s Airport Service Quality Awards. And it had won Large Airport of the Year Award at the CAPA Awards for Excellence at Asia Pacific Aviation 2014,” he said.


“But of course, we have to continually enhance our role a key economic enabler for the nation. We will do this through four identified strategic initiatives in our five-year business plan, Runway to Success 2020 (RtS2020). These four initiatives are meant to strengthen KLIA’s position as a regional hub; enhance total airport experience for all our stakeholders, develop an airport city, KLIA Aeropolis, within the vicinity of KLIA; and increase our international presence.”


Badlisham said it was crucial for the country’s economic development that Malaysia Airports transforms into an ecosystem manager. For instance, the KLIA Aeropolis development will enable the creation of 48,000 job opportunities and the contribution of RM34.7 billion in GDP to Malaysia’s economy by 2030.


He explained further that the success of KLIA Aeropolis hinges on KLIA’s continued strength as a regional hub. One of the targets is to ensure that KLIA reaches 69 million passenger movements by 2020 as part of its overall 155 million target for the group. Apart from this, the airport operator must also make sure that their service level and offerings are of the highest quality.


“We are very proud to be the custodian of an iconic national infrastructure such as KLIA. In many instances, KLIA is the first impression of our country for tourists. We must do our part to serve the nation by providing service that would make their experience at our airports a joyful one.”


Since the start of RtS2020, Malaysia Airports has launched several initiatives to support this aim. One of these is the free terminal transfer shuttle service making it easier for passengers to transfer between full service and low cost flights. This also has the added benefit of helping airlines grow their transfer passengers and improving network connectivity at KLIA. Another unique offering is the KLIA Premier Service which, for a fee, offers concierge service at the airport, access to fast track immigration and customs lanes, as well as buggy services.


They are also keen to bring the Malaysian experience to visitors at the airport and enhance tourism for the country. Badlisham said that they work closely with various state and tourism agencies to promote destinations within the country. Local cuisine and culture are regularly showcased at KLIA. The latest exciting cultural showcase happening this month will be by the state of Kelantan where visitors will get to see silat, dikir barat and wayang kulit performed at the airport.


2017 © New Straits Times. New Straits Times Press (M) Berhad 

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