Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Source: Wikimedia
Malaysia Airports Holdings is set to increase in terms of customers the rest of the year after encouraging recent signs as Malaysia pulls out of hosting a major football conference.
Double-digit passenger growth for several major airlines, including Emirates Airlines and KLM Royal Dutch, suggests an already-robust count of inbound tourists, analysts added.
In bad news for the carrier, Malaysia has lost the right to host the 2017 Fifa Congress because it refused to issue visas to Israeli delegates.
“We were advised by the government to withdraw from hosting the congress due to security issues,” said Affandi Hamzah, deputy president of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM). Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi had said Kuala Lumpur was unable to issue visas to Israeli delegates because it did not have diplomatic ties with the country and could unsettle domestic politics.
“Some of the conditions of hosting the event include placing the flag on the table during the congress,” the New Straits Times quoted him saying.
“After comparing the benefits and the risks, it is better for Malaysia to avoid playing host.”
Affandi said the FAM last month informed Fifa that it was withdrawing from hosting the event on “government advice” and it accepted Kuala Lumpur’s decision. Malaysia has publicly backed Palestinian rights.
In the shorter term, however, Malaysia Airlines was confident of growth.
“We see the remaining months would likely be stronger given that Malaysia Airlines had stopped reducing capacity,” said Nomura Holdings analyst Ahmad Maghfur Usman, “boosted by the seasonally stronger travel demand” in the second half of 2016.
Malaysia Airports said it handled 10.5 million passengers in July, a monthly record for the year. Aircraft traffic dropped 1.3 per cent from last year to 88,709 during July.
Passengers at its Malaysian airports reportedly rose by 8.5 per cent last month year on year. That compares to a 3.7 per cent year-on-year fall in traffic at its Istanbul airport following the botched July 15 coup and terrorist attacks.
Meanwhile, Shanghai Airlines, Emirates Airlines, KLM Royal Dutch and Etihad Airways saw trade rise by more than 20 per cent last month, Malaysia Airports reported.
Malaysia Airports runs Kuala Lumpur International Airport and manages more than 35 others in the federation. The company owns Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport and runs India’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in the southern city of Hyderabad.
Sabiha Gokcen was one of the world’s fastest growing airports for the past three years, according to Maybank Investment Bank, before growth slowed significantly to 5.9 per cent during the second quarter.