Passenger traffic at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is set to post a six per cent increase this year, Minister of Transport Kong Cho Ha said yesterday.
He said KLIA ‘s passenger traffic was 34.1 million in 2010 and rose to 37.7 million last year, a 10.6 per cent increase.
“We conservatively forecast passenger traffic at KLIA to increase by about six per cent, however we predict the actual increase would be slightly more.
“For last year, we predicted a seven per cent increase, but we got more than 10 per cent,” he told reporters at KLIA yesterday.
Kong added that KLIA’s rising passenger traffic clearly indicates its importance in the aviation industry.
Based on the industry trends observed in past years, he said Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) aims to post a five to six per cent increase in passenger traffic in Malaysia this year. Earlier, Kong attended the official welcoming ceremony for Emirates Airline’s Airbus A380 aircraft at the KLIA.
Also present were Emirates Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations Far East and Australasia Richard Jewsbury and MAHB managing director Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad.
Although the first Emirates A380 landed in Malaysia on New Year’s Day, the official welcoming ceremony took place today with the flight given the traditional water canon salute upon arrival.
Meanwhile, Jewsbury said Emirates are proud to play a part in the latest milestone in Malaysia’s aviation history.
“Emirates would also like to convey its special appreciation to the government of Malaysia and MAHB for their tremendous support and partnership that has made the start of the airline’s scheduled Airbus A380 service between Dubai and Kuala Lumpur such as success.
“Our partnership with Malaysia goes back to October 1996 when we launched our first flight and here we are today with 21 weekly non-stop flights between Kuala Lumpur and Dubai, plus the daily onward flight to Melbourne.
“The decision to operate one of the non-strop services with the A380 follows strong and increasing demand for flights, not just from business travellers, but leisure travelers as well,” he said.
Emirates’ fleet of 20 A380s currently operate from Dubai to London, Sydney, Auckland, Bangkok, Toronto, Paris, Seoul, Jeddah, Beijing, Manchester, Hong Kong, New York, Shanghai, Munich, Rome and Johannesburg.