PETALING JAYA: The aviation industry is seeing encouraging signs of recovery in the domestic market following an increase in Air Traffic Rights (ATR) applications for domestic routes in the fourth quarter of 2021, says Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom).
For the fourth quarter of 2021 (Q4 2021), Mavcom said it approved 27 of the 28 ATR applications submitted by airlines.
It said this represented an increase of 33.3% in applications and a 28.6% increase in approvals compared to the third quarter of 2021 (Q3 2021).
Of the 28 ATR applications, it said 17 applications were for domestic routes, which had more than doubled compared to the seven applications submitted in Q3 2021.
It noted that the increase was due to the reopening of interstate borders in October last year and a rise in demand for domestic holiday-related travel, with additional flights mainly to Langkawi followed by Johor Baru, Penang and Kota Baru.
“Despite the ongoing pandemic, we are seeing encouraging signs of recovery within the domestic segment, as indicated by the increase in ATR applications for domestic routes in Q4 2021.
“This promising development illustrates the sector’s resilience and its ability to bounce back post-pandemic.
“We hope that this continues as air travellers are highly encouraged to pre-plan their flights for festive periods well in advance to avoid crowds and high-ticket prices,” its executive chairman Datuk Seri Saripuddin Kasim said in a statement on Wednesday (Jan 19).
Mavcom added that they had received 13 ATR applications from the air cargo segment, noting that this signalled continued and sustained growth.
It said the increase in ATR approvals was also attributed to new cargo Air Service Licence (ASL) holders, namely World Cargo Airline Sdn Bhd and M Jets International Sdn Bhd, which received nine ATRs in the fourth quarter.
Mavcom said they expected the segment to grow between 3.9% and 6.7% Year-on-Year (YoY) in 2022, which translates to between 20.8 billion and 21.6 billion in Freight Tonne Kilometres (FTK).
For the ATR allocations for Q4 2021, it said Malaysia Airlines Bhd and World Cargo Airline Sdn Bhd received the highest number of approvals with six ATRs each.
This is followed by AirAsia Bhd (five) and M Jets International Sdn Bhd (three) while AirAsia X Bhd, FlyFirefly Sdn Bhd and Malindo Airways Sdn Bhd each received two ATR allocations.
MyJet Express Airlines Sdn Bhd was awarded one ATR allocation.
Mavcom added that for the year 2021, it approved a total of 82 ATR applications, representing a 98.8% approval rate.