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PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) has reported a 210% jump in air traffic rights (ATR) applications in the second quarter of 2022 (2Q22) compared with the same period last year.
It said the notable increase was driven by the reopening of Malaysia’s international borders in April 2022, coupled with airlines mapping out their international network to align with the reopening of international borders by other countries.
A total of 32 applications were submitted, comprising 28 international and four domestic routes, which reflected a 47.6% increase in ATR applications from 1Q22, Mavcom said in a statement in conjunction with the publication of its latest quarterly ATR report, Bernama reported.
The commission explained that the surge in ATR applications in 2Q22 was further supported by airlines exploring new sectors to strengthen their network.
“This was indicated by ATR applications for several new routes from secondary airports in Malaysia, namely, Johor Baru and Penang, to Asean destinations.
“The commission also highlighted greater flight capacity into Australia and New Zealand by Malaysian carriers, particularly via the fifth freedom, from Indonesia to Australia, and Australia to New Zealand,” it said.,
Mavcom executive chairman Datuk Seri Saripuddin Kasim said the commission remained committed to its role as the commercial and economic regulator of the Malaysian civil aviation industry.
“The aviation landscape remains challenging, but we are pleased to report a healthy increase in ATR applications, which signifies the steady recovery of airlines.
“Furthermore, we are happy to support the decision by airlines to explore new sectors as a recovery strategy with the approval of ATR for new routes such as Penang to Denpasar (Indonesia), Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and Pekanbaru (Indonesia) as well as Johor Baru to Phnom Penh, Pekanbaru and Kualanamu (Indonesia),” he said in the statement.
For the quarter under review, Mavcom approved 31 out of the 32 ATR applications received from airlines, representing a 96.8% approval rate, which was higher than the 95.4% approval rate reported for 1Q22.
Of the 31 ATR approvals, AirAsia received the highest number of approvals, totalling 11 ATRs, followed by Batik Air Malaysia and AirAsia X which received seven and six ATR approvals, respectively.
Meanwhile, the cargo sector saw a slight decline, Mavcom said. Cargo ATRs comprised only 29% of total ATRs issued in 2Q22 compared to 90% in 2Q21, according to the report.