Thursday, October 07, 2021

Passenger arrivals down 78% and you want to upgrade airports, for what?

Or, rather, for whom? Well, Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong's response his predecessor Loke Siew Fook got me wondering. 

According to Wee, the number of passengers that arrived at Malaysian airports under MAHB had dropped to 26 million in 2020 from 109 million in 2019. But it still had to cough up RM140 million a month to maintain the 39 airports, even during the pandemic. The aviation sector is expected to recover fully only in 2025 (Airport upgrades, construction out on hold)

It's a timely response from the Minister to Anthony Loke's call to delist MAHB "so that all the nation's airports can be upgraded". He had argued that although the aviation industry is experiencing a decline due to low demand, there'll be an increase in demand post-pandemic. "Surely when this happens the needs for airports will increase; thus, we must plan for the future given that upgrading works at airports will take time." (Delist MAHB so that nation's airports can be upgraded: Loke). 

Interestingly, Loke also said that private companies are ready with initiatives to work on these airports. We know who some of these private companies are but it be nice if Wee could get from Loke the official full list so the ministry will know who to call, if you know what I mean.

So related: Why Loke's "delisting" proposal is a bad idea 

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