Liow gives the thumbs-up with the winners and MAHB officials on stage. — Picture by Shafwan ZaidonLiow gives the thumbs-up with the winners and MAHB officials on stage. — Picture by Shafwan ZaidonSEPANG, Oct 8 — Ongoing collaboration with Tourism Malaysia on promotions and cooperation with domestic, regional and international airlines on passenger arrivals have contributed to the growth of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

Ranked as the world’s 14th busiest airport in terms of international arrivals, KLIA is confident of breaking into the top 10 next year.

“I am proud to see air connectivity preserved and further enhanced through the entry of new airlines. This allows us to leverage on our abundant tourist destinations,” said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai at the KLIA Awards 2016 dinner at Sama Sama Hotel here on Friday.

“We have seen the operation of the airport for more than two decades, there is an increasing number of domestic and international routes, this should give us that sense of pride,” he said.

“Airports provide the first impression of a nation, therefore the quality of service sets the benchmark on what experiences can be expected. We should strive to do better in every aspect.”

Among those present were Liow’s wife Datin Seri Lee Sun Loo, Transport Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Saripuddin Kasim, Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia director-general Datuk Seri Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, his wife Datin Seri Naimah Ayob, Malaysian Meteorological Department director-general Alui Bahari and Malaysia Aviation Commission executive chairman Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad.

MAHB senior general manager for operations Zainol Mohd Isa, Board of Airline Representatives Malaysia chairman Suresh Singam and Airline Operators Committee KLIA chairman Mokhtar Othman were also present.

The awards saw the inclusion of three new categories, bringing the total to 24 awards presented.

“This year, KLIA has welcomed airlines such as Himalaya Airlines (Nepal), Thai Smile Air (Thailand), US-Bangla Airlines (Bangladesh), Cathay Dragon (Hong Kong), Batik Air (Indonesia) and JC International Airlines (Cambodia),” said Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) managing director Datuk Badlisham Ghazali.

“Philippine Airlines also resumed its KL-Manila route after a four-year hiatus.”

With these additional landings, destinations are expected to grow, as KLIA and klia2 are now home to 60 airlines and more than 120 destinations.

“At present, KLIA is the ninth most connected airports internationally,” he told the media after the dinner.

With two terminals and the capacity to handle 75 million passengers a year, Badlisham said KLIA should improve its position in terms of international arrivals.

MAHB is focusing on attracting passengers from Southeast Asia, China and the Indian subcontinent.

The KLIA awards were introduced in 2006 to acknowledge the best in the aviation industry.



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