Malaysia’s airports reported a 10.63% rise in passenger traffic to 65.3 million in 2011 compared to 59 million passengers reported in 2010.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said: "The country’s security and stability contributed to last year’s good performance, which surpassed the ministry’s target of 62 million passengers."

"The growth was also encouraging as it came amid economic uncertainty in Europe and the United States in the last few years," Kong Cho Ha added.

The Malaysian Transport Ministry is expecting a moderate 5% rise in passenger traffic this year due to global economic uncertainty, especially in Europe and America.

The country’s airports have reported a 10.03% rise in international passenger traffic to 30.89 million passengers in 2011, compared to 28 million passengers in 2010.

Domestic passenger number saw a rise of 10.95% to 34.454 million in 2011 when compared to 31.056 million in 2010.

In 2011, the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) handled 37.7 million passengers, Kota Kinabalu handled 5.809 million passengers, Penang handled 4.6 million and Kuching served 4.287 million passengers.

Other airports, including Miri served 1.857 million passengers, Langkawi served 1.504 million passengers and Johor Baharu handled 1.338 million passengers.

Sibu airport handled 1.133 million passengers, Kota Baharu served 1.132 million passengers and Subang served 1.320 million passengers.

The country is planning to establish 40 new airline routes to cater for demand from domestic passengers and the rise in passenger numbers.

There are 21 routes expected to open within a few months, including 16 domestic routes and five international ones. The number of routes could be doubled later this year.


Image: Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) served 37.7 million passengers in 2011. Photo: Craig.