Sepang – The Malaysia Airports Group has reported EBITDA of RM186.9 million for its financial period ended 31 March 2022 (1Q22), a significant improvement compared to the negative RM16.2 million recorded over the same period last year (1Q21). The significant improvement in Group EBITDA was largely in line with the traffic recovery for both of the Group’s operations for Malaysia and Turkey.
Encouraging air traffic recovery at the Group’s Turkey operations, Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (Istanbul SGIA) continued to contribute towards reducing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Group’s earnings. EBITDA for the Turkey operations reported an increase of 104.1% to RM208.3 million, while the Malaysia and Qatar operations recorded an EBITDA of negative RM24.7 million and positive RM3.3 million, respectively. Net loss for the Group in 1Q22 narrowed by 52.7% to RM104.8 million from RM221.3 million in the corresponding period.
The Group’s network of airports, including Istanbul SGIA, recorded 14.8 million passengers in 1Q22, a boost from 5.9 million in 1Q21. The Group is optimistic on seeing significantly improved air traffic performance in 2022. Istanbul SGIA passenger movements for 1Q22 registered 6.4 million passengers and is the highest quarterly volume registered since April 2020. Istanbul SGIA’s traffic performance in 1Q21 was already at 79.0% of its pre-COVID-19 level for the same period in 2019. The airport was also ranked as the eighth busiest in Europe for passenger movements by Airports Council International Europe.
Malaysia’s passenger traffic movements rose to 8.3 million for the first quarter of 2022, a 5 times increase over 1Q21. Malaysia’s Vaccinated Travel Lane with Singapore and Thailand and the resumption of Umrah services were some of the earlier initiatives to ease international travel restrictions, contributing to the healthy increase in passenger movements. Malaysia’s full relaxation on border restrictions for vaccinated travelers in the second quarter of 2022 led to daily average of international passengers in May 2022 reaching 33,407 or 20.0% of May 2019.
The surge in passenger movements across the network of airports signals a clear trajectory towards a recovery. As borders continue to reopen, the Group is pivoting towards opening up its vast revenue generating propensity and further growth opportunities, thereby accelerating its return to profitability.