PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) said it has registered 7.3 million passengers at its airports in the country in February 2017, a 5% year-on-year growth over February 2016. "The 5% growth for February 2017 Malaysia passenger traffic is unusual. Not only 2016 was the base high due to Chinese New Year holidays but also due to the comparison being against 29 days last year," it said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia last Friday. MAHB said KL International Airport (KLIA) passenger movements recorded an 8.6% increase during the month, registering 4.4 million passenger movements compared with February 2016, while KLIA Main Terminal double digit growth streak continues with 28.3% recorded over February 2016 passenger numbers. However, traffic for klia2 contracted by 5.3% for the same period. Meanwhile, MAHB said its total network of airports including Istanbul SGIA registered 9.3 million passenger movements or 2.4% growth for February 2017. It said international passengers registered a 6.4% growth at 4.3 million passengers, while domestic passengers declined by 0.7% registering 5 million passengers. On a last-12-month basis, MAHB said, its total network (inclusive of Istanbul SGIA) registered 5.4% growth with 119.7million passengers, which is the highest traffic handled for 12 months by the system. MAHB noted that international passenger traffic for all regions registered positive growth in February, the first since frequencies and routes cut by Malaysia Airlines in 2015. "There was significant increase in China and India nationalities traffic likely contributed by visa relaxation. For Europe, this was the first positive after more than a year," it said. MAHB said passenger traffic to and from 18 countries registered double-digit growth including the UK, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Laos, Pakistan, New Zealand, Oman, Nepal, Mauritius, Kazakhstan and Japan which registered more than 20% growth. Furthermore, it said 18 airlines registered double-digit growth for international passenger traffic, which includes AirAsia X, All Nippon Airways, Malindo, Xiamen Airlines, Oman Air and Malaysia Airlines, among others. Meanwhile, MAHB said the domestic passenger growth was mainly contributed by Malindo and AirAsia. "Average load factor for February 2017 was unusually high at 75.5%, indicating latent and new demand for air travel. This is indeed an indication of positive demand outlook moving forward," it added.