Healthy growth in air cargo sector

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) has approved all 21 Air Traffic Rights (ATR) applications in the third quarter of 2021, a 110% increase in application rates as compared to the second quarter of 2021.

The commission approved 14 ATRs for international destinations and seven ATRs for domestic routes. MyJet Xpress Sdn Bhd and World Cargo Airline Sdn Bhd were awarded the highest number of approvals with five ATRs each followed by AirAsia X Bhd and MAB Kargo Sdn Bhd with four ATR and three ATR approvals respectively, as well as two ATR approvals each for Malaysia Airlines Bhd and AirAsia Group Bhd.

Of the 21 ATRs approvals the commission granted previously, 18 applications were from the cargo sector signalling continued healthy growth within the sector, according to its latest quarterly ATR report.

Mavcom, which projected an expansion of 26.5-28.2% for Malaysia’s air cargo traffic in 2021, continues to support industry players in their recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic by extending its suspension of the evaluation of domestic ATR applications, which has been in place since October 2020 until further notice.

Its consumer report for the first half of 2021 (H1’21) revealed that 157 complaints were received in H1’21, a 59.1% reduction against the same period of last year. Of the 157 complaints, 98.1% were complaints regarding airlines, while 1.9% of complaints were related to airports.

AirAsia took the lion’s share of complaints filed at 41.4%, followed by Malaysia Airlines at 28.7% and Malindo Air at 12.1%. All airlines, except Firefly Airlines, observed a drop in the number of complaints, corresponding with a decrease in the number of passengers carried.

It found 60.1% of the complaints resulted in airlines reversing their initial decisions by providing resolutions that are more equitable or satisfactory to the consumers, reflecting a 2.3 percentage point increase compared to the corresponding period in 2020.

Mavcom executive chairman Datuk Seri Saripuddin Kasim said it resolved 97.5% of complaints and approved all ATRs requested.

“The growth of the cargo sector has certainly been a silver lining for the aviation industry during this pandemic. With the ballooning demand for e-commerce coupled with reduced belly space cargo capacity thrusting the cargo sector globally forward, we will continue to support local players to take advantage of the prospects ahead.”