MALAYSIA. Malaysia Airports Holdings (MAHB) has reported a surge in passenger traffic of +8.1% for the first six months of the year, compared to the period January to June 2007. In total 23.1 million passengers passed through its 39 airports in the period, reported MAHB in a filing to the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange.

Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) handled 13.4 million passengers in the period, up +7.4% on the previous year.

Crucially for travel retailers there was strong growth in international passenger traffic both at KLIA and at other airports.

At KLIA international passenger numbers rose by a healthy +8.2% in the half to 8.8 million. At other airports international passenger numbers grew by +10% to 1.4 million.

Domestic traffic climbed by +5.8% at KLIA (to 4.5 million) and by +9.0% at other airports (to 8.2 million).

In the month of June total passenger numbers at MAHB airports hit 4.1 million, up +7.2%. International passenger traffic at KLIA grew by +5.9% to 1.5 million, while at other airports the figure was 252,142, a rise of +4.7%.

Despite the strong figures MAHB warned that it expected a decline in passenger traffic in the fourth quarter of this year, when higher fares are likely to curb consumer spending on air travel.

In other news, KLIA opened a new long-stay parking facility on 1 August.

The minimum parking period for the area is three days at RM129. The rate offered is lower compared to parking at the short term car park, where users pay RM43 for 24-hour parking. Passengers using this facility will only pay RM15 for every subsequent day after the third day. The long term car park offers 530 parking lots situated at Level 4 and 5 of Block A.

Malaysia Airports Senior General Manager Operation Services Dato’ Azmi Murad said: “This new parking facility will benefit those who have to park their cars for more than three days. Based on enquiries we received from airport users, we believe this new parking facility will receive a good response, due to the low charge after the third day.

“The introduction of this new parking facility is part of our continuous improvements for the airport users, which we believe will considerably enhance airport users’ experience when using KLIA. We look forward to further enhancing the facilities and services for public from time to time.”

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