Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) has launched a campaign to convince new airlines to launch flights to six international airports in the country. Under the program, the publicly listed, government-backed agency waives landing fees for the first three years of operations for airlines offering new services, while existing airlines that increase their frequency enjoy the same benefit for the additional flights at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), Kota Kinabalu International Airport, Kuching International Airport, Langkawi International Airport, Penang International Airport and Subang Airport. MAHB manages 39 airports in Malaysia.
Other incentives include rent-free office space for the first six months of operations. MAHB has promised a cash reward for an increase in inbound passengers during the first 12 months of a new route’s operation. The plan pays $3 per passenger for the first 10-percent increase, $4.20 per passenger for the next eight percent and $5 per passenger for the subsequent 18 percent.
MAHB general manager of marketing Mohamed Sallauddin Hj Mat Sah characterizes the program as a “win-win” for both parties.
Four airlines have already taken advantage of the incentives this year to launch flights to KLIA. The most recent, Philippine Airlines, inaugurated a route between Manila and Kuala Lumpur on May 2, joining Bangkok-based low-fare airline Thai Smile, Air France and Turkish Airlines. MAHB expects a fifth carrier to start operations in the fourth quarter.
Mohamed is confident that more airlines will fly to KLIA in 2014 and 2015. The airport, which opened for operations in June 1998, handled 39.9 million passengers last year, for an increase of 10.1 percent over the previous year.