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Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) seen a continuous growth in international passenger traffic movements for the past 10 months of this year. Pix by MALAI ROSMAH TUAH.

PUTRAJAYA: The Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) continues to register double digit growth in international passenger traffic movements for the past 10 months of this year as a result of consolidated operations under one roof.

From Jan to Oct, month-on-month growth compared against last year for international passenger traffic movements ranged from 20 percent to 37 percent, with year-to-date (YTD) growth at 28 percent.

Statistics also showed that the airport had registered YTD total domestic and international passenger growth of 10 percent.

This strong growth was contributed by strong performance from a wide range of airlines primarily the AirAsia Group, Jin Air from South Korea, and 16 other airlines operating at KKIA.

The Sabah Tourism Board had also reported an increase in total number of international and domestic visitors to Sabah for the period of Jan to Sep totaling 2.5 million which is a 5.2 percent increase when compared to the same period last year.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) general manager Mohd Suhaimi Abdul Mubin said the number of passengers is expected to increase this Christmas and New Year celebration period, starting from the third week of Dec up till the first week of Jan 2017.

“Today, KKIA handles an average of 180 flights and approximately 18,000 passengers daily. However, during this upcoming holiday season, we expect to handle approximately 20,000 passengers per day.

"Therefore, the travelling public is reminded to check details of their flight departure time with their respective airlines to avoid any inconveniences. Passengers should also arrive early at the airport as check-in counters are open three hours prior to departure and will close one hour before your flight time,” he said in a statement, today.

He said the airport operator will ensure efficient collaboration within the airport community including with government agencies and service operators so that airport operations will continue to run smoothly despite the higher traffic.

The KKIA airport was upgraded in 2010 at a cost of RM1.7 billion in order to cater for future growth, as well as to provide better comfort and convenience to passengers.

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