Malaysian airport operator MAHB saw the number of cargo flights jump year on year for the month of June as travel restrictions continued to curtail passenger traffic.
MAHB recorded 187,000 passengers in June, down 57.1 percent from the same month last year, amidst the decline seen at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) and other local airports it operates.
Cargo flights for the month jumped threefold over pre-Covid levels, MAHB noted. Cargo movements, meanwhile, were up 26.4 percent year on year in June, or 11.7 percent more than the cargo load recorded in the same month two years ago.
The company said airlines started operating more cargo flights, including charters, during the month, with Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea seeing bulk of the traffic.
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Over to the domestic side, cargo movements in June saw 20 percent growth over the same month last year, or 35.4 percent more against June 2019. The Malaysian airport operator said the demand was driven in part by e-commerce activities, shipments of perishable goods and some pharmaceuticals.
Last week, KL International Airport welcomed China Central Airlines (IATA Code I9) as its 18th cargo airline partner. The Shenzhen-based carrier (also known as Zhongzhou Airlines) will operate three times a week using its Boeing 737F aircraft.
It joins Kargo Xpress and GetJet Airlines who have started operations at the airport this year given the strong air cargo demand seen throughout the pandemic period. The Chinese carrier was first established in 2019 and has since expanded its fleet size to five aircraft.