SEPANG - Malaysia Airports braved the COVID-19 pandemic last year and achieved several noteworthy successes through solid organisation-wide impact driven & technology focused plans. It's flagship airport, KL International Airport (KLIA) rose as one of the world's top 10 airports in the global Airport Service Quality (ASQ) survey for 2020 by Airports Council International (ACI). Moving forward, the Group is geared up for air travel recovery with continuous efforts to ensure the safety of staff, passengers and airport environment while strengthening liquidity and containing costs, as well as expediting mission critical projects.
At the Group's 22nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) today, Chairman Dato' Seri Diraja Dr. Zambry Abd Kadir said that the Group had remained resilient with strong liquidity and manageable borrowing level whilst containing costs at 36.3%, 'The Group took immediate measures to mitigate the impact of the crisis and stabilise the Group's performance. We are executing a comprehensive plan looking at all aspects in order to maintain high service standards while laying the building blocks for our future growth.'
According to group chief executive officer Dato' Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh, 'Not only are we focused on improving our cashflow to pre-pandemic levels, but we are also preparing our airports and staff to be at the optimum level of operational efficiency to welcome passengers once restrictions are lifted. We are seeing light at the end of the tunnel especially with the reopening of domestic tourism. With Langkawi as the pioneer destination of the domestic travel bubble, we are certainly looking forward for our airport operations to be in full swing again.'
'Despite 2020 being a challenging year, we focused on improving our operation standards and facilities. We also took full advantage of the lull period to upgrade and expedite our long-term plans such as the critical asset replacement and as well as our commercial reset initiatives. In fact, our improvement efforts resulted in well-deserved achievements such as KLIA being ranked among the top 10 in the world for the category of over 40 million passengers per annum (mppa) in the ASQ survey last year. This was a significant improvement from our 17th position pre-pandemic,' Dato' Mohd Shukrie further added.
For 2021, the Group is focusing on key drivers comprising further reduction of costs against FY20, implementation of mission critical projects, stabilisation of credit ratings, attainment of additional Revolving Credit Facilities for contingency measures, proactive receivables management and engagement with customers. These measures complement the Group's Future F.I.T. (financially sustainable, impact driven and technology focused) business plan that drives the Group to maximise revenue generation, develop new capabilities and ensure business sustainability.
In its bid to ensure continued safety of staff, the Group also announced that 93% of the workforce is fully vaccinated. It is targetting for all staff to receive both doses of vaccination by end of this month. To date, on safety standards, 6 airports have successfully received the Airport Health Accreditation (AHA) from ACI. KLIA, Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen (ISG), Kuching International Airport, Langkawi International Airport, Kota Kinabalu International Airport and Penang International Airport have been certified in meeting global health and safety standards.
While the Group anticipates domestic air travel recovery in Malaysia in the next few months, it remains motivated by the performance of its Turkish asset, ISG that has improved significantly, leading the Group's recovery. For 1H21, ISG recorded 53.0% pre-COVID 19 total passenger movements and it is currently ranked as the 4th busiest airport in Europe by ACI. It was also recently added to the EU COVID-19 Passport Scheme that will facilitate the reopening of economic and social activities including travel, further contributing to ISG's recovery.
Malaysia Airports is confident that its recovery as well as of the Malaysian aviation and sectors will be strengthened with the support of the Government. The Group looks forward to the conclusion of the Operating Agreement which is pending the benchmarking of the regulated aeronautical charges by the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM). It is also awaiting for Government's approval of the Subang Airport Regeneration Plan that is key to position the country as the no.1 aerospace nation in the world by 2030. On top of that, the Group hopes for the implementation of international travel bubbles or green lanes without quarantine imposition based on global travel standards as practised in Turkey, Maldives, Dubai, Greece and Switzerland among others.
Dato' Seri Diraja Dr Zambry reiterated the Group's commitment and concluded the AGM by extending his appreciation on behalf of the Group's Board and Management to all its shareholders; airline and retail partners; government and regulatory agencies, business partners, vendors, and suppliers for their continuous support towards Malaysia Airports. 'We have made good progress thanks to the spirit of mutual cooperation and understanding that has prevailed. We look forward to the gradual recovery of the aviation industry and we are confident that all of us will emerge stronger than before,' he said.