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CAPA TV | January 24, 2019

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Johor Bahru Senai Awarded Asia Pacific Small Airport Of The Year (Less Than 10 Million Annual Passengers)

CAPA
  • On December 20, 2018

This is awarded to the airport with less than 10 million annual passengers that has been the biggest standout strategically, has established itself as a strategic leader, and done the most to advance the progress of the aviation industry.

Senai Airport was selected for its leading role in using new biometrics technology and its support of the LCC model, which has driven rapid growth.

In early 2018 Senai became the first airport in Asia to use biometric facial recognition technology, providing a seamless self-service travel experience from check-in to boarding. Senai is the trial airport for AirAsia’s Fast Airport Clearance Experience System (FACES), which offers AirAsia passengers the opportunity to use cutting edge biometrics technology at self-boarding gates. By embracing the new technology, Senai has improved customer service and efficiency, enabling the airport to accommodate further rapid growth.

AirAsia is the largest airline group at Senai and currently accounts for nearly 80% of total seat capacity, including 86% of international capacity and 76% of domestic capacity. Senai has emerged as one of AirAsia’s fastest growing hubs and the group now operates 17 routes from the airport.

Senai overall now has 19 routes, including 12 domestic and seven international links. Passenger traffic has nearly tripled over the last six years, from only 1.4 million in 2012 to a projected 3.5 million in 2018. The airport handled 3.1 million passengers in 2017 and has recorded growth of at least 10% every year since 2013. International traffic has grown from only 17,000 passengers in 2012 to 444,000 passengers in 2017.

Senai has been privately owned since 2003 and is the only airport in Malaysia outside the Malaysia Airports portfolio. It has grown faster than the Malaysian market average the last six years. Senai is located near the southern Malaysian city of Johor Bahru and is less than 50km from Singapore. While an earlier strategy involved it targeting passengers heading to or from Singapore, Senai in recent years has successfully focused on the local market, attracting several new LCC services which have helped stimulate demand.

“Senai has had tremendous growth and has emerged as a leader in airport technology while operating in the shadow of much larger KLIAand Singapore Changi,”CAPA executive chairman Peter Harbison said. “Senai has developed a close win-win relationship with AirAsia, positioning it for more rapid growth and providing a model for other small airports in the region seeking to attract LCC hubs.”

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