Penang’s aviation and maritime sectors by the numbers

How's the traffic at the Penang International Airport and Penang Port?

Penang International AirportPenang International Airport

Penang International Airport is the country’s third busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic, behind Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Kota Kinabalu International Airport (Table 1). It has experienced rapid growth over the past six years, from having processed 3,235,423 passengers in 2009 to 5,487,751 passengers in 2013. Despite last year being a turbulent time for the passenger airline industry due to the disappearance of flight MH370 and the downing of flight MH17 over Ukraine, the data for 2014 continued to show growth for Penang in this area with passenger travel trends consistent to that of the previous year.

When compared to the data for 2013, the number of passengers arriving at and departing from Penang by flight increased for each month last year (Table 2). Based on the strong numbers over these 12 months, Penang International Airport posted a stellar year, having exceeded the six million passenger milestone for the first time. Overall, domestic passengers made up an increased majority of passengers travelling through the Penang International Airport, growing marginally from 55% in 2013 to 57% in 2014.

In terms of cargo traffic, Penang International Airport ranks second nationally. However, last year on average saw less cargo being transported by plane as shown in Figure 1. The trend in total cargo volume is still largely dictated by international cargo transport given that the domestic market share is relatively smaller.

Penang Port

Penang Port is the oldest and longest continuously operating port in Malaysia1. The port serves as the main gateway for shippers in the northern states of Malaysia and also the southern provinces of Thailand.

2014 saw a decrease in the overall number of ship calls into the port. This was mainly due to a 14% drop in the number of international ship calls compared to 2013. On the other hand, the 10.8% increase in the number of domestic ships calling when compared to 2013 saw domestic ships outnumbering international ships at the Penang Port last year. Nonetheless, the reduction in overall ship calls translated to a fall in gross registered tonnage passing through the port (Table 5). From the breakdown of the types of cargo handled as shown in Table 6, it is noteworthy that although there was a rise in the number of general cargo handled, the drop in the mass of the dry and liquid bulk contained resulted in a lower gross registered tonnage for 2014.

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