Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) is slated to introduce the “airside transfer check-in service” at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and klia2 starting next year. A spokesperson from MAHB has confirmed the news to A+M, adding that the new service will cater primarily for passengers who are using different airlines for transit between the two terminals.
This also means passengers with other onward international destinations would no longer have to check out their baggage at the main terminal upon arrival. KLIA handles about 27 million passengers annually, while klia2 is built with capacity to accommodate 45 million passengers per year.
Managing director Datuk Badlisham Ghazali said that passengers and their respective baggage will be transferred free between both terminals, according to The Star. He added that the airside transfer using buses is part of the modernisation plan of the company in enhancing customer service in the future. It is also mostly aimed at passengers changing aircraft or in transit for more than an hour.
Ghazali, who spoke to reporters after attending the launch of the 70 years of establishment of the Airport Fire and Rescue Services (AFRS) in Sepang on Wednesday, said MAHB also aims to improve the availability of the aerotrain service from 97% at present to 99.3% next year.
“Among the steps being taken to fine-tune and improve the transport service which connects the KLIA main and satellite buildings is to completely replace the aerotrain with a new set,” he added.
In fact, MAHB is also working with Chinese tech giant Alibaba and its units to develop a regional e-commerce and logistics hub in KLIA Aeropolis. The KLIA Aeropolis is located within the Digital Free Trade Zone’s (DTFZ) e-fulfilment hub which serves to facilitate smooth clearance of imports and exports, for faster delivery of products.
The KLIA Aeropolis project, on a total land area of 100 sq km, features an ecosystem which includes aerospace and aviation parks, air cargo and logistics; aerospace and aviation parks, meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE), and leisure. It forms part of the strategic pillars of MAHB’s five-year “Runway to Success 2020″ business plan.
Apart from the above tie-up, MAHB in September, teamed up with Alibaba’s Alipay in a bid to attract more Chinese tourists, by offering cashless payment services. It is also a move towards “a highly digitised airport environment”, Ghazali said.
This cashless payment system will enable customers to pay in Chinese yuan without having concerns about the currency exchange rate.
Malaysia Airports recorded 4.9 million passenger traffic movements from China in 2016. From January to July 2017, the number jumped 22% year-on-year to 3.3 million. There are 470 flights per week connecting Malaysia and China at present.
Ghazali revealed, about 55.8% and 56.7% outlets at KLIA and klia2 terminals respectively are transacting via Alipay, according to The Star. “So far, we have seen a 25% increase in sales from overall Alipay transactions at both terminals. During the shopping campaign period, sales can increase further by 35% to 40%,” he added.
To further attract the Chinese tourists, MAHB is holding a “Spend & Win” campaign catering for Alipay users for the year-end holidays until Chinese New Year.
From mid-October 2017 to March 2018, it will introduce a Chinese Traveler Welcome Pack available at the Chinese helpdesk and customer experience counters in both KLIA and klia2 terminals. The pack includes information about special promotions, baggage facilities, local city tours, transit and fast track VIP access.