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Malaysia 2017 aviation outlook: passenger growth may reach 15% as AirAsia, Malindo & MAS expand


Growth in Malaysia’s dynamic aviation market is set to accelerate in 2017 owing to aggressive expansion by all four of the main Malaysian carriers – AirAsia, AirAsia X, Malaysia Airlines and Malindo Air. The total passenger fleet in Malaysia is projected to grow 11% in 2017, and passenger growth could reach 15% as average aircraft utilisation rates at most of the airlines also increase.

The Malaysian market grew by 7% in 2016, to approximately 68 million passengers. Malindo Air captured the most growth, accounting for nearly half of the additional passengers. The Lion Group affiliate is again poised to account for nearly half of the total passenger growth in 2017, with more than four million additional passengers, although Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia and AirAsia X are also likely to carry at least one million additional passengers each.

Heavy discounting will be required in order to fill the additional seats and meet load factor and traffic targets. Fares in Malaysia are already very low and yields could decline further, particularly in 2H2017 when most of the additional aircraft are slated to be delivered. [3105 words]

Unlock the following content in this report:


  • Malaysian aviation market experiences fastest growth since 2013
  • Malaysia Airlines market share has dropped from 29% to 20% in only four years
  • KLIA traffic increased 7% in 2016
  • Senai Airport traffic growth again outpaces Malaysian average
  • Malindo aims to grow passenger traffic by nearly 80% in 2017
  • Malindo may add 20 aircraft in 2017
  • Malaysia AirAsia expands in 2017 as fleet grows by eight A320s
  • Malaysia AirAsia X will again grow faster than Malaysian market average in 2017
  • Malaysia Airlines passenger traffic could grow by 10% in 2017
  • Malaysia Airlines resumes widebody expansion while narrowbody utilisation improves 
  • Malaysia Airlines Group could experience a further market share drop in 2017
  • Malaysia market: there should be double digit growth in 2017

Graphs and data:

  • Malaysia’s airlines ranked by annual passenger numbers (m – millions): 2012 to 2016
  • Kuala Lumpur International total passenger traffic: 2008 to 2016
  • Malaysia AirAsia operating highlights: 2016 vs 2015
  • Malaysia AirAsia X operating highlights: 2016 vs 2015
  • Malaysia Airlines fleet summary: as of 27-Jan-2017
  • Malaysia’s airlines projected passenger numbers and passenger fleet size for 2017
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