Malaysia aviation: rapid growth, Malindo drives intense competition

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Malaysia's aviation market has grown by 50% over the past five years - from 50 million passengers in 2012 to 75 million passengers in 2017. And this in turn follows a decade of remarkable growth. The early 2013 launch and subsequent rapid expansion of the Lion Group affiliate Malindo Air has been a key driver of recent traffic increases, accounting for seven of the additional 25 million annual passengers.

Market leader AirAsia also has continued to expand, adding 13 million annual passengers, which includes 3 million for the long haul LCC AirAsia X. The Malaysia Airlines Group grew significantly in 2013 but subsequent reductions have since offset these gains.

The Malaysia Airline Group's market share has dropped from 35% in 2013 to only 22% in 2017. A further decline in 2018 is likely as once again Malindo, AirAsia and AirAsia X will grow faster than the flag carrier. The overall Malaysian market should grow in the high single digits in 2018, representing a slight slowdown compared to the 10% achieved in 2017.

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