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Malaysia Airports Opens The Check-In Asia Conference In Kuala Lumpur

26 November 2010

Sepang, 26 November 2010 - Malaysia Airports Managing Director, Y Bhg Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad opens the Check-In Asia conference at the Pan Pacific KLIA today. The conference organised by the UK based PPS Publications, features speakers from the global aviation industry on the theme 'Enhancing the passenger experience - from beginning to end' and is attended by about 200 international delegates. Malaysia Airports plays host to this conference that is being held for the first time in this region. The Check-In conference has been running for the past 4 years in North America and has attracted strong global interest.

In his keynote address, Tan Sri Bashir talks about the future direction of Malaysia Airports where he referred to the company's 5-year business direction 'Runway to Success'. In Runway to Success, Malaysia Airports had chartered its business strategies towards becoming a World-Class Airport Business by focussing on 3 key areas: traffic growth, commercial development and service excellence.

As we anticipate further changes to the aviation industry landscape such as the rise of Low Cost Carriers and the ASEAN liberalisation, the sustainability of traffic growth will focus on strengthening KLIA as a leading hub within ASEAN by improving connectivity and improving flight services across our airports. A key strategy to differentiate and build KLIA as a strong hub is to position it as the Next Generation Hub (NGH) that links the emerging new generation of carriers with traditional full service airlines through seamless connectivity and passenger transfers.

The NGH is a strategic direction that Malaysia Airports embraced in order to capitalize on the opportunities afforded by the prevailing market trends and consumer behaviour in the aviation and travel industry. We are fortunate to be at the centre of the revolution in passenger travel patterns which were enabled by the advancement in information and communication technology processes. The proliferation of low-cost travel segment in both regional and global aviation industry had not only stimulated market demand but also spawned a breed of travellers who perform journeys that comprise travel on both low-cost carriers and full-service carriers.

Recognising this phenomenon, Malaysia Airports decided to capture the opportunity to value add to this traffic segment and cater to this category of passengers at KLIA. We introduced a travel portal named 'Flyklia' that will enable travellers to choose from a host of various types of airlines from the spectrum of one extreme end of the full-service carriers to the other extreme end of the low-cost carrier that are currently connected to KLIA. The facilitation of the travel between these types of carriers breaks down the parochial notion that passengers strictly travel on only one type of airline. The travel portal empowers the travellers as they are provided with choices of airlines with the corresponding offerings to choose from to suit their travel requirements.

KLIA is unique in its ability to accommodate this type of passengers as KLIA manages a world class airport terminal for the traditional full-service carriers whilst it also operates a custom-built low-cost carrier terminal for the low-cost carriers.

Another proposed enhanced service that the NGH will introduce is 'Airside Transfer' facility between KLIA's Main Terminal and the Low Cost Carrier Terminal so that passengers that choose to transfer via KLIA and travel through these two terminals will be accorded the facility to remotely check-in at either terminal and use the provided transport to transfer through the airside, thus ensuring seamless transfer and reducing transfer time. Operationally, the airside transfer is a unique process improvement that will not only facilitate these self connect passengers to transfer between the main and low cost terminals but will also provide connectivity that would not have been possible for travellers utilising both types of airlines under the usual or normal operations.

Commercial development is another key driver to enhance the customer experience at our airports. Strategies are in place to revolutionise the retail experience particularly at KLIA and the international airports in the next 5 years. All our airports will be addressed using the Airport Commercial Model (ACM) which has been designed with the customer profile in mind. The ACM is classified into Lifestyle, Leisure, Community and Corporate Responsibility airports. In defining the ACM, we are able to better understand the profile of customers for each airport model and hence offer passengers with the right products at competitive prices in our efforts to deliver 'Value for Money'. The realignment and optimisation of product and service offerings is a critical strategy in order to enhance total customer experience at the airports, not only for passengers but also for the meeters greeters and the community surrounding the airport.

In the last couple of years, we have commenced our transformation with the Satellite Retail Optimisation Project (SROP) in May 2008. The SROP was aimed at creating an attractive and appealing lifestyle environment at the Satellite Building of KLIA, complemented by a multitude of renowned brands and service offerings. Another key initiative towards creating a memorable airport experience for travellers is the introduction of the 'Jungle Boardwalk' at the natural landscape area. International travellers will be able to experience the Malaysian rainforest right at the focal point of the Satellite terminal. These quality offerings at attractive pricing, enriched with natural heritage, enable KLIA to achieve the ultimate aim of delivering superior customer experience.

"The largest opportunity however, lies in Klia2 which holds great potential to deliver a step-change in airport experience for our customers" said Tan Sri Bashir. The new Klia2, which will be ready in the second quarter of 2012, promises a new benchmark and changing landscape for the shopping experience at KLIA. Based on a leisure concept, Klia2 will offer an Integrated Complex that comprises shopping malls, multi-level car park and a transportation hub. The overall theme will be that of a vibrant holiday atmosphere with warm and soft finishing. Whilst the legacy terminal focuses on premium and high-end offerings in line with its Lifestyle concept, Klia2 will have a good range of medium to high-end product brand mix to cater to the leisure travellers and also the surrounding community.

Tan Sri Bashir added that "For Klia2, we are aiming for an optimum commercial concept that meets the expectations of our customers. Klia2 is poised to be the change platform for all other commercial development activities at our airports. In moving forward, the concept will ultimately support the aspiration of creating an 'Airport in a Mall' at Klia2. We have conducted a market research on customers' segmentation and purchasing behaviour, hence the brands that will be offered at Klia2 will certainly cater to the needs of our customers."

Passengers' comfort level is another key parameter in the design of airport terminals. The comfort level at this new terminal would be comparable to that of the Kota Kinabalu and Kuching international airport terminals.

Furthermore, a multi modal transportation hub is being built for busses, taxis and the ERL to provide connectivity, not only for arriving and departing passengers but also to the public to move from one part of the country to another using the various connecting modes of transportation. The terminal will also have a multi storey car park that can accommodate 6,000 car parking bays.

The terminal will be built to meet the Green Building Index certification. The design of the terminal embraces the concept of Eco Air Terminal, synonymous with the eco-friendly and green building technology widely planned for the development of this airport. This is owing to the design concept of the terminal, which applies sustainable architecture; green-building, and energy- efficiency in most aspects of its development and construction processes.

Central to the Check-in Asia conference are the Simplifying the Business (StB) initiatives, driven by IATA in embracing new technology solutions to enhance operations, efficiency as well as deliver on passenger comfort and experience. "We are one of the leaders in implementing IATA's StB initiatives that aimed to make air travel a seamless travel experience," quoted Tan Sri Bashir in his keynote address.

"At our end, we are harnessing and expanding the usage of technology to increase efficiency and convenience for passengers. For example, we expect that all our airports (international and domestic) to support the Bar Coded Boarding Pass (BCBP) by 2012, thereby reducing passenger processing and waiting time. We are pleased to note that all our international airports ie KLIA, Penang, Kucing, Kota Kinabalu and Langkawi have been recognised with Platinum and Star status for its multimedia BCBP implementation and obtained the IATA certificate of completion ahead of schedule. "

At the same time, the integration of the Common Use Self Service (CUSS) application with automated baggage handling via the Common Use Passenger Processing System (CUPPS) platform is expected to be implemented for all international airports by mid-2013. This will provide a one-stop facility for passengers to perform self check-in for themselves and their baggage simultaneously.

Airport security will also be improved via the implementation of in-line baggage screening for all international airports by 2014. CCTV with behavioural analysis capabilities will also be deployed in KLIA to capture and flag suspicious events.

Tan Sri Bashir closed his keynote address by iterating that Malaysia Airports is focused on meeting its customers' expectation. "We are changing to meet our customers' demands in providing the ultimate convenience and comfort to our passengers. At the same time we are mindful of our core responsibilities to ensure that the airports are safe and secure, and offer the highest level of customer service. We are looking forward to exploit the technology advancement in order to fully benefit from it. The airport technology providers are critical enablers to ensure that we are successful in creating the future airport models that not only can deliver the best kind of experience for the travellers, but also serve its surrounding community" he concluded.

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