KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) is ready to accommodate travel bubble when the government agrees to reopen its international borders, said Group chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh.

He said the airport operator did not stop its operations at all throughout the pandemic and had implemented additional precautionary measures to ensure the safety of passengers, including placing thermal scanners at airports, making the use of face masks compulsory, and limiting entry and exit points at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

“We have continued operating throughout the pandemic. It’s just that the number of flights has been reduced to below five per cent. Even at the peak of the pandemic, we were still handling around 5,000 to 10,000 passengers a day through KLIA with a couple of flights meant to repatriate Malaysian citizens from around the world.

“So now that the travel restrictions are lifted, we, Malaysia Airports would have to scale up. What could be a possible bottleneck in the passenger flow is the Covid-19 testing, so we need to ensure that we are ready to handle that as well,” he said during a media briefing after MAHB’s annual general meeting here today.

Mohd Shukrie said the test would usually take a couple of hours to complete, which could affect the smoothness of the entire passenger traffic at the airport.

Malaysia is considering implementing ‘travel bubble’ with six countries namely Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea.

The decision, however, has yet to be finalised as the mutual standard operating procedures (SOP) with the countries are still in discussion. — Bernama

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