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Penang International Airport

Coordinates: 05°17′49.7″N 100°16′36.71″E / 5.297139°N 100.2768639°E / 5.297139; 100.2768639
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Penang International Airport

Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Pulau Pinang
Summary
Airport typePublic
Owner/OperatorMalaysia Airports
ServesGreater Penang Conurbation
LocationBayan Lepas, George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Opened1935; 89 years ago (1935)
Hub forFirefly
Operating base forAirAsia
Time zoneMST (UTC+08:00)
Elevation AMSL11 ft / 3 m
Coordinates05°17′49.7″N 100°16′36.71″E / 5.297139°N 100.2768639°E / 5.297139; 100.2768639
Websiteairports.malaysiaairports.com.my/penang
Map
PEN /WMKP is located in Central George Town, Penang
PEN /WMKP
PEN /WMKP
Location in George Town
PEN /WMKP is located in Peninsular Malaysia
PEN /WMKP
PEN /WMKP
Location in West Malaysia
PEN /WMKP is located in Malaysia
PEN /WMKP
PEN /WMKP
Location in Malaysia
PEN /WMKP is located in Southeast Asia
PEN /WMKP
PEN /WMKP
Location in Southeast Asia
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
04/22 3,354 11,004 Asphalt
Statistics (2022)
Passenger4,275,791 (Increase 687.9%)
Airfreight (tonnes)178,358 (Increase 8.6%)
Aircraft movements46,240 (Increase 190.3%)

Penang International Airport (PIA) (IATA: PEN, ICAO: WMKP) is an international airport in George Town, the capital city of the Malaysian state of Penang. The airport is located at the southeastern tip of Penang Island, 16 km (9.9 mi) south of the city centre, and serves the country's second largest conurbation.[1]

As the main gateway into northwestern Malaysia, PIA is the third busiest airport in Malaysia in terms of passenger traffic, recording 8.3 million tourist arrivals in 2019 alone.[2] It is also the second busiest in the country by cargo handled and the highest in terms of export value, with RM385 billion in exports in 2020. Additionally, the airport is the main hub for local budget airline Firefly and one of AirAsia's operating bases.[3]

History[edit]

Aerial view of the Penang International Airport, with the skyline of the Bayan Lepas suburb forming the background.
Entrance of the Penang International Airport terminal, c. 2012

The airport, then named Bayan Lepas International Airport, was completed in 1935, when Penang was part of the British crown colony of the Straits Settlements.[4]

In the 1970s, a major expansion of the airport was carried out, during which a terminal building of Minangkabau architecture was built and the runway extended to accommodate Boeing 747s, then the largest passenger jet aircraft. Upon the completion of the expansion works in 1979, the airport was renamed Penang International Airport.[4]

The airport became a source of contention between the Penang state government and the federal government in the 2010s, as transportation infrastructure throughout Malaysia falls under the purview of the latter. Calls by the Penang state government to expand PIA largely went unheeded, even though the airport has exceeded its maximum capacity of 6.5 million passengers.[5] It was not until 2017 when the federal authorities finally announced plans to expand PIA to accommodate 12 million passengers per year by 2029.[6][7]

While the planned expansion met with delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2023, the federal Ministry of Transport approved an allocation of RM93 million to facilitate land acquisition and infrastructure development for the airport's expansion.[8]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Passenger[edit]

AirlinesDestinations
AirAsia Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong,[9] Jakarta–Soekarno-Hatta, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur–International, Kuching, Langkawi, Medan, Singapore
Batik Air Jakarta–Soekarno-Hatta[10]
Batik Air Malaysia Haikou, Kuala Lumpur–International
Charter: Guilin
Cathay Pacific Hong Kong
China Airlines Taipei–Taoyuan
China Eastern Airlines Shanghai–Pudong (begins 24 July 2024)[11]
China Southern Airlines Guangzhou[12]
Citilink Medan
Firefly Banda Aceh, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi,[13] Johor Bahru,[14] Kota Bharu, Kota Kinabalu,[14] Kuala Lumpur–Subang, Kuching,[14] Langkawi, Medan,[15] Phuket, Singapore[16]
flydubai Dubai–International[17]
Indonesia AirAsia Jakarta–Soekarno-Hatta, Medan, Surabaya
Jetstar Asia Singapore
Juneyao Air Shanghai–Pudong[18]
Lion Air Medan
Malaysia Airlines Kuala Lumpur–International
Qatar Airways Doha1[19]
Scoot Singapore
Singapore Airlines Singapore
Starlux Airlines Taipei–Taoyuan[20]
Thai AirAsia Bangkok–Don Mueang[21]
Thai Airways International Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi
Thai Lion Air Bangkok–Don Mueang[22]
XiamenAir Xiamen[23][24]

1: This flight operates with a stop at Phuket. However, the airline has no traffic rights to transport passengers solely between Penang and Phuket.

Cargo[edit]

AirlinesDestinations
Cargolux Hong Kong
Cathay Cargo Hong Kong, Phnom Penh
China Airlines Cargo Hanoi, Taipei–Taoyuan
DHL Aviation
operated by Air Hong Kong
Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong
EVA Air Cargo Taipei–Taoyuan
FedEx Express Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Guangzhou, Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore, Taipei–Taoyuan
Korean Air Cargo Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Seoul–Incheon
MASkargo Kuala Lumpur–International
My Jet Xpress Airlines Kuala Lumpur–International, Singapore
Qatar Airways Cargo Phuket[25]
UPS Airlines Bangkok– Suvarnabhumi, Ho Chi Minh City, Kuala Lumpur–International, Shenzhen

Operational statistics[edit]

PIA is the third busiest airport in the country in terms of passenger traffic after Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA).[26] The airport experienced its peak passenger traffic of 8.3 million in 2019, surpassing its annual capacity of 6.5 million passengers, before the outbreak of COVID-19 caused global disruptions in air travel.[2][27] In 2022, following the relaxation of travel restrictions, PIA witnessed a significant rebound in passenger traffic, recording nearly 4.3 million passengers throughout the year compared to 542,681 in 2021.[26][28]

The PIA–KLIA route is one of the busiest air corridors in Malaysia, having flown 2.2 million passengers in 2019. Additionally, the PIA–Changi corridor is estimated to be the third busiest among Malaysia's ASEAN routes, with around 300,000 passengers flown throughout 2022.[29]

While it processes the second largest cargo tonnage after KLIA, in terms of export value, PIA's is the highest of all Malaysian airports, with RM385 billion worth of exports passing through PIA in 2022 alone.[26][30]

Annual passenger traffic at PEN airport. See Wikidata query.
Annual passenger numbers and aircraft statistics
Year Passengers
handled
Passenger
% change
Cargo
(tonnes)
Cargo
% change
Aircraft
movements
Aircraft
% change
2003 2,334,669 Steady 197,567 Steady 30,558 Steady
2004 2,987,993 Increase 28.0 212,369 Increase 7.5 33,069 Increase 8.2
2005 2,834,545 Decrease 5.1 221,971 Increase 4.5 34,616 Increase 4.7
2006 3,103,772 Increase 9.5 225,952 Increase 1.8 36,259 Increase 4.7
2007 3,173,117 Increase 2.2 208,582 Decrease 7.7 39,265 Increase 8.3
2008 3,405,762 Increase 7.3 192,936 Decrease 7.5 43,796 Increase 11.5
2009 3,325,423 Decrease 2.4 137,775 Decrease 28.6 43,621 Decrease 0.4
2010 4,166,969 Increase 25.3 147,057 Increase 6.7 50,205 Increase 15.1
2011 4,600,274 Increase 10.4 131,846 Decrease 10.3 54,713 Increase 9.0
2012 4,767,815 Increase 3.6 123,246 Decrease 6.5 53,766 Decrease 1.7
2013 5,487,751 Increase 15.1 153,703 Increase 24.7 60,020 Increase 11.6
2014 6,041,583 Increase 10.1 141,213 Decrease 8.1 65,734 Increase 9.5
2015 6,258,756 Increase 3.6 130,392 Decrease 7.7 66,670 Increase 1.4
2016 6,684,026 Increase 6.8 130,491 Increase 0.1 66,247 Decrease 0.6
2017 7,232,097 Increase 8.2 134,187 Increase 2.8 70,609 Increase 6.6
2018 7,790,423 Increase 7.7 145,649 Increase 8.5 75,552 Increase 7.0
2019 8,331,291 Increase 6.9 139,646 Decrease 4.1 80,598 Increase 6.7
2020 1,826,121 Decrease 78.1 137,685 Decrease 1.4 30,433 Decrease 62.2
2021 542,681 Decrease 70.3 164,202 Increase 19.3 15,928 Decrease 47.7
2022 4,275,791 Increase 687.9 178,358 Increase 8.6 46,240 Increase 190.3
Source: Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad,[2] Ministry of Transport[26]
Top 10 nationalities of international arrivals
Nationality Arrivals
2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
 Indonesia 279,173 238,056 268,892 286,896 232,423
 China 68,341 56,116 62,215 61,095 43,934
 Singapore 67,774 135,107 144,581 144,368 110,323
 Taiwan 26,610 12,951 22,087 20,712 18,337
 Japan 24,346 21,916 27,682 30,927 26,325
 Thailand 22,346 14,482 17,687 19,590 17,685
 Australia 19,539 18,326 22,488 20,960 19,218
 United States 16,082 15,871 22,033 22,423 22,664
 United Kingdom 15,541 15,708 18,850 18,660 16,946
 India 7,155 6,954 7,534 8,757 7,871
Source: Immigration Department of Malaysia[31]

Ground transportation[edit]

Rapid Penang has provided four bus routes to and from Penang International Airport, connecting the airport with various parts of George Town.[32]

Incidents[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ WMKP – PENANG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT at Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia
  2. ^ a b c "Malaysia Airports: Airports Statistics 2020" (PDF). Malaysia Airports.
  3. ^ "AirAsia to turn Penang into fourth hub in Malaysia". The Star. 8 July 2009. [dead link]
  4. ^ a b "Handy Penang airport information from Skyscanner". www.skyscanner.co.in. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  5. ^ "Guan Eng demands Putrajaya approve Penang International Airport expansion now". 1 December 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Penang International Airport expansion to start soon". The Edge Markets. 13 February 2018. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  7. ^ Opalyn Mok (12 February 2018). "Expansion project to double Penang airport capacity to 12 million passengers, says council head". Malay Mail.
  8. ^ Choy, Nyen Yiau (11 October 2023). "Loke: Govt has approved RM93 mil allocation for Penang Airport expansion". The Edge. Retrieved 14 November 2023.
  9. ^ "AirAsia Resumes Penang – Hong Kong Service From August 2023". Aeroroutes. Retrieved 29 May 2023.
  10. ^ "Batik Air Adds Banda Aceh – Penang Service From Dec 2022". AeroRoutes. 28 November 2022.
  11. ^ "Tourism minister: China Eastern Airlines to introduce Nanjing to Kuching, Kota Kinabalu direct flights earliest June". Malay Mail. 4 January 2024. Retrieved 7 January 2024.
  12. ^ "China Southern Feb/Mar 2023 SE Asia Service Resumptions". Aeroroutes. Retrieved 25 January 2023.
  13. ^ "Firefly Penang – Bangkok Service Changes From May 2024". Aeroroutes. Retrieved 17 April 2024.
  14. ^ a b c "Firefly reinstates jet ops from Penang with direct flights to Johor Bahru, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu". The Edge Markets.
  15. ^ "Firefly = Penang-Kualanamu daily flight on Firefly's 737".
  16. ^ "Firefly to launch flights from Penang to Changi Airport on March 26". The Straits Times. 3 March 2023. Retrieved 3 March 2023.
  17. ^ "flydubai launches daily service to Langkawi and Penang in Malaysia".
  18. ^ "Juneyao Airlines NS 24 short-haul international additions". Aeroroutes. Retrieved 13 March 2024.
  19. ^ "Qatar Airways Resumes Flights To Penang".
  20. ^ "Starlux Airlines: Taiwan's AWESOME New Airline". One Mile at a Time. 7 October 2019.
  21. ^ Töre, Özgür (15 March 2022). "AirAsia Resumes Flights from Malaysia to Thailand". ftnNews. Retrieved 15 March 2022.
  22. ^ "Thai Lion Air Adds Penang Service From April 2024". Aeroroutes. Retrieved 26 February 2024.
  23. ^ "XIAMEN AIRLINES ADDS XIAMEN – PENANG FROM LATE-SEP 2023".
  24. ^ "9月28日起,厦门-槟城航班恢复至每周3班!" (in Chinese).
  25. ^ "Qatar Airways Cargo Resumes Penang Passenger Freighter Service". Aviation Source. 8 February 2023. Retrieved 12 March 2023.
  26. ^ a b c d "Statistic of Aviation Transport". Ministry of Transport. Retrieved 14 December 2023.
  27. ^ "Annual Report 2022" (PDF). Malaysia Airports.
  28. ^ "Penang tourism sector sees resilient rebound after borders open". The Sun. 8 February 2023. Retrieved 15 December 2023.
  29. ^ "MALAYSIAN AVIATION INDUSTRY OUTLOOK DECEMBER 2022" (PDF). Malaysian Aviation Commission. December 2022.
  30. ^ "Final External Trade Statistics 2023". Department of Statistics Malaysia: 89. July 2023.
  31. ^ "Tourism" (PDF). Penang state government.
  32. ^ "Rapid Penang - Bus". MyRapid. Retrieved 14 November 2023.
  33. ^ Bayu Bramasta, Dandy (28 March 2021). "Drama Pembajakan Pesawat DC 9 "Woyla" Garuda Indonesia". Kompas. Retrieved 18 January 2024.

External links[edit]