KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) is confident that the operations at KL International Airport 2 (klia2) will be seamless and smooth as the spanking new airport opens its doors to the public today.
MAHB senior general manager of operations Datuk Azmi Murad said the airport operator has worked tirelessly with its stakeholders and business partners as well as airlines to ensure that all parties involved are prepared for the commencement of the airport.
"We have done all the trials necessary in preparation for tomorrow (today) and we expect that the commercial airline operations at klia2 will proceed smoothly," he told Business Times yesterday.
The opening of klia2 commenced with the arrival of three flights and departure of another, from 12am to 2am.
The first airline to arrive and land on the new 4km-long Runway 3 at klia2 was Malindo Airways (Malindo Air) flight OD1027 from Kota Kinabalu.
The airline arrived at 12.05am today, followed by Indonesia's Lion Air from Jakarta at 12.25am, and Philippines' Cebu Pacific from Manila at 12.35am.
Cebu Pacific then departed from klia2 to Manila at 1.20am, making it the first airline to depart from the new airport.
"We will celebrate the historic moment today at the airport by welcoming all three airlines and sending off Cebu Pacific," Azmi said.
From today until May 8, klia2 will see some 50-60 aircraft movements on average daily. However, the number will increase to over 400 movements daily once the airport's anchor tenant, AirAsia Group, moves in.
AirAsia Group, namely AirAsia Bhd and AirAsia X Bhd, will shift their operations to klia2 on May 8 from the current Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) and commence operations the next day.
Azmi said the initial 50-60 aircraft movements will help those involved at klia2 to be prepared for the high traffic come May 9 onwards.
"In a way, it will give us a 'feel' of the new airport operations. It will also allow the staff to familiarise themselves with the new systems and operations," he said, adding that MAHB, as well as the airlines and other key stakeholders, had been running the Operational Readiness and Airport Transfer (ORAT) process continuously to prepare for the opening day.
The ORAT process involves rigorous testing of the baggage-handling, check-in, signages and IT systems, as well as airport lighting.
A total of five airlines began operations from klia2 today. They are Malindo Air, Cebu Pacific, Lion Air, Tiger Airways and Tiger Mandala Airways.
"We look forward to the smooth transition of the airlines from LCCT to klia2. MAHB will continuously give its full support to all airlines for the transition as well as operation at klia2," Azmi said.