International airport is needed. Business sustainability vital though.

In the business world of today, PROFITABILITY should be a key metric. Please stop talking about ever growing market share or ever more customers but the company kept losing money. Seriously, I am not sure how any airport builder cum operator could be profitable within a few years. For example, assuming the construction cost is RM1.5 billion and the repayment is RM200 million per year for the next 10 years, you can see that it’s quite çrazy. A good comparison? MAHB just reported a net profit of RM167 million for all its Malaysian airports for latest quarter. Annualised, this would be RM668 million and this is for ALL its local airports. What if the new international airport is just outside Ipoh and costs RM1.5 billion to build? Here’s that recent piece of news about something that has been talked about for a long time. Yes, I do wish that Ipoh would have a new airport too.  Well, unless of course the airport builder happens to also own an airline which he could leverage on. (hint… hint…) Else, discussion or even invitation for more airlines to fly in would take a long time.

Cost may not be the biggest issue. It should involve business feasibility too. I love Ipoh but an international airport would have to connect the world into Ipoh. For Ipoh, in particular local tourists would drive in. The reason is simple, Penangites would drive to Ipoh instead because it is just 149km and the journey will only be an hour and 20 minutes even at the designated speed limit. KL to Ipoh just 204km and this is less than 2 hours even if we were to drive slower than 110km per hour. This is the reason why during the holiday season, Ipoh is jam packed with cars and all those good food places would be crowded with people who has not eaten delicious Ipoh food for a long time. Haha. (You should see how they order the famous Kaya Kok or the Tau Fu Fa or even the dry curry mee. Ok, I deliberately skipped Nga Choy Kai) Have we done enough to ensure that visitors would love to visit Ipoh as a full tourist destination and not just to eat some good food and go home right after? Got lah. Perak is full of wonders. 

Perhaps more details about some near future survey which can show that the local tourists from other states would fly in. Plus some targeted countries who already know Ipoh and other smaller towns in Perak. Trust me, no one wants to have an airport which is not 50% full within year 1 or 80% full within 3-5 years. Let’s dream big but let’s make sure steps are in place to make sure our dream is also comforted by lots of real actions. Who knows one day in future, I could fly to some Chinese cities from Ipoh? DIRECT flight. Or East Malaysia cities and towns? Seriously, if there are connections, assuming I missed my flight in Penang, I could still fly from Ipoh. 🙂 Now that’s what I call National connectivity to the world. Cheers.

written on 11 Sep 2017

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