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KLIA is back to 70 pct for passengers in 2022 versus 2019. Happy or not?

window view of airplane

KLIA is back to 70 pct for passengers in 2022 versus 2019. Happy or not?

KLIA used to handle 35 million passengers every year in 2019

This meant that close to 3 million passengers use KLIA every month on average before Covid-19 arrived. Well, we are on the right track. We are only at the start of the recovery in 2022 but in 2022, KLIA has handled 25 million passengers. This is a super huge thing for the local economy yeah. Just imagine everyone spending just RM1,000 in their trip here or to any other local destinations. Then we use an economic multiplier effect of 4 and now we know why we need the tourism industry to prosper yeah.

Here’s that latest news. Article in Malaysia’s main airport, the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), is getting a major revamp to tackle operational snags and upgrade its facilities, with hopes of climbing back to the top 10 of Skytrax’s world airport rankings by 2028. Its Skytrax ranking has been dropping since 2013, and slipped another five spots to No. 67 this year.

The airport makeover will include self-baggage drop-offs, a redesign of the check-in counters, new aerotrain and baggage handling systems, and new lounges and food and beverage (F&B) outlets, said Datuk Iskandar Mizal Mahmood, managing director of airport operator Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB).

The airport, which opened in 1998, had been ranked among the top 10 airports in the world on four occasions – in 2001, 2010, 2011 and 2012. But since then, it has seen a steady decline in rankings, falling to 14th place in 2013 and 44th in 2018. Do read the full article here: Article in

How far is Changi Airport in terms of experience versus other airports? (not just KLIA by the way)

Last year, these are all the international airports I went to. Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, Denver International Airport, Nashville International Airport, Narita International Airport, Hong Kong International Airport, Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Thailand’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, Ninoy-Aquino International Airport and many local airports in Malaysia. I want to confidently say this. Changi Airport beats all of the airports I listed above easily. Just the image below already tells you how far ahead they are: (Yes, the below is inside an airport!)

Image source:

Stay focused on KLIA and we will be good enough

The aerotrain MUST be back as soon as possible. By the way, I have never needed to wait for 30 minutes for my luggage in KLIA but I would hope that it is below 15 minutes instead. Let’s focus on this. I have never needed to queue at the immigration because I use the automatic lane. However, I do not wish to see ANY international tourist wait for more than 30 minutes.

I waited for more than 30 minutes in many of the international airports listed above and in TWO particular airports, I waited for over 2 hours!! So, KLIA is nowhere near the worst but stay focused and correct all these necessary things and we should be fine. Let’s be real, the last time I was in two international airports in Australia, I also waited for more than 30 minutes.

There are now more choices of food and beverage in KLIA but it’s just too sporadic and the choices are just too few and unimaginative. At least, we need the F&B choices at the KLIA2 level. As for comparison, just leave Changi alone and just be proud that this is an ASEAN international airport which is on top of everyone in the world. I am very proud by the way. I want to be proud of KLIA again when compared to most if not all the airports I will travel to in the future. Malaysia has many airports and it’s not possible to just put all the money into just KLIA alone.

Happy travelling.

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Charles Tan The Founder The Writer Kopiandproperty
Charles Tan

Charles is Founder of He writes from his investment experience for the the past 20 years in investments including property, stock, unit trust and more as well as readings and conversations with many property gurus in the industry. is an independent property blog which is not affiliated to any media company, property developer or even real estate agencies.


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