Airlines are severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic as countries restrict travelling.

KUALA LUMPUR: Applications for Air Traffic Rights (ATR) declined by 66.7 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2020 (Q3 2020), according to the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom).

In its ATR report for Q3 2020, Mavcom said it had only received and approved 12 ATR applications during the period, which translates to a 55.6 per cent reduction against the first half of 2020, mainly caused by the ongoing Covid-19 health crisis.

“Of the 12 ATR allocations, seven were for domestic destinations while the rest were for international destinations.

“Approvals for international routes includes one for a destination in Japan, two for Hong Kong while the remaining two were for Asean destinations,” Mavcom said.

The breakdown of ATR allocations according to airports comprised seven for flights originating from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, four from the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport and one from the Kuching International Airport.

Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) received the highest number of approvals with seven ATRs, followed by Raya Airways (three ATRs), AirAsia Bhd (one ATR) and Fly Firefly Sdn Bhd (one ATR).

In view of the pandemic, the commission said it has agreed to temporarily suspend the rule where ATR is automatically revoked if it is not utilised within six months from the date of the grant of the approval to airlines.

The suspension, which took effect on June 4, was undertaken to ease the administrative challenges faced by airlines during the Covid-19 pandemic and allow Malaysian scheduled carriers to keep their current portfolio of ATRs for an indefinite period, until further notice.

“The suspension, however, does not apply to ATRs that have been deemed expired and automatically revoked before June 4 and for routes that airlines have terminated on their own accord,” it added. – Bernama