Expect an elevated experience at KLIA when travel resumes

Malaysia Airports group CEO Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh says KLIA is prepared for the time when travel restrictions due to Covid-19 are lifted.

PETALING JAYA: Travellers can expect a refreshed KLIA once travel resumes as Malaysia Airports has enhanced the country’s main gateway during the movement control order (MCO) period.

The enhancements, which were expedited during the MCO to prevent disruptions to travellers once local and international travel restrictions are eased, are aimed at improving passenger experience.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) group CEO Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh told FMT the improvements included new air ventilators at the toilets and carpets at the boarding gates.

The new ventilators, he said, would improve air circulation and reduce humidity, while the carpets would give the boarding gate areas a cosier feel.

“We have also added massage chairs and vending machines which will benefit passengers who are in transit or stranded.”

He said these new facilities were in addition to the faster internet speed which was made possible following major upgrades to the airport’s core network.

“The upgrades serve to ensure that our systems are compatible with the latest technology. That’s big for us and the rest of the airport community, including airlines, the authorities and other third-parties operating at the airport.

“But it also directly benefits passengers who can now enjoy much faster internet speeds at the airport.”

More importantly, Mohd Shukrie said, the airport was prepared for the time when travel restrictions would be lifted.

“Covid-19 will remain a threat until a vaccine is developed, so whatever measures we put in place when the outbreak first began last year will be enhanced.”

Previously, MAHB said it had installed thermal scanners, hand sanitiser dispensers and social distancing markers on top of conducting regular sanitation exercises at the airport and its facilities.

“We want travellers and visitors to the airport to feel comfortable and safe when they are here.”

Apart from the enhancements to the airport, Mohd Shukrie said the ongoing commercial reset, which sees the transformation of MAHB’s airports from transport hubs to lifestyle destinations, would continue.

“Last year we introduced Costa Coffee, Ya Kun Kaya Toast, Din by Din Tai Fung, Kens Apothecary and Dior Prestige, the brand’s first pop-up store at an airport in Southeast Asia.

“These have proven to be a real hit with travellers and visitors to the airport. There is still more to come.

“Naturally, this has been put on hold during the lockdown but by the end of the year, expect many more new experiences.”

One exciting outlet which will be opening in KLIA, he said, is the first Jamie Oliver restaurant in Malaysia.

He added that the commercial reset exercise would continue at MAHB’s other international airports across the country.

Mohd Shukrie also said the Butterfly Effect initiative, which caters to passengers with hidden disabilities like autism, had also been introduced.

“We aim to be an inclusive airport through this initiative. Among the new facilities that we have for our special passengers are the Calm Room where they can find peace and serenity, away from the hustle and bustle at the airport.

“Here they can engage in interactive activities, and we also have interactive sensory walls at areas in the airport specially curated for them. These installations will keep their minds off the stress of travelling.”

Later this year, when air travel is expected to pick up again, Mohd Shukrie said the airport-themed edutainment park KUL KidZania would be opened, offering children the exciting and fun experience of working at the airport.

The edutainment park, he said, would be the world’s first airport Kidzania. This is a collaboration between KLIA and KidZania Kuala Lumpur to help children better understand how an airport works while trying their hand at jobs related to airport operations.

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