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PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) has reported a 100% Air Traffic Rights (ATR) approval from 24 applications for the first quarter of 2021.

According to its quarterly report, 21 of the rights allocation were for international routes, while the remaining three were for domestic routes.

Compared to the previous quarter which saw 43 ATR, Q1’21 saw a 51.7% drop in application. However, set against Q1’20’s 18 application, the quarter saw a 33% increase year-on-year.

Of the 24 approvals, MyJet Xpress Airlines Sdn Bhd received the highest number of approvals, totalling 12 ATRs, followed by Malaysia Airlines Bhd, AirAsia Group Bhd and Raya Airways Sdn Bhd with six, four and two approvals, respectively.

Mavcom also noted that the quarter saw extraordinary circumstances as there were no expiration of ATRs recorded due to the measures implemented to ease the challenges faced by airlines during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Effective June 5, 2020, it has eased a condition which automatically revokes unutilised ATRs within six months from the date of the approval. This was implemented to facilitate the airlines’ administrative and regulatory challenges and enabled them to keep their current ATR portfolio active. Q1’21 marks the second consecutive quarter without any expiration of ATRs.

However, it pointed out that the easing does not apply to ATRs that have been deemed expired and automatically revoked, as well as ATRs for routes that airlines have wilfully terminated on their own accord.

Mavcom executive chairman Datuk Seri Saripuddin Kasim remarked that in view of the Covid-19 impact it recognises and continues to analyse the challenges faced by airlines.

“The eased condition provided to airlines is able support the continued recovery of the sector as it gradually prepares for resumption of full services in the future,” he said in a statement.

It also continues to observe a healthy growth of the cargo segment given the accelerated and increased demand for logistics needs.

“This demonstrates the agility and resilience of the sector in overcoming the pandemic as we look forward to positive development for the nation’s aviation sector.”

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