‘Only 5 pct flew international last year’

Passengers queue in the room used to hold international passengers when there are international flights at KIA. The doors will be closed when there are international flights and passengers will not have access to the domestic lounge or toilets on Level 3. – Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING: Only 5 per cent of passengers using Kuching International Airport (KIA) last year flew from the airport to an international destination.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad Kuching senior manager Mohd Nadzim Hashim said the other over 4.5 million passengers travelled from KIA to a destination within Malaysia.

As such, he explained the airport had difficulty getting operators to run stalls at the international departure hall.

“I can understand the frustration of these international travellers once they are inside the holding room, so much so when they are looking through the glass wall, noticing all the activities occurring at the domestic departure hall,” he said during a tour of KIA for The Borneo Post yesterday.

He was commenting on complaints that international flight passengers were not allowed access to many shops, eateries, and toilets available to domestic passengers.

As toilets are only available at Level 3, international passengers have to climb back up the stairs and go through security again from the international holding lounge on Level 2 if they require the facilities.

Mohd Nadzim added that international and domestic travellers need to be segregated under Department of Civil Aviation requirements for security reasons.

There are presently flights to just two international destinations from KIA – Singapore and Pontianak.

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