Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) has received approval to continue operating the Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (ISG) International Airport, as conveyed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim during a bilateral meeting.
Successful First Stage Operations
The agreement comes as a result of Turkey’s satisfaction with MAHB’s successful first-stage operations at the ISG, leading to a desire to extend the company’s role, including the construction of a longer runway. “He (Erdogan) agreed that MAHB should continue operating the ISG as they are satisfied with the success of the company in the first stage and now they want to extend (operations),” stated Anwar at a press conference post-meeting.
Vote of Confidence for MAHB
Anwar, who is currently in New York attending the 78th United Nations General Assembly, emphasized that Turkey has strong belief in MAHB’s capabilities to manage the ISG operations effectively. This agreement is not only a continuation of operations but also a significant vote of confidence in the Malaysian company to develop and manage the ISG.
A Busy European Gateway
The ISG International Airport, fully owned by MAHB, is the sixth busiest gateway in Europe. It witnessed passenger numbers reaching 25 million in 2021, achieving 70 percent of the pre-pandemic level.
Strengthening Bilateral Cooperation
The bilateral meeting also saw discussions on enhancing cooperation in investment and trade between Turkey and Malaysia. Malaysia is Turkey’s largest trading partner in ASEAN, with a trade volume experiencing a 35 percent growth from 2021, reaching US$4.7 billion in 2022. The discussions were attended by Cabinet ministers from both nations, focusing on efforts to increase bilateral cooperation in various sectors. (Bernama)