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KUL Among Top 10 Airports in The World

Inside Story
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KUL places ninth in Airport Service Quality global survey.

KL International Airport (IATA Code: KUL) has a long-standing reputation of being the premier gateway into Malaysia since its inauguration in 1998. The regional aviation hub is one of the most sophisticated airports in its league and bears all the hallmarks of Malaysian hospitality. Lauded as the first environmentally friendly airport in the Asia Pacific region, KUL is no stranger to accolades and recognition for its excellence in service and technological advancements.

Recently, KUL gained distinction as one of the top 10 airports in the world according to the latest Airport Service Quality (ASQ) survey conducted by Airports Council International (ACI). ASQ is a globally established benchmarking programme that measures passenger satisfaction at an airport. There are several barometers for measuring where an airport stands in different categories and KUL proudly shines in all. In the first half of 2020, KUL rose up to 9th place, from 17th place in 2019, among airports of similar capacity that service more than 40 million passengers a year.

Highlights of how KUL scored in the survey this year:-

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Malaysia Airports committed in bringing enhancements as they continue to host joyful connections for all.

In 2019, the overall score for KUL was 4.69, so this increase is something to be proud of, indeed.

Dato’ Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh, Malaysia Airports Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) attributed the improvements in both ranking and score to the steadfast commitment and continuous efforts by the KUL team in enhancing their service level for a safe and joyful airport experience.

“I am extremely proud of the team for KUL’s stellar ASQ performance to date this year. Despite challenges arising from new normal requirements in airport operations, the whole airport community displayed a strong spirit of collaboration and came together as one to elevate KUL's service performance in the eyes of the world,” he said.

Operational Excellence

In line with the company’s high-performance culture, Malaysia Airports has formed an operational excellence (OE) division to audit the pain-points of the passenger journey in the new normal. Through customer-centric design thinking and agile-driven operational innovation that helps facilitate improvements for the airport, any issues can be quickly addressed accordingly. With such solutions in place, passengers are assured that their journey will remain seamless and safe, thus restoring confidence in air travel.

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Continuous efforts in improving services by Malaysia Airports bring a renewed sense of confidence for all passengers.

Furthermore, the OE team at KUL isn’t looking at just instant-fixes as both quick-wins and long-term solutions are important when it comes to the passenger journey. These days, because of the new standard operating procedures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, checkpoint processing time has increased and can create bottlenecks, especially during peak hours. The OE team is thus responsible for facilitating passenger flow to ensure smooth traffic. Other than that, they are also responsible for ensuring the highest standards of hygiene are being practised throughout the airport for the safety of all passengers.

Being Proactive

In order to identify which area needs improvement, the OE team conducted ‘empathy walks’ where they shadowed actual passengers during their journey at the airport. Through this practice, the team has identified more than 60 improvement ideas at KUL with 50 of them implemented immediately as quick-win solutions.

Most of the solutions are not particularly complicated, either. As the objective is to provide greater ease and convenience to airport guests, the easier the ideas are to execute, the better. Even something as simple as displaying the ‘MYsejahtera’ QR codes at more locations and identifying ideal locations for physical distancing markers to ensure added safety can be effective in improving the passenger journey.

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#1improvement1week delivers new upgrades in terms of facilities and services for an enhanced airport experience for all.

In terms of long-term improvement ideas, Malaysia Airports is currently exploring the latest technology such as contactless selfcheck in kiosks and 3D IoT (Internet of Things) for real-time information on crowd density situational awareness alert. Apart from that, the team is also looking at revamping checkpoints such as check-in counters and screening areas to provide a friendlier, safer, and more seamless passenger flow.

Dato’ Shukrie mentioned that Malaysia Airports has actually started executing rapid improvements through its #1improvement1week campaign since February 2018 at its airports nationwide. Thus, the solutions executed by the OE team are just a natural extension of the campaign that is already considered part of the customer service culture at KUL.

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Dato’ Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh and airport partners at an appreciation event celebrating KUL’s latest achievement.

To commemorate KUL’s recent achievement in ASQ as well as in keeping KUL safe for all airport guests, Malaysia Airports held an appreciation event to commend the airport community for their fine contributions in strengthening the airport and keeping it safe especially during this challenging time. The event was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Health, Immigration Department of Malaysia, Royal Customs of Malaysia, National Disaster Management Agency, Royal Malaysian Police, Malaysia Civil Defence Force, Civil Aviation Authority Malaysia, airline partners, ground handlers and medical assistance providers.

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