Senai International Airport

Senai International Airport

Infobox Airport
name = Senai International Airport
nativename = Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Senai

image-width = 167

caption2 = Senai Airport's Arrival Hall entrance
type = Public
owner =
operator = Senai Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd
city-served = Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
location = Senai
elevation-f = 135
elevation-m = 41
coordinates = nowrap|coord|01|38|28|N|103|40|10|E|type:airport_region:MY
website =
metric-rwy = y
r1-number = 16/34
r1-length-f = 11,004
r1-length-m = 3,354
r1-surface = Asphalt
footnotes = Source: DAFIFWAD|WMKJ|source=DAFIF] GCM|JHB|source=DAFIF]

Senai International Airport airport codes|JHB|WMKJ, officially known as Sultan Ismail International Airport (Malay: Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Sultan Ismail), is an airport located in the town of Senai, near Johor Bahru, Malaysia. The airport is the hub for AirAsia.


Opened in 1974, it serves the state of Johor as well as people from the southern states of Peninsular Malaysia. Senai International Airport serves as one of the four Malaysian hubs of AirAsia, the other three hubs being Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Kota Kinabalu International Airport and Kuching International Airport. Senai International Airport used to serve as a domestic hub to Malaysia Airlines until its rationalisation exercise of its domestic routes to cut the company's losses. Malaysia Airlines now only serves Kuala Lumpur and Kuching from Senai International Airport, a stark contrast to AirAsia's network of 6 domestic routes and 4 international destinations.

Today, this airport is managed by Senai Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd (SATS), the first independent airport operator in Malaysia, after taking over the operations of the airport from Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad in 2003. Senai International Airport is able to handle up to 4.5 million passengers and 100,000 tonnes of cargo per annum. There are plans to increase the capacity of the airport to 10 million passengers in the long term and turn the airport into a cargo hub. Recent expansions and upgrades include lengthening of the runway to 3800m and building a parallel taxiway to increase runway capacity.

Growth potential of Senai Airport

Opened in 1974, the airport's main purpose was to prevent the "leakage" of passenger and cargo traffic from Johor into Singapore. However, the airport has never fulfilled its purpose due to the limited number of flights and airlines at the airport. With the South Johor region being developed, Senai International Airport has the potential of becoming a major hub in Malaysia.

Located strategically in the Iskandar Malaysia, Senai International Airport is set to become a major hub in the future. As such, Senai Airport Terminal Services (SATS) plans to invest up to RM1 billion over the next few years to upgrade the airport's passenger and cargo facilities such as building a new cargo centre and increasing the airport's retail space. Since Senai Airport was bought over, passenger traffic at the airport has more than doubled in the recent years and cargo traffic increasing significantly. The number of flights at the airport has also doubled due to efforts to attract new airlines and getting existing airlines to increase flights. Qatar Airways Cargo, which started weekly cargo flights to Senai International Airport, plans to double the number of weekly flights to two due to high demand for its service with 80% of the cargo continuing on to Europe.

Also, SATS wants to take advantage of the proximity of the airport to Singapore to attract people in Singapore to use Senai Airport. It has recently completed the building of the City Lounge, located at the Kotaraya Bus Terminal. The City Lounge provides bus services to the airport, city centre and Kranji MRT Station in Singapore, thus increasing the accessibility of the airport. From Singapore, one may take a public bus service or 'restricted' taxi to Kotaraya Bus Terminal. From the bus terminal, one can change to an express bus service provided by the airport to get to Senai airport. However, if one does take a public bus over the Causeway, it is extremely inconvenient for someone with luggage since there is a need to disembark and re-board the bus on both the Singapore and Malaysian sides of the border to pass immigration and customs which is one level up from street level. If one makes the trip in both directions, it is twice the hassle. No porters or luggage trolleys is provided. Also, there is currently a minimal amount of domestic flights and only 4 international routes from Senai.

In order to attract more Malaysians and Singapore residents, SATS plans to have a wider range of direct flights to major cities such as Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Taipei, Shanghai, Perth, etc. However, efforts to attract other Asian budget carriers to fly some of these routes have so far been unsuccessful. Singaporeans currently make up about 40% of the passengers using the airport.

Under future plans, a new KTM mainline railway station is to be located at the airport, helping to increase ground interconnectivity for the airport's passengers. Currently, no rail service is provided at the airport.

Expansion and Future Plans

Senai Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd, the operator of the airport announce a multi-billion ringgit project will is called Airport City or Aeropolis. The project, on 1,133 hectors near Senai Airport, will comprise three main components – residential-commercial-hospitality amenities, an air cargo logistic centre and a hi-tech park. The first component will cover 323 hectors while the other two will occupy 405 hectors each. [cite news| title=Mega project in Iskandar Malaysia| url=| author=Zazali Musa| accessdate=2008-05-27| date=2008-05-22| publisher=The Star]

On 26 May, 2008, SATS announce a MYR 70 million plan to build an Aero Mall, a stand-alone and external airport mall. The mall will have a retail space of 10,000 square feet and due to complete in late 2009 / early 2010 time frame. [cite news| title=SATS investing RM70m in Aero Mall| author=Zazali Musa | url=| publisher= The Star| date=2008-05-27| accessdate=2008-05-27]

On 8 July, 2008, Kuwait's Al-Aqeelah announce a project to build an aviation academy near the airport. The project will cost around USD 100 million. [cite news| title= Kuwait's Al-Aqeelah thinking big in Malaysia| url=| publisher=Business Times| author= Roziana Hamsawi| accessdate=2008-07-09| date|2008-08-09]

Current Reatil Outlets at Senai Airport [{ url=}]

Presently, Senai Airport housed 25 retail stores (including 2 Bureau De Change) from F&B to clothing and souvenir. The retail shops including Lavender Bistro & Cake Shop, Coffee Bean, Marry Brown, Dunkin' Donuts, Famous Amos, Daily Fresh, Bonia, Watson's Personal Care, Classic Foot Reflexology and etc.

Airlines and destinations

Passenger Carriers

Destinations by region

Destinations by airlines

Cargo Carriers

*Qatar Airways Cargo (Doha) []
*Cathay Pacific Cargo (Hong Kong) "Charter" []

Past airlines and routes

Airlines still in operations with its terminated routes

*AirAsia (Ipoh, Kota Bharu, Terengganu, Langkawi, Sandakan, Solo, Tawau, Palembang, Medan, Macau)
*Malaysia Airlines (Bali, Hong Kong, Kota Kinabalu, Surabaya)

Past airlines with its destinations

*China Eastern Airlines (Kunming) [] "Charter"
*Kartika Airlines (Surabaya)
*Merpati Nusantara Airlines (Surabaya)
*Pelangi Air (Palembang, Subang)
*Riau Airlines (Batam, Palembang, Pekanbaru)
*Top Air (Jakarta )

Interior of Senai International Airport

The interior of the airport's terminal building has been upgraded to make it look more pleasant to the eye. Wood-coloured tiles was added to the flooring of the terminal, elegant-looking seats was placed in the departure areas to provide seating for the airport's passengers. The number of retail shops has also increased significantly, providing a variety of choices for its passengers.



External links

* [ Senai International Airport] , official site

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