What does Malaysia’s Merdeka Day celebration mean for flyers?

Kuala Lumpur International Airport KLIA Airspace Closure

Source: Shutterstock.

ON Aug 31, 2018, Malaysia will celebrate its 61st Independence Day. It is the day that marks the moment the Federation of Malaya gained independence from the British rule on Aug 31, 1957.

Typically, Malaysia’s independence day celebration will be held at Dataran Merdeka (Merdeka Square) in the Kuala Lumpur city center in the morning with the annual Merdeka Day parade in the presence of the King and government leaders.

But this year, they are switching things up a bit.

This year, the National Day parade will be held in the administrative capital of Putrajaya, featuring an aerobatic performance by the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF).

Putrajaya is only about 30 kilometers away from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and its budget carrier terminal, klia2.

According to the Transport Ministry, the airspace near the airports will be closed every morning for five days next week to prepare for the independence day celebrations.

This is to make way for the RMAF to conduct rehearsals for an aerial flypast that will be part of the National Day parade.

The priority is to “ensure the safety of the airspace and movement of aircraft at KLIA/KLIA2,” the ministry said.

Kuala Lumpur International Airport KLIA Airspace Closure

Source: Shutterstock.

As such, nearly 500 flights will be affected as a result of the closures.

According to a travel advisory released by Malaysian low-cost airline AirAsia, the airspace will be closed between 9am and 10:30am (Malaysian time) daily from Aug 27 to Aug 31, 2018.

AirAsia operations at klia2 will be impacted, resulting in possible flight delays as well as rescheduled flights.

“We will update affected guests via email and SMS if there are any changes to their flight status,” AirAsia said.

“We strongly urge all guests to keep their email address and mobile number (with country code prefix) in their AirAsia member profile updated at airasia.com to ensure we can reach them for timely assistance.”

If you happen to be traveling at those times on those days, please contact your airlines or the airport authorities for the latest information and schedules.

KLIA can be contacted at +603 8776 2000 (extension 3136/3145) while klia2 can be contacted at +603 8778 5500 (extension 01/02/03).

If you wish to contact AirAsia, ring up any of its call center numbers listed here.