Airports in Penang - A Traveller's Guide to Penang International Airport

Penang International Airport is the only airport in Penang for both domestic and international travel. It is also one of the busiest airports in Malaysia with a capacity of 8.3 million passengers arriving every year. It is situated at the southeastern tip of Penang Island and 16km south of Georgetown, the capital city. Previously known as the Bayan Lepas International Airport, it was founded in 1935 and is owned by the Government of Malaysia. It predominantly serves western Malaysia and primarily provides extensive links to major cities through Southeast Asia. About 3,136 weekly flights operate to and from Penang Airport.
Address: Penang International Airport, 11900 Bayan Lepas Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Distance: 16 Km (10 miles) south of George Town, Capital of Penang
Latitude: 5.292961                             
Longitude: 100.265175
Telephone:  +60(0)4 643 4411           
Time Zone: Malaysia Time, GMT + 0800
IATA Code: PEN                                 

Airport Terminals

Penang airport is medium-sized with only a single passenger terminal, two cargo terminals, and holds over 17 aircraft stands. There are about two floors in the passenger terminal, namely Level 1 and Level 2, allotted for arrivals and departures respectively. 8 Sky bridges connect the two levels and passengers can easily walk to board their planes. There are over 11 gates and 3 baggage reclaim conveyor belts.

Domestic and International passengers utilize the main concourse while international passengers are directed to immigration counters on the lower level. 

Major Airlines and Destinations

Penang International Airport

The Penang Airport is a major hub for two local budget Malaysia airlines, namely AirAsia and Firefly. Other major carrier flights include Singapore Airlines, Cathay Specific, Malaysian Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Thai Airways, China Southern Airlines, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Air Mauritius, British Airways, American Airlines, Swiss, Sri Lankan Airlines, Silk Air, Qatar Airways, and Wings Air. The major destinations include Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Jakarta, Medan, and Singapore.

Transportation Facilities - To and From Penang Airport

Taxi: As the taxis at the airport operate on a prepaid voucher system, the passengers are asked to buy a coupon beforehand from inside the terminals at the arrival halls. As it is a 25-minute drive from the airport to the Georgetown city centre, it must cost between RM 40 and RM 60. (10 – 14 USD) However, from 12:00 AM to 6:00 AM, there is a 50% additional surcharge for taxi services. The drivers are bilingual and usually carry a sign-board with the passenger’s name for easy identification.

Bus: One of the best alternatives to taxi to travel to the city centre is through a bus. The main bus station in Georgetown is located on Victoria Street. There are 3 Rapid Penang bus routes taking visitors to the capital city – 102, 306, and 401E. Selected Rapid Penang buses from the airport even offer free Wi-Fi services with a ticket cost of around 2-3 RM (less than 1 USD), available at the ticket counter on the ground floor. These buses run every 30 minutes.

Car Parking: Both long term and short term parking facilities are available for more than 800 cars. The parking lot is located at a walkable distance from the passenger terminal. The visitors are charged 0.5 RM and 1 RM for 10 minutes and 30 minutes of parking time respectively.

Car Rental: Several car rental booths are located at the arrival floor with various safe and trusted options to choose from. Some of them include Green Matrix, Paradise, Avis, Europcar, Hertz, Kasina, Hawk, Mayflower, and many more.

Check-In and Baggage

Penang Airport Checkin
The airport consists of 61 check-in counters, out of which more than 30 are allocated to the local airlines of the state. The various check-in options include No Baggage Check-in, Self-Check-in Kiosks, Web Check-in, and Mobile Check-in. As the check-in counters open 2 hours before the scheduled departure and close 1 hour before take-off, the passengers are requested to re-check the availability of this service with their airlines.

Predominantly in this airport, the waiting period for check-in and baggage are quite short in comparison to the other airports. The crowd observed here is also relatively less.

As a part of development, the relocation of arrival immigration counters was recently completed on 15 July 2019 to provide a larger area for immigration clearance.  

Currency Exchange at Penang Airport

Penang follows the Malaysian currency Malaysian Ringgit (MYR or RM) and 1 USD converts to roughly 4 RM. Currency exchange and ATM Centers are located at both the floors, some of them being Bank Islam, CIMB, and Hong Leong.

Food and Shopping

Penang International Airport offers more than 60 retail and duty-free outlets to shop from including perfumes, designer brands, liquor, cigarettes, and more. There are also a wide range of cafeterias, fine dining restaurants, and fast-food outlets for local and international passengers in the terminal building.


Inside Penang International Airport
  • The arrivals halls contain information centres with assistants for the passengers to make inquiries if they need any help. It is also the first point of contact for lost and found baggage.
  • Free Wi-Fi hotspots are located at the arrival halls and are accessible at most of the seating and public areas in the passenger terminals.
  • For private meetings and conferences, passengers can find Business Centers with telephone, printing, and fax services.
  • A V.I.P lounge is available for selected passengers.
  • Local SIM card facilities are also available after clearing the immigration procedures.
  • The other facilities include baby care rooms, charging stations, prayer rooms, shower facilities, post offices, smoking lounges, medical services, and pharmacy.
  • For the differently-abled passengers and those requiring special assistance, the airport also contains ramps, elevators, restrooms, telephones, and various other options that are easily accessible. 
Operated by the Malaysia Airport Holdings Berhad (MAHD), the Penang International Airport has been recognized and appreciated for its various services rendered. Some of them include:
Best Emerging Airport (Asia) Award - 23rd annual Asian Freight and Supply Chain Awards 2009 (AFSCA)
Airport of the Year 2009 – Frost and Sullivan Asia Pacific Aerospace and Defense Awards
Nearby Hotels: Olive Tree Hotel (4.3km), Hotel Equatorial Penang (6.1 km), Hotel Seri Malaysia (4.4 km)
Nearby Cities: Bayan Baru (6 km), Pulau Betong (11 km), Tanjong Tokong (24 km)
Nearby Airports: Alor Setar Airport (101 km), Ipoh Airport (121 km), Langkawi Airport (130km), Hat Yai Airport (183 km)
The Penang Airport offers its passengers a swift, secure, and comfortable travel experience at all times. So book your flights now and share your experiences with us!

This post was published by Gayathri Babu

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