9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2099 posts, RR: 21 Posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 25781 times:
Selamat Datang to the fifth instalment of the Malaysian Aviation Thread.
Some of the major events in the previous threads:
MH revealed that the Rural Air Services would be operated by a new subsidiary – MASWings – and not Firefly. “We decided to do this because it would be easier for us to show the profits and losses in our operations. This will also allow us to be very transparent about everything,” MH CEO said. MASWings will take over RAS from 1 October 2007.
FAX's long haul LCC has been renamed AirAsia X. Earlier 'AirAsia Long Haul' was chosen to replace AirAsia X. FAX has leased one aircraft to begin service this year. The return fare between London’s Stansted and Kuala Lumpur could be as low as US$300 (RM1,050). On the airline's destinations, these had been narrowed down to Europe, China and Australia, with possible technical stops in the Middle East. AirAsia X will begin operation in September on a leased aircraft. The new A330s will be delivered from September next year up to 2013. There would be about 400 seats on the A330, which would set a new benchmark for seat cost per km, bringing it down further to 1.9 sen, the lowest in the market.
MH added 39 domestic flights to meet the increase in demand to travel during the mid-year school holidays. The additional flights were operated from May 25 until June 10 with extra 5,616 seats.
MH announced extra Perth-Kuala Lumpur services for the peak season with an expansion of the MH126/127 weekly flights. From the 5th of December, 2007 until the 7th of February, 2008, MH126 Perth-Kuala Lumpur, and returning flight MH127 will increase frequency to three times a week.
AirAsia will be flying daily to Shenzhen from Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok starting on July 15.
AK discontinued KUL-Pekanbaru in Riau, Indonesia.
AK will serve Vientiane, Banda Acheh in Indonesia and Ho Chi Minh City soon. No date is announced.
AK will be launching KUL - Krabi, Thailand on 21 August 2007, Johor Bahru - Macau and Johor Bahru - Palembang, Indonesia on 25 August 2007. Also KUL - Sibu will be served 3x daily now.
AK will pull out of Bandung Indonesia in October when they take out one more 733 out with the A320, which cannot land at the airport. Indonesia Air Asia will take over the route with the 733 until talks of runway resurfacing and restrengthening becomes more "concrete".
AirAsia X's first destination is rumoured to be Melbourne Avalon or Newcastle, Australia.
Firefly had proposed to operate out of Senai airport.
Berjaya Air is to offer faster and quieter flights to tourist destinations of Redang Island, Koh Samui and later on to Tioman Island once they received their 4 ATRs.
About 60 international chartered flights to Sabah have been cancelled because the international airport here is being upgraded. There was nothing much they could do about it but wait for the upgrading of the KKIA project to be completed by 2009.
Online Facilities/New Inflight Product:
AK introduced a new service, 'Kiosk Check in', the first of its kind in Malaysia.
AK has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Swiss firm OnAir Switzerland Sarl to provide inflight GSM/GPRS services on AirAsia’s fleet of Airbus A320. AK said yesterday the services would enable passengers onboard AK aircraft to use mobile phones and smartphones to make and receive voice calls, send and receive text messages and access email during a flight. The service will be deployed across AirAsia's entire fleet beginning early 2009 and fully by 2013.
MH has introduced some 250 travel packages for people from Asean countries to come to the country, in conjunction with Visit Malaysia 2007. MH has made available more than 2.5 million seats until year's end to accommodate the anticipated surge in tourists as a result of the attractive new packages generating about RM20 million revenue. Starting from as low as US$108 (RM380), the packages offer a discounted rate of 10% to 15% from the usual prices.
MH will be launching its Let's Fly Malaysia campaign, expects the campaign to bring in RM30mil. The three-month campaign was held in conjunction with the nation's 50th Merdeka celebrations. A total of 200,000 seats with fares starting from RM1 will be offered under the "50-hour Open House" online promotion starting from 9am on June 20 until 11am on June 22. Fares would start from RM1 for flights within Peninsular, and RM10 for travel between Kuala Lumpur and East Malaysia, and to five Asean destinations namely Bangkok, Phuket, Cebu, Jakarta and Phnom Penh. The traveling period is the online promotion is from Sept 3 to Sept 30.
AK has unveiled extra low fares in conjunction with the Mega Sale Carnival. Travellers can enjoy lots of savings from fares as low as RM6.99 one way to Miri via the Kota Kinabalu hub or other popular routes like Langkawi, Penang or Johor Baru from RM9.99. Tickets from the Kuala Lumpur hub to Bangkok will cost from RM39.99 while it will cost from RM29.99 to fly to Phuket and from RM69.90 to Bandung. The booking period is between June 19 and July 1, while the travel period is between July 3 and Sept 30.
The Higher Education Ministry has clarified that the special airfare rebate of 50% on MH flights is open to private university students as well. The Minister said yesterday that the offer is given in conjunction with the start of the new academic term in June and July. It was open to students at both public and private universities as well as those studying in polytechnics and community colleges. The rebate is until July 31 for all domestic destinations. “To receive the rebate, students must make their reservations early, at least five days before their expected flight date.
AirAsia is also having a special fare for students departing from Kuala Lumpur or Johor Baru to Sabah and Sarawak. The fare is between RM69 and RM99, not including taxes, surcharges and other fees. For those flying AirAsia, they must make their reservations between June 21 and July 9 and fly between June 29 and July 16. They must also purchase their tickets at least seven days before their flight dates.
1 AK A320 returned to KUL due to engine failure & PAN declared on 15 June 2007.
1 AK A320 returned to KUL due to "OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENTS" on 15 June 2007.
On 12 July 2007, the aerobridge at bay A2 of KUL collapsed, shearing off the L1 door of 9M-MKE.
The opening of the KUL-SIN route:
Will most likely become a reality on 1 January 2009 in response with the ASEAN open sky.
The Economic Planning Unit (EPU) is in the final stages of studying YTL Corp Bhd’s proposal for a bullet train service between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. The EPU of the Prime Minister's Department was also assessing the social impact study completed by Khazanah Nasional Bhd.
MH is looking to order 55 narrowbody airplanes and 55 widebody airplanes as part of a 7-year plan to overhaul its entire fleet. The company is expected to seek proposals in one or two months.
ATR disclosed the decision by MH to acquire a fleet of 10 ATR 72-500s plus options for 10 additional aircraft. The contract is valued at US $ 183 million. The aircraft are intended for the expansion of Firefly - subsidiary airline 100 % owned by MH - which will establish its hubs in Penang, Subang, Johoar Bahru, and Kota Kinabalu. The ATR aicraft will progressively replace the current Fokker 50 aircraft fleet of the airline. The 72-seat aircraft will be equipped with the "Elegance" cabin, Light Emitting Diode (LED), Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) as well as the newest technological innovations in passenger comfort, communications and navigation tools. Deliveries will start in 2008.
FAX has signed a contract for the purchase of 15 A330-300s from aircraft frame maker Airbus for US$2.63bil (excluding engine cost) with the option of purchasing 10 more. The first batch of 15 aircraft would be delivered only from September 2008 to 2011. The MOU was inked during the Paris Air Show.
FAX (AirAsia X), the long-haul low cost start-up airline, has selected the Trent 700 to power its new fleet of 15 Airbus A330-300s. The US$1.3bil deal involving the purchase of 34 Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines, including spares and a 20-year maintenance contract. It was announced at the Paris Air Show.
Berjaya Air signed a US$74 million (RM253.29 million) contract with French aircraft manufacturer Avions De Transport Regional (ATR) during the Paris Air Show for 4 new ATR 72-500 aircraft to replace its existing fleet of 48-seater Dash 7 aircraft. The new twin prop aircraft, powered by two Pratt and Whitney Canada PW 127F engines, will be delivered in 2009 and 2010, and have a 72-seat configuration equipped with a new "Elegance Cabin" and the newest technological innovations in the field of communications and navigation aid tools.
Government/NGO interferences in airlines' businesses:
Transport Minister wants MH to serve more flights to China. In the past, MH has withdrawn Chengdu, Xian, Guilin, Wuhan and Macau due to unprofitability of the said routes.
The Sarawak Government wants rural air services to be handed over to Malaysia Airlines (MAS) subsidiary MASWing immediately. The state government feels that the Oct 1 date fixed by the Federal Cabinet for MASWing to take over from Fly Asian Xpress (FAX) was “too far away” and would cause more economic losses to the state and suffering for its rural population.
Travel agencies in Spain want MH to revive its direct flight between Kuala Lumpur and Madrid to make it easier for Spanish tourists to visit Malaysia.
Forget about profits and treat commercial flights to the city here as a social project for travellers, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Tajol Rosli Ghazali said. Urging MH, its subsidiary Firefly and low-cost carrier AK to help revive the under-utilised Sultan Azlan Shah Airport here, Tajol Rosli said: “MAS and AirAsia must forget about whether the flights are viable. Flights to Ipoh must be seen as a social project. Be more considerate and forget about profits. After a while, I am sure they will be able to do well by flying here,” he said.
Tourism Minister was also trying to persuade MH subsidiary Firefly to consider making Kota Kinabalu a regional hub to cover the East Asean Growth Area encompassing Sabah, Sarawak, southern Philippines, Sulawesi and Kalimantan.
Malaysia vs India.
An official from India's Civil Aviation Ministry said the country did not impose any ban on MH flights as reported in the newspapers lately but admitted that India was unhappy with Kuala Lumpur's decision not to give landing rights to two of its carriers. Leading local newspapers in India had reported that the Indian Civil Aviation Department had issued a ban warning to MH as retaliation to Malaysia's decision not to allow Air Sahara and Air India Express to fly to Kuala Lumpur.
Canada, which maintains one of the most stringent visa regimes, is not about to ease its tedious vetting processes for Malaysian passport holders.
MH reported a sustained turnaround with a net profit of RM133.1mil for its 1Q2007 ended March 31, compared with a loss of RM319.9mil in the year-earlier quarter. The net profit was derived from a group operating profit of RM129mil, comprising RM107mil from international operations, RM22mil from domestic services and a gain of RM17.7mil from the sale of properties.
For the third quarter ended March 31, AirAsia's revenue grew 53% to RM396mil compared with the previous corresponding period. Pre-tax profit jumped almost 200% to RM43mil. Net profit increased to RM86.9mil from RM14.1mil year-on-year as the company recognised deferred tax arising from the investment allowance.
Thai AirAsia'snet profit for the quarter was 60 million baht (RM6.5mil), a 43% growth from a year ago with net profit margins of 4%.
Indonesia AirAsia posted a net loss of 49 billion rupiah (RM19mil) attributable to the average fare being 9% lower and 7% higher cost.
MAHB reported a 17% increase in net profit for the first quarter ended March 31 of RM71.3mil against RM61mil a year earlier. Sales improved to RM332mil compared with RM313.8mil before.
A man landed in the soup for a joke he made while boarding a plane at KCH. The man, who hand-carried a heavy box containing car parts, had told an air stewardess in jest that it was a “bomb”. The stewardess reported the incident to the flight captain, who summoned the security guards to escort the man out of the plane. The man was to board the 3.20pm plane from Kuching to Sibu. He was, however, detained by police for questioning.
A female passenger's claim about “owning dangerous items” caused a two-and-a-half hour flight delay for 282 passengers in Singapore Changi Airport.
A Malaysian man has been held at Perth airport after 2kg of heroin was allegedly found in his luggage. The bags of the 32-year-old man were X-rayed after he arrived overnight on a flight from Kuala Lumpur, Australian Customs said.
Police have received several reports about “taxi drivers” in KUL who robbed their victims of cash and passports after taking them on a terror ride.
A Malaysian court has ordered MH to pay an Indian man 20,000 ringgit ($A6,800) in damages for serving him meat after he asked for a vegetarian meal. Arvind Sharma, 44, said he vomited after he was served chicken on a flight from Bangalore to Kuala Lumpur in March 2003.
Five men who have been in remand for the past five years since their arrest pleaded guilty to committing armed robbery with parangs, knives, sickles and axes on Feb 22, 2002 between the 302nd and 265th kilometre of the North-South Expressway in Bangi against nine local travellers who were bound for the KL International Airporton an airport coach (bus). The victims suffered total losses of about RM50,000 after the gang took all their money, cellphones, wallets, jewellery, ATM and credit cards, cheque books, identity cards, plane tickets and even books, among others.
A former flying school operator was charged with cheating three individuals into believing that the Department of Civil Aviation had issued a license to his company to train would be pilots.
Pirated taxies are having a field day at the Penang International Airport after the Road Transport Department (JPJ) stopped its enforcement operations there. Limousine drivers at the airport claimed that their earnings had dropped by 40% with the presence of such taxis.
Malaysia's tourism campaign is now known as, "Malaysia, Heart of Asia", no more "Malaysia Truly Asia".
The Greatest Tourism Carnival 2007 has in store some fantastic travel offers. The annual mid-year event kicked off on 22 June at the Putra World Trade Centre, offering a potpourri of holiday packages for both local and international destinations. There were more than 380 booths set up by 100 exhibitor firms, which include airlines, hotels and resorts, tour operators and travel agents. Jointly organised by the Malaysian Chinese Tourism Association (MCTA) and Asia Pacific Tourism Events (APTE), visitors to the event also stand to win cash and other prizes worth more than RM300,000 in early bird surprises as well as the visitors, buyers and pavilion contests.
An annual event to challenge Berlin’s Internationale Tourisme Bourse, London’s World Travel Mart and The Arabic Travel Mart in Dubai is being planned in Malaysia.
The Matta Fair will be held at Halls 1,2 and 3 of Putra World Trade Centre here from Sept 7 to 9. Entrance fee is RM3 per entry for adults and free for children under 12.
It is now mandatory for all licensed travel and tour agencies to offer travel insurance for local and outbound travel. However, travellers will have the right to refuse such protection. The premium is RM15 per person (local and outbound) and the plan also covers inbound travellers at US$15 per person (RM51). The Basic Travel Protection Plan, which had been endorsed by the ministry, provided tour fare protection of up to RM10,000, apart from basic medical, repatriation, accidental death, permanent disablement and personal liability coverage. Tour fare protection covers the traveller against cancellations and the travel or tour agency closing as a result of financial collapse or default.
The Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur is offering “The Most Expensive Chicken Rice in the World,” featuring a private plane trip to Ipoh, the birthplace of chicken rice and the adventure of a lifetime. The luxurious package for two also includes a two-night stay in their executive suite, a tour of Ipoh Old Town and a good portion of authentic Ipoh chicken rice. The package, which ends on Dec 30, is subject to availability and is priced at RM5,888.
Abacus Distribution Systems (M) Sdn Bhd expects to perform better this year with new products and services. Abacus provides hardware and software to link its customers -- largely travel agencies -- to airline systems for immediate bookings. The company expects between a 5% and 7% increase in bookings this year compared with last year. Abacus is supported by 10,000 agency locations and over 26,000 terminals in 20 countries. About 70% (840) of travel agencies in Malaysia use the Abacus system.
MH had conditionally agreed to take back rural air services in Sabah and Sarawak that were earlier transferred to Fly Asian Xpress. MH agreed to this subject to the aircraft being returned in good condition and losses from such services could be recovered through a subsidy from the Government. The Government agreed with the arrangements.
On the 1Q2007 operating results, the airline's load factor improved to 71% from 68.6% in corresponding three months last year, while yield – the average fare per kilometre – rose 15% to 26.1 sen from 22.6 sen.
The airline's workforce was trimmed by 15%, or 3,000, to 19,700. The employees left through a separation scheme, retirement and expiry of contract. MH CFO said this was an ongoing process and that this year the workforce was projected to be reduced further by about 650 people through similar means.
MH reorganised of the office (structure) of executive director and CFO to enhance the airline's efficiency in implementing its business turnaround plan (BTP).
MH managing director Datuk Idris Jala became the first Malaysian to be elected to the International Air Transport Association’s Board of Governors, who will sit on the board until 2010.
MH has asked for an independent audit on the 12 planes currently used by FAX to operate the Rural Air Services before it takes over the routes on Oct 1. The audit was to ensure that the planes – seven Fokker F50s and five Twin Otters – were “in the same operational condition” as when MH handed them over to FAX in August last year.
MH will be able to move into e-ticketing completely now that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has postponed the deadline for its members to go completely electronic. The new deadline is May 31, 2008.
MH has short-listed at least three vendors to replace its 20-year-old spares inventory system with a more modern ‘’enterprise-wide system’’ capable of tracking all work functions at the engineering and maintenance (E&M) unit. The new system, which would provide greater efficiency, was estimated to cost the airline up to RM70mil and would be fully implemented within two to three years.
A survey of 10,000 readers of UK's Daily Telegraph newspaper on their experiences in luxury travel has placed MH among the finest of Asia's airlines. MH is among four runners-up in the category of Best Asian Airline behind a clear favourite; Singapore Airlines.
MH has hedged 61 percent of its 2007 fuel needs at an assumed price of US$60 (euro44.84) per barrel of crude oil to protect itself against volatile jet fuel prices. The company has also hedged 18 percent of its needs for 2008 at US$62 (euro46.32) a barrel.
MH was still in talks with Airbus SAS on the late delivery of the Airbus A380, ordered in 2003. “We are still exploring various options. It could be compensation for MAS for the delay in delivery of the A380 aircraft or replacing it with a different model, depending on the pricing."
MH's maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) business would continue to grow this year. The airline expects its MRO revenue to rise to RM300mil this year. Last year, the MRO business brought in about RM200mil in revenue, up from RM100mil the previous year.
On more code-sharing arrangements, MH was also close to signing agreements with airlines in China and India, and had started initial discussion with a US airline for such an agreement.
MH is likely to conclude a code-share agreement with Guangzhou-based China Southern Airlines (CSA) in the next three months, giving the former access to potentially 120 destinations throughout China.
MH cabin staff and local artistes will take to the stage on July 21 to raise funds for six organisations at a charity dinner in Putrajaya called "Journey of Dreams” gala night. The event will be held at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre. Dinner table packages are available from RM2,000 to RM10,000 for groups of 10.
MH is given rights to Lahore, Pakistan. MH in total has 14 rights to Pakistan, 7 each to Lahore and Karachi.
MH is trying to re-align cabin crew rest hours and flight time limitation. Savings from this can improve productivity, improving future remuneration packages and better base salary.
Proposal for new retirement age of female cabin crew has been prepared. Waiting for the recommendations from MH's HRD.
Come 31st August, MH will participate in the Merdeka Parade. About 100 staff from various department will wear Malayan Airways uniform as they will march under the Tunku Abdul Rahman era (Malayan Airways-MSA).
MH's CEO 4 major objectives as revealed by an interview with The Edge. Firstly, MAS will focus more intensely on costs going forward, with a view to bring them down further while the second point is the focus on improving yield and the customer flying experience with MAS will continue. Thirdly, capacity and network expansion would take a back-seat until revenue enhancement and cost reduction initiatives are substantially in place. Fourthly, MAS needs to be prepared for possible future industry-wide overcapacity, due to the large numbers of aircraft orders being placed currently.
As for MH joining an alliance, there is no timeframe given by AF/KL as told by MH's CEO. BTP clearly stated the period/phase of “joining an alliance”. But Isz1 leave us wondering by what 19 July ... 7 days left... has anything to do with MH joining an alliance.
AK is considering flying to Guilin, Xiamen, Haikou and Kunming in China. AK will also start a 4 times weekly flight from BKI to Xiamen.
AirAsia X is considering Tianjin, Hangzhou, Chengdu and Chongqing.
AirAsia will consider a dual listing in the United States or Europe in the future, but quashed speculation that such a move was in the works.
AirAsia expects RM15mil in annual revenue from its cargo division via an agreement with cargo management firm, Leisure Cargo GmbH. Under the two-year agreement, Leisure Cargo will serve as the budget airline’s air cargo provider on the latter’s regional routes from the Kuala Lumpur hub.
AK's subsidiary, Tune Money Sdn Bhd, which is due to launch its no-frills online financial services by the fourth quarter, has received its first regulatory approval from Bank Negara to issue prepaid cards – credit cards without debt – in Malaysia. It also received the central bank's approval to perform international remittances, meaning that Tune Money prepaid cardholders would be able to transfer funds overseas using their cards.
Virgin's Sir Richard Branson wants 20% stake in AirAsia X for US$6.9 million (euro5.1 million).
FLY ASIAN EXPRESS
FAX has blamed the “culmination of unexpected and periodical maintenance” of its planes for flight disruptions for 72 hours on 9 June 2007.
FAX received humongous amount of critics over the way they handled RAS.
FAX has revised its timetable, with reduced flight frequency to certain locations. This comes in the wake of criticisms against the airline, whose services have been described as unreliable and affected rural travel and tourism in Sabah and Sarawak. The new schedule took effect from June 16 and would be in force until Aug 31.
Woes over FAX's unsatisfactory RAS service caused the government backbenchers (in the parliment) to express doubt over the safety of AirAsia flights and urged the government to monitor the situation.
For the LCCTs in KUL and BKI, the airport tax for domestic travel would be reduced from RM9 to RM6. For international travel, the tax will be reduced to RM25. Airport charges at the KLIA main terminal and other airports in the country would remain.
LAGs (liquid, aerosol, gel) ruling implemented in KUL from 21 May 2007.
On the incentive scheme for airlines, MAHB had extended it to Dec 31. The new scheme might come up before the end of the year.
Passengers who are on transit at KLIA will have the chance to experience Kuala Lumpur despite their short stay. Now, those who are on transit for at least four hours will able to take a quick tour of the city as part of many ongoing efforts by KLIA and its partners to attract more tourists and visitors to the country. Called the Discover Kuala Lumpur programme, visitors will be whisked away on the high-speed KLIA express train to KL Sentral before they visit the many interesting places within the city. There is also a special package to Menara KL, which includes a guided tour, nature walks and meals.
Low-cost carrier Firefly has received the green light to operate from the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang but will only be permitted to fly domestic routes currently not serviced by AirAsia or Malaysia Airlines. The current restrictions mean that it can only fly to Ipoh, Malacca and Kerteh from Subang. The news shocked AK.
A consortium of Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), India's GMR Infrastructure and Turkey's Limak clinched the rights to Istanbul's second airport on July 9 with a 1.9 billion-euro (RM8.9 billion) bid. The winning bid does not include 18% value added tax.
A proposal was made by Equine Capital on the potential development of a new airport in Penang at a cost of RM1.2bil in Batu Kawan (mainland) and take over the land where the current airport is sited (island).
Kulim is poised to be a Smart City by 2020 complete with a Light Rail Transit (LRT) system and a regional airport. A regional airport for light and medium aircraft has been proposed in Padang Meha. The proposed airport will not create air traffic conflict because it is located 50km away from the Penang International Airport in Bayan Lepas and 100km away from the Sultan Abdul Halim Airport in Alor Star. It will cater for private jets, community airline services such as Malaysia Airlines' FireFly and medium-sized cargo planes.
Prime Minister announced that travellers could look forward to a bigger airport in Ipoh however, the state government may not use the RM40mil allocation from the Federal Government to extend the runway of the Sultan Azlan Airport in Ipoh if the airport remains underused.
New carrier/additional frequency/upgrade/downgrade/movement to Malaysia:
Qatar Airways has announced that it will offer an additional three flights for the Kuala Lumpur-Doha routes due to strong customer demand. The new flights were effective on 14 June 2007 increasing its seats capacity to 2,500 seats weekly.
Royal Brunei Airlines will start flying thrice weekly from Bandar Seri Begawan to Kuching, Sarawak in November, raising expectations of increased tourist arrivals to the state, particularly from Australia and northern Asia.
PIA reroute KUL as KHI-KUL-KHI with A310 and 743, previously this service was routed as LHE-KHI-KUL-SIN and ISB-KHI-SIN-KUL with A310 only, Singapore has been dropped from network.
Tourism Malaysia is working with travel agents in China and Malaysia to resume chartered flights between Urumqi and Kuala Lumpur.
The Czech Republic hopes that AirAsia X can finalise negotiations to fly to Prague by December 2007. Ambassador Dana Hunatova said there was much expectation that AirAsia would be granted landing rights to fly to the capital.
The Malaysian and French governments will begin formal talks in October on Malaysia’s request for more landing rights in Paris. Malaysia is requesting the weekly flights to Paris to be doubled to 14 weekly from 7 weekly presently in view of the increasing load factor between the two cities.
The previous Malaysian Aviation Threads can be found here:
9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2099 posts, RR: 21 Reply 1, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 25757 times:
Quoting 9MMAR (Thread starter): Woes over FAX's unsatisfactory RAS service caused the government backbenchers (in the parliment) to express doubt over the safety of AirAsia flights and urged the government to monitor the situation.
RAS aircraft repairs to cost up to RM40m
It may cost the government up to RM40 million to repair the grounded aircraft operated by Fly Asian Xpress (FAX), according to industry sources familiar with the rural air services (RAS). It is also learnt that FAX expensed about RM60 million to run the state-subsidised RAS between last August and March this year. Coupled with the repairs of the grounded aircraft, it may cost the treasury some RM100 million for contracting FAX to operate the RAS.
Malaysia Airlines System Bhd (MAS) is in the process of resuming management of the RAS, which was handed over to FAX last August. One of the conditions MAS has set before it takes back the RAS on Oct 1 is that an audit on the aircraft be carried out. The auditor, Singapore-based Fokker Services Pte Ltd, has reported that a third of the aircraft were not air-worthy, said the source.
Four of seven Fokker 50s and one of five Twin Otters operated by FAX have been heavily cannibalised to keep the remaining aircraft in the air. It is the opinion of Fokker Services that the "unacceptable" state of the aircraft was a result of failures in planning, logistics and maintenance. Citing the report, the source said the fleet's current state could have been avoided as spare parts for the turboprops were widely available in the market.
Although MAS had said the aircraft were in functional condition when it surrendered them to its parent and owner of the RAS, Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd, no audit of a similar proportion was carried out then. On its part, FAX is about to make its claims from the government for operating the RAS. Like MAS, which was granted compensation of RM650 million for early termination of its domestic air services agreement with the government last year, FAX will make claims for staff transfers and other costs associated.
Sources close to the plan said FAX had not determined the final sum but it would be lower than that paid to MAS. Ceasing as operator of the RAS allows FAX to focus on its long-haul ambitions. AirAsia X, the long-haul, low-cost airline that comes under FAX, is scheduled to begin services in September with a leased aircraft arriving late next month. The airline, however, has not begun to take bookings for its inaugural flight, raising doubts over whether it can start services before the fourth quarter.
FAX has placed orders for 15 Airbus A330s, worth US$2.3 billion at catalogue prices. Delivery of its fleet is expected to take place over five years beginning in 2008. Its shareholders, Datuk Tony Fernandes, Datuk Kamarudin Meranun and Raja Azmi Raja Razali, are working on a second round of financing. Far from keeping a low profile, FAX will likely hold the spotlight now that eccentric entrepreneur, Richard Branson of the Virgin Group, has been tipped to emerge as a shareholder.
AK's CEO gets angry with MH over the KUL-SIN route at AK's Citibank Credit Card Luncheon!
Five years is enough, says Fernandes
Low-cost carrier AirAsia is claiming the right to fly to Singapore as well as some of the other routes serviced by national carrier Malaysian Airline System (MAS). AirAsia CEO Datuk Tony Fernandes said MAS, which had turned around, did not need protection anymore, and furthermore, both airlines offered different value propositions to passengers.
Fernandes said the two airlines should not be stopped from flying to each other's destinations because the market needed segmentation and choice. He said it was time aviation here was opened up as it was good for the country, and that it did not make sense spending millions of ringgit on the Malaysia Truly Asia campaign when AirAsia could not fly to Singapore.
"(It) doesn't make sense, the country is net losing out. I think five years of not allowing us on some routes is enough. We want two flights a day to Singapore, how can that possibly affect MAS? Our consumers have been paying way too much, and I want to bring some Singaporeans up to KL and use AirAsia X. It's time we did the reverse of what they have been doing to us for many years."
"How can you ask us to be global leaders and go out there when we are not given the full chance to be it? AirAsia never had a business turnaround plan. We never had protection. When we took over, we had two planes with very little money, but we built it to something very big. Really what we are trying to build is that for Malaysia to be the centre of low-cost travel, and I hope we will get the necessary regulatory approvals. I hope once and for all, the MAS thing is buried," he said.
On a Bloomberg report that AirAsia was firming up orders for 25 aircraft, he said: "Yeah, sure I am denying it. Let's be clearer on this. We need more planes, we need more jets, and we are certainly looking into it, but nothing is confirmed."
Meanwhile, Fernandes said AirAsia was keen to have a Citibank co-branded credit card for its Thailand and Indonesian markets as it would have a big impact on bringing people to Malaysia and to market tourism here. "We can do so many things with one partner and they have had a lot of experience in credit card co-branding with American Airlines and Cathay Pacific and we can learn from that as well," he said. AirAsia is targeting one million co-branded cards to be in circulation as soon as possible, he said. The Citibank AirAsia credit card will enable cardholders to earn free AirAsia tickets when they use their card for daily purchases.
9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2099 posts, RR: 21 Reply 3, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 25750 times:
Quoting 9MMAR (Thread starter): AK's subsidiary, Tune Money Sdn Bhd, which is due to launch its no-frills online financial services by the fourth quarter, has received its first regulatory approval from Bank Negara to issue prepaid cards – credit cards without debt – in Malaysia. It also received the central bank's approval to perform international remittances, meaning that Tune Money prepaid cardholders would be able to transfer funds overseas using their cards.
Tune Money rolling out insurance products in September
No-frills investment company Tune Money Sdn Bhd will begin rolling out general insurance products from September this year, targeting the low income and underinsured population in the country. The company intends to lure customers earning below the RM1,500 income band by offering premiums that are at least 30% lower than conventional insurance products currently available, said Tune Money CEO.
"We're trying to get 70% of the market that's currently not served by the traditional insurance companies," he told reporters here yesterday after inking a deal with CIMB Aviva, which will develop and underwrite Tune Money's insurance products. The company said by selling the products directly to the customers via the online portal, www.tunemoney.com, it eliminated the need for the services of agents, which meant savings to customers.
Customers would also be able to decide what they want to cover rather than be presented with a pre-determined package, which would also help reduce premiums. "The basic cover will be so cheap that the insurance agents will not be interested in selling them," said Tune Money COO. The partnership with CIMB Aviva is also expected to add value as the UK-based Aviva has previously been involved with a European no-frills firm Virgin Money.
By next year, Tune Money hopes to roll out life insurance products as well as low cost, tailored-made insurance solutions to customers through its online portal. The portal, which will be fully operational in September to coincide with the launch of the insurance products, would contain simple and transparent language that consumers could understand what they are being covered for.
The company would also be rolling out prepaid Visa cards in October and unit trusts in November. The company also intends to launch Tune Money's insurance products in Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam by next year. Tune Money is 44.83 % owned by Tune Ventures Sdn Bhd, whose substantial shareholder is Datuk Tony Fernandes. Another 25 % is owned by CIMB SI II, and the remaining shareholders consist of Tengku Zafrul (10%), Datuk Kalimullah Hassan (8.21%), Lim Kian Onn (8.21%), Avili (1.5%) and Tune Money Employees Sdn Bhd ( 2.25%).
9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2099 posts, RR: 21 Reply 4, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 25744 times:
Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 1): RAS aircraft repairs to cost up to RM40m
FAX Cannibalised Parts From Other Aircraft, Says Auditor
Half of the aircraft which Fly Asian Xpress (FAX) used to operate for rural air services in Sabah and Sarawak were not airworthy, an official from an audit firm said Thursday.
"Restoration cost is estimated at some RM40 million," Michael Cole, the regional director of Fokker Services Asia Pte Ltd, the audit firm, said. "Components and parts were, and are presumably still are, being cannibalised from the grounded aircraft to keep the serviceable aircraft in operation," he said in a statement here today issued by Malaysia Airlines. AirAsia's chief executive officer, Datuk Tony Fernandes has a 50 percent stake in FAX.
"When we started the audit, half of FAX's aircraft were not airworthy (and) in view of the ready availability of components and parts, this is a cause of great concern," he said. He also said considering that the fleet of 12 aircraft was fully operational as at July 2006, the condition of the aircraft now is totally unacceptable.
MAS said in the statement that it was committed to commencing rural air services (RAS) beginning October 1 this year to provide air connectivity for Sabah and Sarawak which is a key priority. MAS' Managing Director Idris Jala, said the results of FAX's aircraft audit by Fokker Services reported in a local newspaper today confirmed its earlier findings.
"When we were requested to take over the RAS, we noted that four out of FAX's seven Fokkers, and one of its five Twin Otters were grounded. Since the aircraft were already grounded, we offered to help repair these aircraft. We have since restored two Fokkers and one Twin Otter, and returned the aircraft to FAX for their operation," Idris said.
MAS returned the aircraft to the owner, Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd upon the domestic rationalisation on Aug 1, 2006. PMB later handed over the aircraft to FAX. Cole added that it is not feasible to return the fleet to operational condition by August 1 as only 80 percent of the fleet is expected to be operational by October 1.
9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2099 posts, RR: 21 Reply 5, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 25742 times:
All Airlines Can Now Offer City Check-in At KL Sentral
Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) will have 10 new check-in desks at the Kuala Lumpur City Air Terminal (KL CAT) at KL Sentral by July 23. This will extend from three to 43 the number of airlines based at KLIA's main terminal which can offer the same check-in facilities at the city centre, Express Rail Link said in a statement.
Currently only Malaysia Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways and Royal Brunei Airlines offer city check-in service at KL CAT. The 10 AirportConnect CUTE (Common Use Terminal Equipment) check-in desks will be installed by global IT firm SITA.
ERL operates the high-speed train KLIA Express between KL Sentral and KLIA. ERL's CEO said talks are underway for more airlines to offer the city check-in service at KL Sentral.
9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2099 posts, RR: 21 Reply 6, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 25738 times:
AK launched its 'improved' co branded credit card.
Citibank AirAsia card launched. One million cardholders targeted
AirAsia Bhd hopes to sign up one million cardholders for its newly launched Citibank AirAsia credit card. The target for the co-branded credit card with Citibank Bhd was “achievable” but no time frame was set, said AirAsia group CEO Datuk Tony Fernandes.
“The target is there, we should go as fast as we can to get there. Ultimately, the market wants it and we can promote it. We may also consider Indonesia and Thailand,” he said. Also present was Citibank country officer and chief executive officer Piyush Gupta.
Fernandes said AirAsia needed a regional player to grow the co-branded credit card in other countries. In Indonesia, AirAsia has not launched a co-branded credit card yet. “My personal choice is to have Citibank (as partner) in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, then we can do so many things,” he added. The low-cost carrier had previously tied up with RHB Bank for a co-branded credit card but the contract expired last month.
Fernandes dubbed the current co-brand with Citibank as a “five-year marriage” and, it would have “an option to renew” if the union proved successful. Citibank cards business director said existing customers could choose to convert to the new card. “We are looking at 150,000 cards in the first year and many of those will be new customers. Currently, the primary redemption for this card is for free travel but, over time, we will provide more options,” he said.
The credit card will enable members to earn one AirAsia point for every RM1 spent on their card for daily purchases. Points collected are evergreen. These points can be converted into AirAsia vouchers, which can be used to redeem free flights, airport taxes, fuel surcharges, administrative fees and purchase of Xpress Boarding. Cardholders will also be entitled to special privileges and access to low-fare seats during sales.
Meanwhile, on news that Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson would acquire a 20% stake in Fly Asian Xpress Sdn Bhd (FAX), Fernandes said: “Wait and see. I think AirAsia has always surprised everyone. So just wait and see.” FAX is scheduled to launch long-haul budget airline AirAsia X in September. There would be two or three announcements before that, Fernandes said, but declined to elaborate. While Fernandes denied a recent report that AirAsia planned to order 25 single-aisle planes from Airbus SAS, he reiterated that it “needs more planes” and was “looking into it but nothing was confirmed.”
9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2099 posts, RR: 21 Reply 7, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 25733 times:
KLIA Customs Man found with 2kg syabu in bag
He acted as if he was an important businessman returning home from a working trip. The 34-year-old man was wearing a coat and a tie and was flying Business Class. But Customs officers saw through his bluff and arrested him when he arrived at the KL International Airport at 12.10am on Tuesday, and seized 2kg of syabu on him.
“Our officers could tell from his body language that something was amiss,” State Customs director said. “When we scanned his bag, the image showed a slight shadow. We conducted a thorough search on his bag and found a hidden compartment where the man had stashed three bags of syabu, worth about RM320,000. The retail value is five or six times more,” she told reporters at the Customs complex here yesterday.
Mardina added that the manhad been remanded for further investigation. If charged, he faces the death penalty. This was the fifth seizure of drugs at the international airport this year. Customs officers also confiscated 25kg of ketamine found stashed in an unclaimed bag on the luggage carousel at the arrival hall on June 24. The drugs were estimated to be worth some RM1.3mil.
“On May 8, we also detained a 56-year-old local man going abroad on suspicion of carrying heroin. However, he swallowed the 475g of heroin before we could seize it,” she said, adding that subsequent X-ray test on the man revealed the drug in his stomach. The case is still under investigation.
9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2099 posts, RR: 21 Reply 8, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 25724 times:
Quoting 9MMAR (Thread starter): A consortium of Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), India's GMR Infrastructure and Turkey's Limak clinched the rights to Istanbul's second airport on July 9 with a 1.9 billion-euro (RM8.9 billion) bid. The winning bid does not include 18% value added tax.
The detail news.
MAHB clinches RM9b concession
A consortium made up of Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), India's GMR Infrastructure Ltd and Turkey's Limak Group has won the rights to operate the Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SGIA) in Istanbul, Turkey, with a concession fee of €1.93 billion (RM9.07 billion). MAHB said the consortium, led by Limak, secured the concession from the government of Turkey, which currently operates the airport through the Under Secretariat for Defence Industries.
The consortium beat four other international airport operators with the highest bid of €1.93 billion, which is the concession fee for a period of 20 years. MAHB said there would be no concession fees payable in the first three years. "At this concession fee, the internal rate of return is 13%," MAHB said, adding that the evaluation of the tender bid was based on technical and financial criteria.
MAHB managing director Datuk Seri Bashir Ahmad said: "This is indeed great news for Malaysia Airports as it further reinforces our status as one of the most sought-after service providers in the field of airport operations." On May 24, the airport administrator called for tenders to operate the SGIA under a build, operate and transfer scheme. In June, MAHB was invited by GMR to join Limak in the tender.
GMR is MAHB's joint venture partner in GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd, which owns the concession to manage the New Hyderabad International Airport in India. Limak is an engineering company involved in construction, tourism, energy and cement manufacturing. As an airport operator, MAHB is required to take up a minimum 20% stake in the joint venture company to develop, manage and operate SGIA.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported yesterday that the winning consortium beat local and foreign consortiums in a tender lasting more than 12 hours. The report said the consortium beat a partnership of newly listed Turkish airport operator TAV and Turkish airline owner Esas Holding, which was the first to leave the tender when the bidding hit €1.5 billion. Last to withdraw from the bidding was a consortium including Germany's Fraport and Turkey's IC Construction, which in April clinched the rights to Antalya airport in Turkey's tourist hub for US$3.2 billion (RM11 billion).
Other bidders were one consortium that included Turkey's Cukurova, Austria's Julius Meinl Investment and Venice Airport/Save SpA, another included Turkey's Mak-Yol Construction, Eti Bakir and lastly US-based Airport Property Management, the news report said.
MAHB said the scope of the tender included taking over the operations, maintenance and revenues of the international and domestic terminals at SGIA and their related buildings and equipment, and ground handling, fuel supply and bonded warehousing operations.
"The project also involves the construction of a new international terminal with 10 million capacity in 30 months whilst the current international terminal will be converted to a domestic terminal subsequent to the construction of the new terminal," it said. MAHB said the total investment cost and development of SGIA ranged between €150 million and €180 million, excluding financing and project controlling costs. It added that the consortium was in the process of finalising the terms of conditions of the joint venture agreement, as well as the financing for the investment.
SGIA is the second airport in Istanbul with one terminal each for international and domestic flights. It covers a total area of 1,335.5ha. A portion of the land had been allocated for the development of a technological park, while a Formula One circuit was located about five-minute drive away from the airport, MAHB said. It said SGIA was capturing the traffic from the Istanbul Ataturk International Airport, which had limited apron capacity, amid increasing traffic that was reaching 20 million passengers a year. Other overseas airports operated by MAHB are the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, India, and Astana International Airport in Kazakhstan.
9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2099 posts, RR: 21 Reply 9, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 25722 times:
A very good initiative by the Hong Kong Tourism Board.
Hong Kong wants more Muslim tourists from Malaysia
The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) is targeting to increase the number of Muslim tourists from Malaysia. Its regional director (South/Southeast Asia) said for the first five months of 2007, there were 173,000 visitors from Malaysia, of which a substantial portion comprised Muslims. There were 445,000 Malaysian visitors to Hong Kong in 2006.
"The 173,000 figure is about 10% more than the figure for the same corresponding period of 2006. We expect a single digit growth in Malaysian visitors to Hong Kong for the second half of this year," he said. He spoke at a workshop for Muslim travelers to Hong Kong from Malaysia. The workshop is organised by HKTB and supported by Cathay Pacific Airways and Uni Asia Tours Hong Kong.
"The completion of Disneyland in 2005, the Wetlands Park in 2006, and the recent completion of the cable car ride in Lantau Island were the crowd pullers for tourism," he said. To attract more Muslim visitors from Malaysia, HKTB would launch in October a guide book for Muslim travelers in Hong Kong. "The book contains information and addresses of all the halal-certified restaurants in Hong Kong. "It also contains information of the interesting tourism sites in Hong Kong," he said. The guidebook would be made available at travel agents and airline companies in the South and Southeast Asia region.
"The workshop is to address the religious and dietary need of Muslim travelers in Hong Kong. It is also to update travel agents' product knowledge and enable them to better understand what Hong Kong can offer to Muslims visitors," he said. HKTB will be having a similar workshop in Kuala Lumpur on July 12 (Thursday). Muslims travelers from Malaysia to Hong Kong started to increase some five years ago.
Mandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6175 posts, RR: 74 Reply 10, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 25694 times:
Quote: AK discontinued KUL-Pekanbaru in Riau, Indonesia.
Quote: AK will pull out of Bandung Indonesia in October when they take out one more 733 out with the A320, which cannot land at the airport. Indonesia Air Asia will take over the route with the 733 until talks of runway resurfacing and restrengthening becomes more "concrete".
While the Bandung closure by AK is directly related to runway pavement strength... the case for Pekanbaru is doubted. In Indonesia, AK has said they will close Pekanbaru as their A320s cannot operate from a 30m wide runway or runways less than 2500m... I guess they're using the 2500m reason because they want to save on the brakes! *grin*
Quote: # 1 AK A320 returned to KUL due to engine failure & PAN declared on 15 June 2007.
# 1 AK A320 returned to KUL due to "OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENTS" on 15 June 2007.
It's 11JUN and 14JUN if I remembered correctly...
FAX's effects on RAS and those aircraft should be branded as 'criminally negligent'... Well, if it's gonna cost money, it should be the govt. who pays! They're the ones who gave FAX the greenlight in the first place!
When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2099 posts, RR: 21 Reply 12, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 25638 times:
Quoting 9MMAR (Thread starter): The Sarawak Government wants rural air services to be handed over to Malaysia Airlines (MAS) subsidiary MASWing immediately. The state government feels that the Oct 1 date fixed by the Federal Cabinet for MASWing to take over from Fly Asian Xpress (FAX) was “too far away” and would cause more economic losses to the state and suffering for its rural population.
MAS sticking to Oct 1 date
Malaysia Airlines will still take over the rural air services on Oct 1 although it would only have 80% of the Fokker 50s and Twin Otter aircraft available by then. It is understood that the national carrier’s new subsidiary MASWings would do so in two phases because some of the Fokker 50s and Twin Otters would still be under repair on Oct 1.
“Our priority is to ensure reliable and efficient air services. We know how critical it is for Sabah and Sarawak to have connectivity and dependable services to ensure the success of its commercial and tourism sectors,” said MAS managing director Datuk Idris Jala in a statement yesterday. He also said the results of FAX’s aircraft audit by Fokker Services Asia Pte Ltd, which was reported yesterday, confirmed Malaysia Airlines’ earlier findings.
“When we were requested to take over the (rural air services), we noted that four out of FAX’s seven Fokkers and one of its five Twin Otters were grounded. Since the aircraft were already grounded, we offered to help repair the aircraft. We have since restored two Fokkers and one Twin Otter, and returned the aircraft to FAX,” he said.
According to the statement, Fokker Services regional director Michael Cole was quoted as saying that half of FAX’s aircraft were not airworthy, when the audit was started last month. Cole added that only 80% of the fleet was expected to be operational by Oct 1 and that restoration cost was estimated at some RM40mil.
In March last year, the Government rationalised the domestic air services and directed Malaysia Airlines to operate only the trunk routes with the rest being handed over to AirAsia. AirAsia appointed FAX airline to operate the rural air services but two months ago the Government decided that MAS should take back the operations following a proposal from Datuk Tony Fernandes. Fernandes, who is a director of FAX, had suggested that MAS’ new turbo-prop airline Firefly to take over the services to allow FAX to concentrate on the setting up of the long-haul budget carrier AirAsia X.
9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2099 posts, RR: 21 Reply 13, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 25636 times:
Quoting 9MMAR (Thread starter): Virgin's Sir Richard Branson wants 20% stake in AirAsia X for US$6.9 million (euro5.1 million).
Airline draws interest from strategic investors, industry players
The mere mention of Sir Richard Branson (the owner of Virgin group of Britain) raises eyebrows globally and should he make an investment in Malaysia, it would be a major coup. This, however, is not the first time Branson is being linked to AirAsia. Over five years ago, he was linked to a stake purchase in AirAsia Bhd and the story circulating now is that he is taking a 20% stake in Fly Asian Xpress Sdn Bhd (FAX).
Azran Osman-Rani, the CEO of FAX, was tight-lipped on whether Branson would be the international investor coming on board. But the application has gone to the Foreign Investment Committee for its approval. “We are not ready to make any specific announcements yet. What I can say is that AirAsia X has attracted a lot of interest not just among financial investors but also strategic investors and some very serious industry players.
“We had to prioritise and decide on investors that would give us the strategic advantage, market access, branding and industry contacts. We are pretty excited about announcing an international investor that will give us the strategic benefit and financial capital. This in itself is strong testimony for investing in Malaysia as we have managed to attract an investor that could potentially be investing in China or India’s aviation sector which is buzzing with activity.”
AirAsia X is not short on suitors but selling a 20% stake to an international investor and another 20% to AirAsia is its way of securing funding to jumpstart its operations and part-pay for the 15 aircraft it has ordered. “We could raise US$30mil this time around,” he said. The balance 60% in FAX will be in the hands of a group of investors comprising AirAsia group CEO Datuk Tony Fernandes, deputy group CEO Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, Raja Azmi Raja Razali, Datuk Kalimullah Hassan, Lim Kian Onn and some senior FAX employees including Azran.
A second fund raising exercise to raise US$50mil-60mil via a share sale and borrowings would be initiated by year-end, he said. FAX will have a paid-up capital of RM120mil initially. The 15 aircraft would cost the company US$2.6bil while the engines cost another US$1.3bil.
9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2099 posts, RR: 21 Reply 14, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 25635 times:
The introduction for AirAsia X.
The X factor in ensuring success
AirAsia is a clear success story of a low-cost airline that has managed to create a new market both locally and regionally. More importantly, its low airfare structure has enabled many first timers to take to the skies. But can its associate airline, AirAsia X, emulate its success, given the challenges of operating a long-haul low-cost service in markets where full service carriers have a stronghold and where passengers are used to flying with the frills?
“We have outlined several key guiding factors that would ensure our success,” said Azran Osman-Rani, the newly-appointed chief executive officer of Fly Asian Xpress Sdn Bhd (FAX), the operator of AirAsia X. FAX and AirAsia Bhd have common shareholders. Azran said AirAsia X would provide “exciting airfares, focus on cost and efficiency, ensure exemplary levels of safety and engage in a teamwork culture so that every one in the airline knows his priorities in making a concerted push to succeed.”
“We also have a strong brand in AirAsia to ride on and a ready website, www.airasia.com, where people are used to making their travel bookings. We will pool resources with AirAsia, from flying our planes to sharing cabin crew and pilots, and this would give AirAsia’s team an incentive to upgrade themselves. Ground handling to aircraft maintenance would also be sourced from AirAsia for a fee,’' he said in his first media interview after six days in office. Azran is working on a 2 US cents per available seat kilometre (ASK) cost structure, which is lower than AirAsia’s 2.7 US cents and the 4 to 5 US cents for full service carriers. Aircraft utilisation of up to 17 hours is being considered and that means 50% more efficiency than full service carriers. We will also offer airfares at 30%-40% less than the lowest price offered by the full service carriers,” he said.
Competition would remain in all the markets that AirAsia X will operate in, but Azran believes that the airline would be a price leader in enabling people to fly to London, Amritsar, Dubai or Melbourne for RM9.90 one way. He also sees AirAsia X's unique customer experience proposition differentiating its service from the rest of the pack. “We welcome competition but can the full service carriers sustain their fares at promotional prices forever? We can, but whatever noise our competitors make with their promotional fares would only help expand the market and that bodes well for all players,” he said.
Since coming on board, he has spent countless hours with his team mapping out the flight path for AirAsia X. The maiden flight is scheduled for September, provided all the regulatory approvals are obtained. The first destination could either be a city in China or Australia. The first aircraft, which is on lease, is being modified for takeoff. The airline has submitted proposals to fly to a few airports in Australia, including Avalon Airport in Melbourne, which is about an hour to downtown Melbourne. This is awaiting approval from the Australian authorities.
Talks are also underway to fly to either Hangzhau or Tianjin. “China is a big market. We also do not want to miss out on the Beijing Olympics, so we are working hard to enter that market,” Azran said. But all plans would remain on the drawing board without the support of local and foreign aviation authorities. “We need support and recognition from the Malaysian government to be the designated carrier and thus far, the feedback has been positive. But the Government also wants to ensure we do not cannibalise but grow the overall market. We have shown this with AirAsia, where we created a new market that benefited not just us but also the incumbent, both domestically and regionally,” he added.
The criteria for destination selection include its “appeal to demographics'' and AirAsia X is targeting broad-based leisure travellers, including students. High on its list are tourist destinations and airports that offer good packages and which are willing to help promote its services. Flying to secondary airports is another priority. “We are not competing for business travellers but leisure travellers with a thirst for long haul travel. “Over the next five years, we would see an explosion of the emerging middle class with high disposable incomes in China, India and South-East Asia, and that is the market we want to serve,” he said.
If it can lease a second aircraft, AirAsia X hopes to fly to India, the Middle East or South Korea early next year as the first two of the 15 A330-300 aircraft that it ordered would only arrive in the second half of 2008. Azran added that London remained on the charts but the route would be explored only next year. Meals can be purchased on board and the provision of entertainment is being considered, but at a fee. “It's like an a la carte service where you pay for what you use. If you need more leg room or an aisle seat, you can get that for a few ringgit more. But all seats will be assigned,” he said. By the way things are shaping up at AirAsia X, travellers will not have to wait too long for the long-haul low-cost service.
Many of the senior people at Fly Asia Xpress Sdn Bhd (FAX) had not expected to be engaged in a gruelling session with new chief executive officer Azran Osman-Rani on his first day of work. His first session with the team lasted more than four hours with only a short break in between. And he made his team take notes of what needed to be done so that nothing would be left unattended to from now till the take-off date. That is how serious this man takes his job.
Azran said he believes in the structured and rigorous approach in getting things done. “I just want to ensure that every single person is clear about our priorities and objectives. I believe in constantly communicating the objectives and priorities as people can get side-tracked with the volume of work involved in setting up a new carrier. I believe in sleek execution and you must know what you are doing,” he said.
But his team members are not the only people he has met in his six days in office. He has had meetings with top government officials, industry people, shareholders and even the vendors, and still managed to squeeze in time for this interview. Azran is going to get busier as the launch date for the airline approaches. The 36 year-old father of two children, said he just “want to make things happen.”
Although not an aviation enthusiast, Azran managed to read more technical manuals in two weeks prior to joining the company. His knowledge in electrical engineering helps give him a better grasp of things in the highly technical area of aviation. Prior to FAX, he was with Astro All Asian Networks plc. He was formerly with Bursa Malaysia and earlier, an associate partner at McKinsey & Company. He holds a Masters degree in Management Science and a bachelor degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University, US.
TreeHillRavens From Malaysia, joined Jun 2007, 339 posts, RR: 1 Reply 16, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 25596 times:
Quoting 9MMAR (Thread starter): About 60 international chartered flights to Sabah have been cancelled because the international airport here is being upgraded. There was nothing much they could do about it but wait for the upgrading of the KKIA project to be completed by 2009.
Any idea where were these flights suppose to come in from ? I remember South Korea was also mentioned in the local newspaper but as far as i'm concerned, the 8x weekly charter flights (4x weekly by KE & OZ respectively) are still on.
Quoting 9MMAR (Thread starter): Will most likely become a reality on 1 January 2009 in response with the ASEAN open sky.
I hope we'll see foreign no-frills carriers flying domestically in Malaysia.
Quoting 9MMAR (Thread starter): Transport Minister wants MH to serve more flights to China. In the past, MH has withdrawn Chengdu, Xian, Guilin, Wuhan and Macau due to unprofitability of the said routes.
I believe the failure at CTU was because there is no suitable for the route. MAS used the 332 to CTU, which has 42 J seats. CTU was supposed to be served by the leased 738 but of course when Idris came into power, the leases were terminated. I hope MAS will get their own 738 soon, so they can use these narrowbodied planes to cities like CTU, XIY, WUH etc.
Quoting 9MMAR (Thread starter): MH was still in talks with Airbus SAS on the late delivery of the Airbus A380, ordered in 2003. “We are still exploring various options. It could be compensation for MAS for the delay in delivery of the A380 aircraft or replacing it with a different model, depending on the pricing."
I was hoping MAS can ask for some 333, a temporily lease to replace all of MAS current 333.
Mandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6175 posts, RR: 74 Reply 17, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 25557 times:
I think the open skies will be "open"... Airline frm country A can fly from anywhere in A to B's capital and airline from country B to fly from anywhere in B to A's capital... the rest are still under bilaterals...
I keep hearing conflicting information on the 2009 ASEAN Open Skies
When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
Joffie From Australia, joined Mar 2006, 775 posts, RR: 2 Reply 18, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 25522 times:
Quoting 9MMAR (Thread starter): Berjaya Air signed a US$74 million (RM253.29 million) contract with French aircraft manufacturer Avions De Transport Regional (ATR) during the Paris Air Show for 4 new ATR 72-500 aircraft to replace its existing fleet of 48-seater Dash 7 aircraft. The new twin prop aircraft, powered by two Pratt and Whitney Canada PW 127F engines, will be delivered in 2009 and 2010, and have a 72-seat configuration equipped with a new "Elegance Cabin" and the newest technological innovations in the field of communications and navigation aid tools.
Interesting news. I went to Redang island a couple of weeks ago and has the pleasure of flying the Dash-7 and was thinking what would they use to replace them. videos (youtube.com/joffie)
MH1402 From Malaysia, joined Jun 2006, 123 posts, RR: 4 Reply 19, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 25448 times:
A Grave News from Malaysian Air
July 13, 2007 20:19 PM
Nuri Copter With Six On Board Goes Missing On Flight To Kuantan
KUALA LUMPUR, July 13 (Bernama) -- A Royal Malaysia Air Force Nuri helicopter with six people on board went missing while on a flight to Kuantan today.
The helicopter, which took off from the RMAF base in Sungai Besi, lost radio contact with the base's control tower at 9.35am, 10 minutes after take-off, RMAF public relations officer Mejar Zulkifli Abdul Latif said in a statement.
He said the RMAF had set up a search and rescue (SAR) team to locate the helicopter and the passengers.
RMAF aircraft, Royal Malaysian Navy personnel and firemen from the Fire and Rescue Department have been roped in the SAR operations, he said.
Zulkifli said soldiers from the Royal Malay Regiment and the RMAF elite force have been deployed for a ground search.
As of 6.30pm, the helicopter has not been found, he said, adding that the next-of-kin of the crew and passengers have been informed of the incident.
In KUANTAN, Pahang police chief Datuk Ayob Mohamad said they received a call from the air force at about 2.30pm seeking help to locate the missing chopper.
Ayob said he could not confirm as yet whether the helicopter went missing when flying over Bentong.
"We also cannot confirm whether the helicopter had crashed. We only received information that a helicopter has gone missing," he told reporters.
And on seperate News
Last Phone Contact At 10am
BENTONG, July 13 (Bernama) -- One of the passengers on board the missing Nuri helicopter made a contact on a handphone to the RMAF control tower at about 10am before the call was cut-off.
Bentong Deputy OCPD DSP Mohd Fakri Che Sulaiman said the call was received by the RMAF Aviation Operations Centre in Sungai Besi.
"When we checked with Maxis Telecommunications, we were told the call was made within a five kilometre radius of a transmission tower at Km36.5 of the Karak Highway," he told reporters at Genting Sempah, near Genting Highlands, here tonight.
He urged villagers with any information of a Nuri helicopter hovering in the area to contact the police.
He said a 130-member search and rescue team comprising soldiers was scouring the area after the aerial search was called off at 8.30pm.
A search and rescue operation was launched immediately after the chopper lost contact with the control tower at the Sungai Besi air base at about 9.35am.
The police, Royal Malaysian Navy and Fire and Rescue Department personnel have been mobilized in the search.
The helicopter, carrying six people, including three crew, lost contact about 10 minutes after taking off from the Sungai Besi air base.
RMAF public relations officer Mejar Zulkifli Abdul Latif said the transport helicopter was on a flight to Kuantan when it disappeared from the radar screen.
He said the families of the crew and the passengers had been informed of the incident.
Odie From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 1641 posts, RR: 1 Reply 22, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 25385 times:
MH will also add an additional weekly flight to Adelaide, Colombo, and Male for Northern Winter 2007/2008 schedules. ADL will be served 5 weekly (all B772) while the KUL-MLE-CMB-KUL triangle route will be served 4 times weekly (all A333).
MH1402 From Malaysia, joined Jun 2006, 123 posts, RR: 4 Reply 23, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 25297 times:
Seems like CO will be next on MH list to be code share partner.
MAS Achieves Breakthrough With Continental On Complete Luggage Check In Bernama
Malaysia Airlines (MAS) plane will be relieved to learn that they will no longer have to collect their luggage from the conveyor belts and then physically bring it to the counter of Continental Airline for onward flight connections to their final destination in the U.S.
Passengers would now have to check in only once at the boarding point and the luggage shipped all the way to the final destination. This will help passengers save crucial time to get a connection when there are flight delays.
Under the terms of the agreement, which in the airline jargon is known as the Special Prorate Agreement (SPA), both MAS and Continental will provide reciprocal service to each other's customers flying from anywhere in Malaysia to any destination in the United States and, conversely, from anywhere in the United States to any destination in Malaysia.
Aside from facilitating the transfer of passengers to their original destination, the SPA will provide MAS with access to major domestic U.S. and Canadian points via New York, at pre-agreed SPA rates.
New York based aviation circles are predicting that the SPA could later on lead to greater cooperation between the two airlines, including code-sharing, and boost their passenger traffic.
The agreement is the culmination of a long process of talks between the two airlines, characterized by uncertainties resulting from an earlier decision by MAS to completely stop its flights to Newark effective January 15, 2007; however, the decision was, later, revoked and MAS decided to continue its service to Newark.
In between, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), which also manages the Newark airport, and did not want to lose MAS, was willing to help the Malaysian carrier stay on and provided informal guidance to get the SPA signed with Continental.
"It will also help passengers who because of late arrivals of their planes face the risk of missing their onward connections at Newark if they have to first pick their baggage, and physically transport them to the Continental counters for onward flight connections to their final destination," said Singh, adding that the new agreement would "greatly enhance MAS' customer-friendly service".
MH1402 From Malaysia, joined Jun 2006, 123 posts, RR: 4 Reply 24, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 25290 times:
Govt Approves Firefly's Flights From Subang To Ipoh Bernama
The government has approved the application of Firefly, a wholly owned subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines (MAS), to service the Senai-Ipoh and Subang-Ipoh air routes. Announcing this today, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy said that Firefly will be using turbo prop aircraft which was suitable for the short flights ranging from two to two-and-half hours.
"Firefly is currently using the Fokker aircraft which made Penang a hub but it is acquiring ATR 72 from Italy and we are confident that with the aircraft, Firefly will be able to have more flights between Ipoh (IPH) and Subang (SZB) and Ipoh (IPH) and Senai (JHB). Firefly is expected to take receipt of the first batch of ATR 72 in September next year.
In June, the government allowed Firefly to operate from the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport as its second hub after Penang. It was to facilitate flights from the airport to all its domestic destinations and also to Indonesia and Thailand.
For the King and country...
25 OdiE: I am curious how this will work where all international arrivals into the U.S. (except Canada and other airports that have pre-custom clearance) are
26 ZKNBX: Rather a discrepancy in size; probably you'd be lookin at ATR42-500. Actually the ATR72 is a wonderful plane to fly on; I am one of those who prefer
27 MH1402: Malaysia Airlines to invest RM200 mil in electronic ticketing NST Online Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is investing RM200 million within the next three year
28 David_itl: MH flew out Man Utd yesterday from MAN on the Utd tour of Asia. Aircraft used was =9M-MPM.
29 Econojetter: The response (long and containing specific accusations) from the CEO of FAX: http://www.theedgedaily.com/cms/cont...ece9f2e-cb73c03a-9fdee000-3f717de
30 Econojetter: Is the new passenger services system (PSS) causing an unusual surge in overbooking? See article: http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/N.../200707160744