What ETA Unknown said was absolutely true. They had canceled their Singapore and Sydney services. Initially, they were suppose tyo fly CAI-KUL-SYD instead of CAI-SIN-SYD, but they had canceled all flights to Singapore and Sydney.
While major carriers such as Lufthansa, BA and Qantas had suspended their flights into KUL, other carriers had inaugurates their services or increased their services into KUL. Here's what I can remember from the top of my head:
Austrian Airlines: up from 5 weekly to 7 weekly
China Southern: up from 14 weekly to 17 weekly (3 new PEK-KUL-PEK flights)
Air Macau: Inaugurated new twice weekly flights from KUL to MFM
China Xiamen: Inaugurated twice weekly FOC-KUL-FOC flights
Mekong Airways: Inaugurated 4 times weekly PNH-KUL-PNH flights
Korean Air: Doubled their frequency from 2 weekly to 4 weekly
Japan Air: Increases their capacity from MD-11 to B744 on certain days. B777 from Summer 2003.
Sir Lankan Airlines: up from 3 or 4 weekly to 5 weekly
Emirates: up from 4 times weekly to 7 weekly
Qatar Airways: up from 3 times weekly to 6 times weekly and from April 2003, 9 times weekly
Furthermore, Qantas had said that it would like to serve KUL again, either flying there itself or via its subsidary Australian Airlines. There had been a lot of discussions on BA's flight into KUL already and I shall not start the whole thing again. Lufthansa's flight was suspended when SE Asia was not in a economic turmoil, which justify their move. SAS and Finnair also intend to serve KUL in the near future.
Last month, I just got back from KUL. I arrived on SQ 106 (around 11 a.m.) and true enough, the airport was deserted. But when I departed for SIN at 10 a.m. on SQ 103, the airport was buzzing with activities. It was so crowded that I actually need to wait for a seat at Delifrance. I think if you want people moving around in the airport, you are looking between 7 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. and from 7 p.m. to midnight. This is probably the same for SIN as well, coz when I landed Singapore on SQ 103, the airport was pretty much deserted as well, with a couple of flights going to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand and Indoneasia.
Airbus Lover: Malaysia, of all the countries, is prehaps the least strict with their visa policies! Chinese visitors are able to get visas when they land at KUL. Not many countries actually allow Chinese visitors to obtain visa upon arrival. There are probably a few countries that Malaysia require visas for tourist purposes. Look at United States, United Kingdom, some of the EU countries and you will know their visa policies. Australia, need visas for almost any citizen in the world except for Kiwis I think. In fact, by holding a Malaysian passport, you get to visit most countries in Europe including Eastern Europe visa-free.
The thing about downtown check-in at KL Sentral for other airlines, I think other airlines actually need to apply for it. Although MAS is the only carrier that allow downtown check-in, I think SIA, Cathay Pacific and Thai are perhaps thinking of that option as well, offering passengers a convenient downtown check in.
Rupertvander82: Why would BA, QF and LH shift their hub from SIN to KUL when they are already so well established in SIN. It does not make any economical sense. Like Qantas744 said, if it ain't broke, why fix it. What the Malaysian Authorities wanted to do is try to make these airlines fly into KUL again, maybe with a daily flight. They probably realized that it's not economically feasible for these airlines to shift their hub. The same goes for Austrian Airlines. Although SIA and Austrian Airlines is in the Star Alliance, Austrian will not simply shift its hub from KUL to SIN where it's already well established at KUL. Plus, you get a whole lot more of competition at SIN for both SIN-Europe and SIN-Oz.