9MMAR
Topic Author
Posts: 1728
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2006 7:18 pm

Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Fri Jul 13, 2007 2:10 am

Selamat Datang to the fifth instalment of the Malaysian Aviation Thread.


Source: skyscrapercity.com


Some of the major events in the previous threads:

New Carriers:

  • 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.


New/Additional Routes/Service:

  • 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.


Price Wars:

  • 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.


Crashes/Mishap:

  • 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.


Plane delivery/movement/order:

  • 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.


Bilateral Disagreement:

  • 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.


Visa/Entry Requirement:

  • Canada, which maintains one of the most stringent visa regimes, is not about to ease its tedious vetting processes for Malaysian passport holders.


Financial Performance:

  • 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.


People:

  • 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.


Travel Fair:

  • 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.


Others:

  • 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.


MALAYSIA AIRLINES

  • 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.


AIRASIA

  • 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.


MALAYSIA AIRPORTS

Airport performances:

  • 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.


Airports' constructions:

  • 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:
Malaysian Aviation Thread (by 9MMAR Dec 29 2006 in Civil Aviation) Malaysian Aviation Thread 2 (by 9MMAR Feb 10 2007 in Civil Aviation) Malaysian Aviation Thread 3 (by 9MMAR Apr 6 2007 in Civil Aviation) Malaysian Aviation Thread 4 (by 9MMAR May 28 2007 in Civil Aviation)


Lets get started!  bouncy 
 
9MMAR
Topic Author
Posts: 1728
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2006 7:18 pm

RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Fri Jul 13, 2007 2:36 am

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
The Edge

  • 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.
 
9MMAR
Topic Author
Posts: 1728
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2006 7:18 pm

RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Fri Jul 13, 2007 2:44 am

Quoting 9MMAR (Thread starter):
The opening of the KUL-SIN route

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
The Edge

  • 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
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RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Fri Jul 13, 2007 2:48 am

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
The Edge

  • 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
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RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Fri Jul 13, 2007 2:53 am

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 1):
RAS aircraft repairs to cost up to RM40m

Related news.

FAX Cannibalised Parts From Other Aircraft, Says Auditor
Bernama

  • 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
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RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Fri Jul 13, 2007 2:56 am

All Airlines Can Now Offer City Check-in At KL Sentral
Bernama

  • 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
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RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Fri Jul 13, 2007 3:03 am

AK launched its 'improved' co branded credit card.

Citibank AirAsia card launched. One million cardholders targeted
The Star

  • 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.”

  • More on AK's Citibank Credit Card. http://www.citibank.com.my/APPS/port...ame=/promo/det/card_airasia_aa.htm
 
9MMAR
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RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Fri Jul 13, 2007 3:11 am

KLIA Customs Man found with 2kg syabu in bag
The Star

  • 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
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RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Fri Jul 13, 2007 3:23 am

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
The Edge

  • 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
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RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Fri Jul 13, 2007 3:29 am

A very good initiative by the Hong Kong Tourism Board.

Hong Kong wants more Muslim tourists from Malaysia
The Star

  • 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
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RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Fri Jul 13, 2007 5:20 am

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!

Mandala499
When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
 
mandala499
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RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Fri Jul 13, 2007 5:25 am

That Airbridge accident... damn!
1 calendar month ago... I arrived to KUL on A2 (on -MQA)
A day later I left KUL on 9M-MKE...
When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
 
9MMAR
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RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:23 am

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
The Star

  • 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
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RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:28 am

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 Star

  • 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
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RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:32 am

The introduction for AirAsia X.

The X factor in ensuring success
The Star

  • 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.
 
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RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:35 am

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 13):
Azran Osman-Rani, the CEO of FAX

Meet the CEO of AirAsia X.

New CEO has sleek execution style
The Star

  • 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
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RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Fri Jul 13, 2007 1:35 pm

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
Posts: 6458
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2001 8:47 pm

RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Fri Jul 13, 2007 4:11 pm

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
Posts: 814
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 5:45 pm

RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Fri Jul 13, 2007 6:17 pm

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)

ATR72-500 certainly seems a viable choice
 
MH1402
Posts: 115
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 2:39 am

RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:54 pm

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.

-- BERNAMA

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.

-- BERNAMA
For the King and country...
 
thaia345
Posts: 818
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 6:57 pm

RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Sat Jul 14, 2007 1:59 am

Quoting Mandala499 (Reply 11):
That Airbridge accident... damn!
1 calendar month ago... I arrived to KUL on A2 (on -MQA)
A day later I left KUL on 9M-MKE...

What a pity, MKE and MKF are my usual rides to KUL and back to CGK. Hope fully the L1 dooes is reparied by now.

9MMAR, do u have any pics of the incident?
 
TreeHillRavens
Posts: 284
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 1:01 pm

RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Sat Jul 14, 2007 2:23 am

http://www.aeromalaysia.com/joule/MKE01.jpg
http://www.aeromalaysia.com/joule/MKE02.jpg
 
odie
Posts: 1581
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2001 8:55 am

RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Sat Jul 14, 2007 3:22 am

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
Posts: 115
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 2:39 am

RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Sun Jul 15, 2007 4:23 am

Seems like CO will be next on MH list to be code share partner.  biggrin 

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".

For the King and country...
 
MH1402
Posts: 115
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 2:39 am

RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Sun Jul 15, 2007 4:34 am

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...
 
odie
Posts: 1581
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2001 8:55 am

RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Sun Jul 15, 2007 7:12 am

Quoting MH1402 (Reply 23):
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.

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 required to clear immigration, claim their luggage and clear customs before checking in or dropping off their bag at CO's check-in counter.

Quoting MH1402 (Reply 23):
Seems like CO will be next on MH list to be code share partner.

Good news indeed. Maybe CO will let MH take over EWR-ARN route provided MH flies daily between the two cities?
 
ZKNBX
Posts: 440
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2006 5:24 pm

RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Mon Jul 16, 2007 4:58 pm

Quoting Joffie (Reply 18):
ATR72-500 certainly seems a viable choice

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 it to the DH8Q-300.
 
MH1402
Posts: 115
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 2:39 am

RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:46 am

Malaysia Airlines to invest RM200 mil in electronic ticketing
NST Online

  • Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is investing RM200 million within the next three years to upgrade its passenger services system, providing customer with the option of completing all booking, ticketing and check-in transactions from their home or office.

  • By September this year, the airline will be electronic ticketing (eTicketing)-capable, providing customers with the ease of printing their own tickets and option of making changes to their travel itinerary themselves, thus doing away with visits to the ticketing offices or travel agents.

  • “Check-in will also be easier as passengers will just have to show their e-ticket number as a form of identification. There will be no more problems associated with misplaced, damaged or forgotten tickets,” said MAS senior general manager, transition management, Dr Amin Khan.

  • Speaking at a media briefing here today, he said once the eTicketing process was completed, there will be a cost savings of RM20 per ticket with physical tickets no longer needed. This will translate into savings of up to RM70 million annually for the airline, he added.


For the King and country...
 
David_itl
Posts: 5961
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2001 7:39 am

RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Tue Jul 17, 2007 3:32 am

MH flew out Man Utd yesterday from MAN on the Utd tour of Asia. Aircraft used was =9M-MPM.
 
Econojetter
Posts: 356
Joined: Thu May 24, 2001 11:24 pm

RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:22 pm

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 4):
Related news.

FAX Cannibalised Parts From Other Aircraft, Says Auditor
Bernama

The response (long and containing specific accusations) from the CEO of FAX:

http://www.theedgedaily.com/cms/cont...ece9f2e-cb73c03a-9fdee000-3f717de2

The claws are out. We might see some fur flying soon (?)
 
Econojetter
Posts: 356
Joined: Thu May 24, 2001 11:24 pm

RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:42 pm

Quoting MH1402 (Reply 27):
Malaysia Airlines to invest RM200 mil in electronic ticketing
NST Online

Is the new passenger services system (PSS) causing an unusual surge in overbooking?
See article:
http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/N.../20070716074422/Article/index_html

Quoting 9MMAR (Thread starter):
But Isz1 leave us wondering by what 19 July ... 7 days left... has anything to do with MH joining an alliance.

I believe Isz1 is referring to the Investor Day hosted by MAS. Are major announcements going to be made?

Looks like the airline may also have some employee issues to address. There have apparently been service disruptions possibly aggravated by a suspected slowdown by workers silently protesting the new performance evaluation system.
http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/N.../20070714191203/Article/index_html
 
paparadzi
Posts: 169
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 8:16 pm

RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:51 pm

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 4):
FAX Cannibalised Parts From Other Aircraft, Says Auditor
Bernama

Remember this?

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © M Radzi Desa



If it is not being cannibalized, then what is it doing there?
Rules are made for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools.
 
9MMAR
Topic Author
Posts: 1728
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2006 7:18 pm

RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Thu Jul 19, 2007 6:50 pm

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 30):
Is the new passenger services system (PSS) causing an unusual surge in overbooking?



Quoting Econojetter (Reply 30):
Looks like the airline may also have some employee issues to address. There have apparently been service disruptions possibly aggravated by a suspected slowdown by workers silently protesting the new performance evaluation system.

I am one of the effected passengers. My flight to Jakarta was delayed for 3 hours on 9 July.

MAS rules out sabotage
The Star

  • Malaysia Airlines has dismissed suggestions that staff sabotage was behind cases of its passengers being stranded at various airports it served. Its managing director Datuk Idris Jala said the problems were caused by mechanical malfunctions and teething problems afflicting its new passenger services system.

  • “There is a lot of speculation on reasons that led to the flight delays. We can categorically say that in our findings, there is no evidence of sabotage by any of our staff,” he told a press conference here yesterday. Reports have said that hundreds of passengers were stranded at airports in Kota Kinabalu, Dubai, Melbourne, London, Osaka, Japan, Nagoya and Kuala Lumpur earlier this month. Passengers were often told that their flights had been overbooked. There have also been reports of flights being delayed.

  • The problems come at a time when many of the 19,500 MAS employees are unhappy with the company and claimed that they have been unfairly assessed by appraisers under a move towards a performance-based remuneration structure. Idris said 80% of the delays were airline-related while the remainder was caused by weather conditions, air traffic control and airport-related matters.

  • As for the airline-related delays, 56% were deemed to be caused by snowballing effect of the 10% engineering and mechanical problems while 8% was attributed to the passenger services system. The rest was a result of delay in re-fuelling or handling. ”We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience caused as to us, safety is paramount,” Idris said.

  • On the performance-based remuneration system, Idris said most employees wanted the system. Nevertheless, he said that a task force had been set upto resolve any dissatisfaction.
 
9MMAR
Topic Author
Posts: 1728
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2006 7:18 pm

RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Thu Jul 19, 2007 6:54 pm

MH is facing a problem now. Things are not improving. Or was it because of the haze? Is it too bad in Malaysia now?

Passengers fed up with excuses
The Star

  • Air passengers are getting thoroughly fed up with the excuses given by airline officials on the flight delays at the KL International Airport since last week. A group of government officers who have been travelling back and forth between KLIA and Alor Star said they were getting sick and tired of the delays that they have faced.

  • “It’s annoying and troublesome when flight delays happen,” Tina Ooi, 42, a government officer travelling with five colleagues to Alor Star, said after the Malaysia Airlines flight was delayed for about an hour yesterday. Ooi said airline officials they approached had claimed the delays were due to poor weather conditions and technical glitches. “We cannot get to work on time and it is a hassle to reschedule our ground travel arrangements each time there is a delay,” said Ooi.

  • A teacher from Kuwait, Saleh Al-Shamali, who was travelling to Penang with 26 family members, said delays such as the one they experienced yesterday were bad for tourism. A check by The Star revealed that at least five domestic flights – to Penang (two flights), Kuantan, Alor Star and Kuala Terengganu – and seven international flights – to Amsterdam, Bangkok, Doha, Cebu, Jakarta, Dhaka and Jeddah – were delayed as at 4pm yesterday.
 
9MMAR
Topic Author
Posts: 1728
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2006 7:18 pm

RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Thu Jul 19, 2007 6:59 pm

Quoting MH1402 (Reply 19):
Nuri Copter With Six On Board Goes Missing On Flight To Kuantan

Three remaining bodies from Nuri sent to hospital
The Star

  • The three remaining bodies of the Royal Malaysian Air Force Nuri crash victims were sent to Kuala Lumpur Hospital Thursday morning. The body of the pilot Capt Nor Azlan Termuzi, 29, was retrieved and a helicopter brought the remains to the hospital for a postmortem. Earlier the bodies of copilot Capt Nor Intan Asykeen Mohd Arof, 27, and air quartermaster Sgt Khusnizam Ariffin, 34, arrived by helicopter at the hospital.

Related Stories:
A minute of silence in Senate
Nuri will be phased-out in 3 years
Uphill task to recover remains
Air force personnel turn up to pay last respects
Newsman recalls night lost in jungle
Cabinet decides to phase out aging copters after crash
 
9MMAR
Topic Author
Posts: 1728
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2006 7:18 pm

RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:07 pm

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 12):
“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.

Can FAX be sued? Please someone sues FAX.

MAS and FAX in dispute over poor condition of 12 planes and repair bill
The Star

  • Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is not willing to put the lives of passengers at risk and wants the 12 aircraft, under dispute in an audit report by Singapore’s Fokker Services Asia Pte Ltd, repaired before it can begin rural air service (RAS) operations. The service is scheduled to start on Oct 1.

  • At a briefing yesterday, members of the media were shown photographs of defects in some of the 12 aircraft. Captions from the photographs read, “corrosion”, “cowing cannot be latched”, “bird’s nest found on one of the wings of the aircraft”, “(all kinds of joints) used to connect some parts of the aircraft”, “parts damaged” and “parts of carpet missing.” MAS wants the 12 planes airworthy before it can start the service.

  • It estimates that repairs will cost RM40mil and its managing director Datuk Idris Jala said at the briefing that while the airline was prepared to undertake repairs, it would not pay for them. “The repair works could affect the timing of our taking over the RAS, as four of the seven Fokker 50 are not working and the condition of the aircraft is bad,” said MAS executive director and CFO Tengku Datuk Azmil Zahruddin at the same briefing.

  • He said only 80% of the aircraft would be ready by Oct 1 and “MAS would be (more) comfortable starting operations on Dec 1.” The whole dispute surrounds the taking over of RAS by MAS. RAS is a service provided by the Government to connect several remote parts of Sabah and Sarawak.

  • MAS operated the service for decades, but on Aug 1, 2006, Fly Asian Xpress (FAX) got the rights to manage RAS and was given 12 aircraft – seven Fokker 50 (F50) and five Twin Otters – to operate the service. MAS maintained all the planes for FAX up to Feb 26. FAX claimed that MAS had overcharged and decided to outsource maintenance of the planes after February. FAX also alleged that MAS did not give the records of aircraft for smooth maintenance by the third parties, despite several requests. “Up to February, the planes were in good condition,” Idris said.

  • Due to several factors and continued flight delays, the Government in April asked MAS to take over RAS from October 1. MAS requested Fokker Services to conduct an audit, the findings of which are being disputed by FAX. The Fokker Services report revealed that four of the seven F50 and one of the five Twin Otters operated by FAX had been heavily cannibalised. MAS, in its statement, reiterated that one aircraft had been cannibalised of both of its engines, both propellers and had 70 parts missing.

  • This has been vehemently disputed by FAX which, in a statement earlier, said that over the past 11 months of operations, FAX had to overhaul six F50 engines and four Twin Otters engines, four F50 propellers and three Twin Otters propellers, and two Twin Otters landing gear, among others. FAX said it did not cannibalise aircraft parts but rather rotated parts from airplanes coming in for maintenance to service those coming out of maintenance.

  • The issue now is who should fork out the RM40mil required to make the planes airworthy – FAX or Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd (PMB)? “It is a contract between PMB and FAX, but whoever uses the aircraft has to bear the cost,” Idris said. “Given that the services were subsidised, we suspect FAX might be asking for payment and compensation from the Government (as the contract to operate the services for several years will now be terminated in October.”

  • That aside, FAX when taking over the planes initially from PMB, did not do an audit check although Azmil claimed yesterday that the “planes that we handed PMB were airworthy.” Asked if it was cheaper to lease other planes than to repair the 12, Idris said that, “it is still cheaper to repair them. But we are talking to PMB to replace the fleet (F50 and Twin Otters) and talks are ongoing.” Even though the planes are between 15 and 20 years old now, Idris said that they were still reliable and could be flown for another five to 10 years.
 
9MMAR
Topic Author
Posts: 1728
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2006 7:18 pm

RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:16 pm

Quoting 9MMAR (Thread starter):
Bilateral Disagreement:
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.

Finally settled?

Revised air pact with India signed
The Star

  • INDIA and Malaysia signed a revised air service agreement that ended what seemed like a mild diplomatic row that was brewing between the two countries, a Tamil daily reported. The dispute was put to rest after a two-day high-level meeting between ministerial officials in Malaysia last week. Last May, India’s Civil Aviation Authority warned of an impending ban on Malaysia Airlines (MAS) if Indian domestic carriers, Air India Express and Air Sahara, were not permitted to land in Malaysia.

  • Following the meeting, both parties signed a memorandum of understanding which the Indian side said would allow both sides to designate any number of airlines to operate on the India-Malaysia route. India’s Civil Aviation Ministry said in a statement that the capacity for designated airlines have been significantly liberalised and this would lead to enhancement of traffic rights over the next two years.
 
9MMAR
Topic Author
Posts: 1728
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2006 7:18 pm

RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:19 pm

New centre for US visa application opens
The Star

  • Good news for US visa applicants. The US Embassy, together with its partner VFS Global Sdn Bhd, has set up a new Visa Application Centre to ease the application process. It starts operations today.

  • Embassy consular section chief Andrew Miller said yesterday the goal of the centre was to make the visa application process easier to understand. “It offers the type of assistance we could not offer before. It will prepare applicants for interviews at the embassy,” he said, adding that those interested to apply may go online or to the centre and speak directly to an officer on all visa matters.

  • Miller said the new service was a better system than having people queue up outside the embassy as early as 6am without knowing whether they would get in that day. “We get people who come to the embassy not knowing what to bring or what to expect for the interview. With this centre, people can get an idea of the entire process and be better prepared,” he said.

  • The online system and the centre give people information on their visa applications and allow them to schedule an interview at their convenience, he said. Also beginning today, Alliance Bank branches will become the embassy’s new partner for visa fee collection, replacing RHB bank.

  • The centre is located at 19th floor, Wisma MCA, 163 Jalan Ampang. Operating hours are 8am-12.30pm and 1.30-4pm on Mondays to Fridays. The centre is closed on Malaysian and US holidays. For details, call 03-2166-6550, e-mail infomalaysia@vfs-usa-my.com or visit www.vfs-usa-my.com.
 
9MMAR
Topic Author
Posts: 1728
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2006 7:18 pm

RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:29 pm

Quoting 9MMAR (Thread starter):
Will most likely become a reality on 1 January 2009 in response with the ASEAN open sky.

And relates to the front page article, which features Datuk Idris Jala in The Edge.

MAS: Don’t open Asean skies early
Singapore stands to gain more than Malaysia

The Star

  • Malaysia Airlines (MAS) does not want the Government to bring forward the timeframe for the Asean Open Skies for fear that Singapore will benefit more than Malaysia. However, MAS' budget airline Firefly is keen to fly to Singapore and Indonesia.

  • “We do not discount flying to any destination, including Singapore,” MAS managing director Datuk Idris Jala told reporters after a briefing on the recent spate of delays of MAS flights and on the rural air services that it will be operating by Oct 1. The market is abuzz with talk that MAS, via Firefly, is keen to fly to Changi. The move will also ensure that MAS remains a competitor not just as a full services carrier but also in the low-cost fare arena when the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore route is opened to competition.

  • Transport Minister hinted this week of the possibility of the original deadline of Jan 1, 2009 being brought forward for several routes under the Asean Open Skies policy since several low-cost carriers had requested for it. However, this is possible only if all the affected governments agree. The hottest route that budget carriers seek now is the KL-Singapore sector, currently monopolised by MAS and Singapore Airlines, with a round-trip costing more than RM800, inclusive of taxes and fees.

  • Jala said MAS had submitted a proposal to the Government for Firefly to add more domestic routes to its loop and hoped for an answer soon. However, he declined to name the destinations. Firefly was recently given the rights to fly from Subang. ”We have submitted an official request and are still talking to the Government. It will be (good) for the community as Firefly is a community airline,” Jala said. Firefly is based in Penang and uses two 50-seat turboprops for its flights to Langkawi, Kota Baru, Kuala Terengganu, Kuantan, Phuket and Koh Samui in Thailand.

  • On the bringing forward of the timeframe, Jala said Malaysia had more to lose than Singapore. “I think Singapore would be the winner as the local airlines are not ready to operate in a fully liberalised environment. We need more time,” he explained.

  • To him even some routes in Malaysia were not fully liberalised since Firefly was not allowed to fly on routes that AirAsia flew. Therefore, it would seem unfair to “open the skies” sooner. “When we are talking about an even playing field, there should be evenness here and there,” Jala said. He urged that the original deadline remained so as to give airline operators more time to prepare. But budget carriers do not agree. Low-cost players like AirAsia, and Singapore’s Tiger Airways and Jetsar Asia are hoping to exploit the potential of the KL-Singapore route sooner rather than later.
 
9MMAR
Topic Author
Posts: 1728
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2006 7:18 pm

RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:35 pm

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 36):
Revised air pact with India signed

Air India Express to fly to Malaysia from Oct
The Star

  • Low-cost carrier Air India Express aims to begin flying from Chennai to Kuala Lumpur from October under a new agreement to liberalize air travel between the two countries, an airline official said Thursday. The carrier, which is a subsidiary of state-run Air India, is finalizing details of its entry to Malaysia following the signing of the pact earlier this month, said Saket Saran, country manager for Air India here.

  • "It is a landmark agreement. It will increase the number of direct flights to Indian cities, and make travel cheaper and more convenient for passengers,'' Saran told The Associated Press. "Air India Express hopes to operate by October. We plan to start to fly from Kuala Lumpur to Chennai in the first phase and expand later to Trichy in southern India and to other Indian destinations,'' he said.

  • Malaysia will be the carrier's second international destination after Singapore, he said. Air India Express is negotiating to fly to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, rather than to the low-cost terminal near the main airport, he added. The bilateral pact to free up air services was signed July 13 in Kuala Lumpur following two days of extensive talks between aviation authorities from both sides, the Indian High Commission said in a statement late Wednesday. The deal would allow Air India Express to fly to Malaysia, it said.

  • The agreement followed a dispute in May when India's aviation authority threatened to cut Malaysia Airlines' landing rights in India if Indian budget carriers Air India Express and Air Sahara were not allowed to fly to Kuala Lumpur. The Malaysian government granted landing rights to Air Sahara last year but state-controlled Malaysia Airlines allegedly asked the government to cancel it on the grounds that passenger volumes on the New Delhi-to-Kuala Lumpur route were low. While Air Sahara still has the landing rights, it is not clear when or if the carrier will start flying to Malaysia.

  • Under the new agreement, the high commission said the aeronautical authorities of both countries can designate any number of airlines to operate the India-Malaysia route. The two sides agreed to enhance traffic between Malaysia and six key cities in India, namely New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad over the next two years, it said.

  • The agreement also allow designated airlines to fly to 18 secondary airports in India, as well as remove all restrictions for cargo services, it said. "This agreement will pave the way for growth in air operations between India and Malaysia. As a direct outcome of these talks, the operations of Air India Express on India-Malaysia route are likely to commence soon,'' the High Commission said.

  • Malaysia Airlines flies 27 times a week to five Indian cities, including 13 codeshare flights with Air India, Saran said. This in addition to 28 combined flights to Kuala Lumpur between Indian Airlines, Air India and Jet Airways each week, he said. Air India and Indian Airlines are merging as part of consolidation of state-run carriers but Saran said it would not affect the number of flights to Malaysia. - AP
 
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RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:46 pm

Upgrade fleet with caution, airlines told
The Star

  • Airlines must be cautious when upgrading their fleet, as larger aircraft with a higher passenger load can translate to lower flight frequencies, which may not meet domestic consumers' requirements.

  • Malaysia Airports Berhad (MAB) senior general manager (operations) Datuk Azmi Murad said consumers may prefer increased flight frequencies to bigger aircraft, adding that airlines must study routes in detail to meet the demands of domestic airline travel. Azmi was opening an airport literacy course for Kelantan-based journalists here.

  • Citing an example, Azmi said when AirAsia flew its Airbus 330-series aircraft, its passenger load was 220, which was a combination of two aircraft load. “This can result in a reduction of frequency as airlines must also take into account costs such as fuel when flying bigger aircraft.” Consumers preferred an increase in flight frequencies to coincide with their own requirements, such as meetings and appointments, he said.

  • Azmi also said MAB would upgrade its wireless Internet service at all terminals in stages as part of improving the quality of its services. Currently, only KLIA and the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) had wireless connections. As for retail space at all MAB terminals in the country, Azmi invited anybody keen on taking up space to write in. “We practice the tender system but at times, retailers must also know that it is not the highest bid that wins. We have other considerations and requirements.”
 
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RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Thu Jul 19, 2007 8:27 pm

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 36):
Revised air pact with India signed

The same envoy also visited the IDR in Johor Bahru and the leader, Ashok said direct flights between Senai and Chennai could start by next year with India and Malaysia practising the open skies concept, including in air cargo.
 
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RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Thu Jul 19, 2007 8:31 pm

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 35):
MAS and FAX in dispute over poor condition of 12 planes and repair bill

On why the dispute started and FAX's explanation on the 'cannibalising' issue.

FAX questions audit Airline
The Star

  • Fly Asian Xpress Sdn Bhd (FAX) has denied cannibalising the aircraft parts of its rural air services fleet. FAX CEO Azran Osman-Rani said in a statement yesterday he was concerned about recent articles based on an audit report by Fokker Services Asia Pte Ltd, which implied that FAX had mismanaged the fleet.

  • “The audit itself is believed to have been conducted quickly with limited information, which is why we believe the assertions made on the alleged state of operations to be inappropriate. It further carelessly portrays FAX as cannibalising aircraft parts, implying deliberate mismanagement on FAX's part. In contrast, what FAX did was to rotate parts from airplanes coming in for maintenance to service those coming out of maintenance – a common airline industry practice,” said Azran.

  • Fokker Services regional director Michael Cole was quoted as saying in an audit report last Friday that half of FAX’s aircraft were not airworthy. Cole was reported to have said that only 80% of the fleet was expected to be operational by Oct 1, when Malaysia Airlines' (MAS) new subsidiary MAS Wings was expected to take over, and that restoration cost was estimated at some RM40mil. The same report also quoted MAS managing director Datuk Idris Jala as noting that four of FAX’s seven Fokker 50s and one of its five Twin Otters were grounded.

  • Azran said they were also concerned about the independence of the firm selected to carry out the audit as Fokker Services was affiliated with the manufacturer of the Fokker aircraft, the Original Equipment Manufacturer who also sells spare parts and maintenance services. “We strongly contest assertions that sufficient spare parts were available in the market. Fokker had stopped production of the planes concerned as well as the related parts more than a decade ago. Any spare parts available are themselves already quite aged and may not be adequate for our purposes,” he added.

  • Azran also highlighted that MAS remains the fleet's aircraft maintenance provider. He assured all FAX passengers of the safety of their operations, stressing that the Department of Civil Aviation had completed its annual audit last week and had no objections to FAX continuing to operate until the handover.
 
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RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Thu Jul 19, 2007 8:47 pm

Discrimination to the disabled, AK is in hot soup.

Order to Malaysia Airports and AirAsia: Ease movement of the disabled
The Star

  • Malaysia Airports Berhad and AirAsia have been ordered to thrash out their problems to ensure the disabled community could use the airline with ease. “I had a dialogue with representatives of the disabled community and fully agree that some kind of facilities should be provided to ease their movement,” said Transport Minister. “I have given instructions that something has to be done; I want to see solutions and want both parties to work things out,” he said, adding that upgrading of facilities at the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) had taken place gradually, such as the construction of covered walkways.

  • He was commenting on the disabled community's complaints against AirAsia and the LCCT after launching the inaugural AirAsia flight from Kuala Lumpur to Shenzhen, China, in Sepang yesterday. The main complaint by the Barrier-Free Environment and Accessible Transport Group was AirAsia's refusal to take passengers who were completely immobile, suggesting that the carrier review its policies to provide facilities that were non-discriminatory.

  • On passengers being stranded at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) due to overbooking of flights by Malaysia Airlines (MAS) last Sunday, he said he was waiting for a full explanation from MAS. AirAsia group CEO Datuk Tony Fernandes, who was present at the launch, explained that the carrier accepted partially paralysed passengers but had no facilities for totally paralysed passengers.

  • Stating that they would have to change the whole configuration of their planes to accommodate totally paralysed passengers, Fernandes added that it was not feasible. He said that for such passengers, the aisles and the toilets would have to be bigger. “For wheelchair-bound passengers, we do not charge them for the wheelchair but take them to the plane and physically carry them into the plane,” he said.

EARLIER

Protest held against AirAsia
The Star

  • More than 20 disabled and wheelchair-bound members of the Barrier-Free Environment and Accessible Transport Group (BEAT) held a protest against AirAsia for its refusal to take passengers who were completely immobile. The protesters, headed by the group's co-ordinator Christine Lee, and assistant co-ordinators V. Murugeswaran and Peter Tan, demanded AirAsia reviews its policies and takes reasonable steps to ensure facilities and services provided at the low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) are non-discriminatory.

  • Lee said that unlike KLIA, the LCCT does not incorporate aerobridges, which allow easier access for passengers to board planes. “Passengers are instead required to walk up a flight of boarding stairs – a daunting task when one is disabled from the waist down,” she said.

  • Lee said that when booking AirAsia tickets online, a separate icon would appear on the website asking if the ticket purchaser would require “special assistance”. “If you clicked 'yes', then you won't be able to proceed with your booking. That's when I called AirAsia's call centre, and was told that they were unable to accept passengers who are completely immobile. This is even stipulated in AirAsia's terms and conditions!” she added.

  • Lee also said that AirAsia charged RM12 for renting out a wheelchair, which a passenger could use to go from the ticketing counter to the departure hall. “One would then have to go from the check-in gate to the aircraft without the wheelchair, which is quite absurd.”

  • Murugeswaran pointed out that AirAsia also stipulated that the carriage of persons with limited mobility was subject to whether they were able to climb the boarding stairs unaided or aided. Passengers who are unable to board the stairs without any assistance would be requested to travel with a caregiver or companion. This is blatantly discriminating, unfair and unacceptable. We want to be independent and not have to rely on other people to chaperon us when travelling,” he said, adding that nothing has been done despite BEAT holding a dialogue with AirAsia on the matter more than two years ago.

  • During the protest, BEAT also urged Malaysia Airports Bhd to ensure all new and old airports in the country are equipped with facilities to improve accessibility to disabled passengers. When contacted, an AirAsia spokesman said they were unable to comment on the matter at present.
 
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RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Thu Jul 19, 2007 8:57 pm

Quoting MH1402 (Reply 27):
Malaysia Airlines to invest RM200 mil in electronic ticketing

Additional news about the event. Self service check in kiosk is now available in Malaysia and by March 2008, online check in will be available from MH's website.

MAS invests in electronic ticketing
The Star

  • Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is investing RM200mil in the next three years in a new passenger service system that will - among other things - enable the airline to be fully electronic ticketing (eTicketing) capable by September. MAS senior general manager said the outlay was mainly for putting up the infrastructure for eTicketing reservation and electronic check-in infrastructure.

  • “By September, MAS customers will have two check-in options - via the self-service check-in kiosks at the airport or the normal check-in counters,” he said at a media briefing yesterday. Customers will also enjoy the ease of printing their own tickets and the option of making changes to their travel itinerary themselves, thus not having to visit the ticketing office or travel agent,” he added.

  • eTicketing and electronic check-ins are the essence of MAS’ multi-million ringgit information technology programme to comply with International Air Transport Association’s mandate that calls for all air travel to be ticketless by 2007. The national airline expected savings of RM70mil a year by implementing eTicketing. “Check-ins will also be easier as passengers will just have to show their e-ticket number and a form of identification. There will be no more problems associated with misplaced, damaged or forgotten tickets,” he said.

  • MAS eTicketing’s introduction is on track following its successful cutover to the new user-friendly SITA Departure Control System (DCS) for its 16 domestic stations, including the KL International Airport (KLIA), to hasten passenger check-in and boarding process, replacing the system the airline has been using for the last 20 years. Amin said the airline had also introduced the new check-in system at the Heathrow Airport in London and Changi Airport in Singapore. The system cutover for the rest of the international stations started yesterday and will be completed by September. “By March next year, customers will be able check in via the airline’s website,” he said.
 
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RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Thu Jul 19, 2007 9:06 pm

Quoting 9MMAR (Thread starter):
The opening of the KUL-SIN route

More news on the matter. AirAsia X's second destination is confirmed to be Amritsar. The first destination is yet to be decided.

Opening of KL-Singapore route could drive airfares down
The Star

  • The opening of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore air sector will not only benefit regional budget carriers but also drive airfares down. Should it happen, AirAsia Bhd is a sure contender for the sector although associate airline AirAsia X is set to fly into Amritsar early next year since it has won “unlimited rights” to land at the capital of Punjab in India. “We are glad to have got unlimited landing rights to Amritsar and are planning to schedule FAX’s second destination to Amritsar,” Fly Asian Xpress Sdn Bhd (FAX) shareholder Datuk Tony Fernandes said..

  • FAX operates AirAsia X, the long-haul low-cost airline that is set to take to the skies in September. Fernandes is also group chief executive officer of AirAsia Bhd. “We are sending a team to Amritsar next week to work out the finer details,” he said. For its first destination, FAX is mulling over a city in China or Australia. The flight to Amritsar could also act as an intermediate stop for FAX flights to London or even Manchester, apart from a stop in the Middle East.

  • Yesterday, Transport Minister told a press conference that Malaysia was prepared to look at bringing forward the Asean Open Skies Policy from its original schedule of Jan 1, 2009, following requests from several low-cost airlines. “We are prepared to look at it, as it is not a total liberalisation of the Asean aviation route map,” he said. The many budget airlines that are flying to several Asean cities have urged that the KL-Singapore route, touted to be most lucrative, be opened sooner than latter. The sector is now monopolised by Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and Singapore Airlines, both operating more than 200 flights weekly.

  • “We need to talk to many parties because we cannot make a unilateral decision. It is a bilateral issue,” he added. “We now fly to Bangkok and Jakarta and hopefully we will be able to fly this KL-Singapore route,” Fernandes said, adding that “we are not asking that the deadline of the open skies be brought forward” but just that “AirAsia would be keen to offer two flights to Singapore a day.” Apart from AirAsia, Singapore’s Tiger Airways and Jetstar Asia are also keen to ply the route by offering reasonable fares. But the question is will the national carriers of both countries allow it to happen earlier?
 
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RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Thu Jul 19, 2007 9:11 pm

Quoting 9MMAR (Thread starter):
AirAsia will be flying daily to Shenzhen from Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok starting on July 15.

Second daily flight is planned on the inaugural ceremony. Macau is to be served 5 times a day from several hubs. AK wants to serve SIN twice a day for beginning.

AirAsia plans second daily flight to Shenzhen
The Star

  • AirAsia Bhd plans to offer a second daily flight from Kuala Lumpur to Shenzhen in China in the last quarter, given the good response to the route. Group CEO Datuk Tony Fernandes said AirAsia had applied to the China Aviation Authority for a second landing slot and was waiting for the approval.

  • “We should know the outcome by September and will provide a second daily flight to Shenzhen soon after,” he said after the official launch of the Kuala Lumpur-Shenzhen flight yesterday. The flight to Shenzhen, which is AirAsia's first foray into mainland China, started June 14 and has received good demand. Fernandes said more than 5,000 seats were filled in the first week after the service started, and that the route had been recording a load factor of close to 90% to date, the highest among its newly-launched routes.

  • “To date, we have sold more than 30,000 seats for Shenzhen. It presents a tremendous potential for us to tap the vast China market,” he said, adding that plans were under way for AirAsia to secure a second frequency to cater to the high demand for this route. Yesterday, AirAsia's brand new airbus A320 departed for Shenzhen at 4.25pm on a full load.

  • Transport Minister, who officiated at the launch, said the Kuala Lumpur- Shenzhen direct flight would further enhance investment and trade between Malaysia and southern China. “I was informed that AirAsia is also going to increase its four daily flights to Macau to five times a day. This is another clear indication of the strong demand for travel to and from southern China,” he said.

  • On AirAsia's request for access to fly to Singapore, Chan said that he was aware of the matter but it would take some time as it involved bilateral consensus of Malaysia and Singapore as well as other stakeholders. “There has been a strong demand with AirAsia and Singapore asking for limited access to operate the specific route. However, although the open air policy will be implemented on Jan 1, 2009, we are prepared to discuss limited flights before the deadline,'' he said. Meanwhile, Fernandes told reporters that AirAsia was only asking for two daily flights to Singapore.
 
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RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Thu Jul 19, 2007 9:15 pm

A vague news. Does it means Venice to Kuala Lumpur via Dubai or a triangular Dubai-Venice-Kuala Lumpur?

Emirates flies from Venice to Kuala Lumpur
The Star

  • In conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2007 and as Malaysia celebrates its 50th year of independence next month, Emirates Airline has launched its Venice-Kuala Lumpur route to further promote tourist arrivals between the two countries.

  • “This year, Malaysia is expecting more than 20.1 million inbound travellers and what better way to welcome tourists to Malaysia than by connecting the country with a booming city like Venice,” country manager said at the launch last Friday. The new route would also offer travellers a “unique Venetian experience” through the Emirates Water Limousine airport transfer service, which would provide transportation via boats from a dedicated pontoon next to the airport to their respective hotels, he said.

  • The Venice route is the airline’s third Italian destination after Milan and Rome. “Venice is a popular tourism destination and an important gateway in northern Italy for commerce. This new service will contribute to Italy’s flourishing small and medium-sized businesses by providing increased access from Venice to other major cities such as Malaysia.“ By year-end, Emirates will further extend its services to destinations like Newcastle, Sao Paulo, Ahmedabad, Toronto and Houston.
 
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RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Thu Jul 19, 2007 9:49 pm

Pakistani stars set to flood Malaysia.

Pakistan’s Lollywood set to dazzle Genting
The Star

  • High Commissioner Lt-Gen (Rtd) Tahir Mahmud Qazi said a commemorative event would be a “Pakistan Travel Mart” at the Putra World Trade Centre on Thursday, held to develop bilateral tourism ties. The event has been “diverted” here through the efforts of the Pakistan High Commission.

  • Pakistan will honour 50 years of relations with Malaysia by hosting its coveted film and fashion awards in Genting Highlands, which has been the venue for India’s glittering Oscar awards-like shows. The stage is set for a “Bollywood versus Lollywood” comparison here. While India’s film industry is known as Bollywood, the Pakistani film industry is referred to as Lollywood, a portmanteau of Lahore and Hollywood.

  • About 400 of Pakistan’s leading film, fashion, TV and music personalities will converge here on Friday for the annual Citigold Lux Style Awards 2007, which were usually hosted in exotic locations like the Middle East. “Our best models will be here. There have been award shows hosted in Genting Highlands, but ours will be exceptional,” the envoy said.
 
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RE: Malaysian Aviation Thread 5

Thu Jul 19, 2007 9:55 pm

Major causes for the recent MH's delays.

MAS regrets flight delays, explains
The Star

  • Malaysia Airlines has apologised to its passengers over recent spate of flight disruptions. MAS managing director Datuk Idri Jala explained that the disruptions were due to several factors including technical, bad weather and new passenger services system. Idris apologised to the airline passengers “for the discomfort they experienced arising from these situations.” He was responding to increasing passenger complaints over delays.

  • He said there were two significant engineering related instances this week - one involving a Boeing B777 grounded in Frankfurt on July 9 due to an engine damaged by an apron baggage loader. The other was an Airbus A330 300 grounded indefinitely at the KL International Airport (KLIA) since Thursdayafter one of its cabin doors was structurally damaged when an airport aerobridge fell to the ground, he said.

  • Idris said that bad weather also caused several flight disruptions. ”Each of this situation invariably caused a shortage of operational aircraft, which necessitated the reshuffling and retiming of some of our normal schedules. Our flights between KLIA and stations such as Penang, Bangkok, Jakarta and Singapore were impacted by such adhoc retimings,” he said.

  • “Where possible, we notified passengers in advance of these retimings and flight rescheduling, whilst we also worked with the airport operators for such updates to be featured in the flight arrival/ departure information display boards,” he added. The introduction of a new passenger services system in line with the mandatory IATA requirement for e-ticketing had also experienced teething problems. - Bernama

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