Some of the major events in the previous threads:
- Skytrax's World Airline Awards 2007
Airline of the Year - 6th (2006 - 9th)
Best Cabin Staff - Winner (2006 - 3rd)
Best Catering: Economy Class - 3rd (2006 - 9th)
Best First Class Lounge: KUL - 6th
Best Business Class Lounge: KUL - 6th
Best First Class - 4th
Best Business Class - 4th
Best Economy Class - 2nd (2006 - Winner)
Best Low Cost Airline: Asia - Winner
Best Low Cost Airline: South East Asia - Winner
- Skytrax's World Airport Awards 2007
Kuala Lumpur International Airport
Airport of the Year 2007 - 5th (2006 - 6th)
Best Immigration Service - 2nd
- AirAsia Academy was awarded the "Airline Human Capital Development Strategy Award" at the 2007 Frost & Sullivan Industrial Technologies Awards in Singapore. The award was presented to the low-cost carrier in recognition of its achievement in improving its human capital development and training quality in the airline industry. The academy started operations in April 2005.
- India and Malaysia finally signed a revised air service agreement that ended what seemed like a mild diplomatic row that was brewing between the two countries. The dispute was put to rest after a two-day high-level meeting between ministerial officials in Malaysia. 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. While Air Sahara still has the landing rights, it is not clear when or if the carrier will start flying to Malaysia.
- RMAF's Nuri helicopter with 6 on board crashed on a flight to Kuantan. All 6 died. The Government will soon call for an international public tender to purchase new aircraft for the Royal Malaysian Air Force to replace its fleet of 30 Nuri helicopters. American helicopter manufacturers are favoured for the said soon to be released RFPs. Deputy Prime Minister said the Cabinet had given the nod to initiate the tender process. Starting this year, Nuri helicopters will be phased out in stages until 2012.
- An unmanned aerobridge, which was docked to an aircraft (9M-MKE), caused damage to the aircraft door when it suddenly shifted downwards at KUL. No passengers were involved in the incident. The cause has yet to be ascertained. The aircraft for flight MH378 was scheduled to depart from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. All the passengers bound for the flight were then in the holding lounge and were transferred to another aircraft to depart for their destination.
- A 33-year-old MH's pilot fell to his death from the seventh floor of a condominium block in Damansara. Alvin Goh Huey Peng was found sprawled on the ground of the condominium by residents.It is learnt that Goh left a suicide note to his parents and girlfriend.
- Malaysia Airlines reported a net profit of RM113 million for the second quarter ended 30 June 2007, improving its performance by RM290 million from RM177 million in losses a year earlier. This marks the airline’s 4th successive quarter of net profit since the launch of its Business Turnaround Plan (BTP) in February 2006, and tracks well for Malaysia Airlines to achieve its stretch profit target of RM300 to RM700 million this year.
- AirAsia recorded net profit of RM185.05mil on revenue of RM432.15mil in its fourth quarter ended June 30, compared with RM130.77mil and RM313.73mil respectively in the previous corresponding period. Earnings per share rose to 7.9 sen from 5.6 sen previously. The growth was attributed to higher passenger volume, which grew 45% year-on-year.
- Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd’s (MAHB) net profit for the second quarter (2Q) ended June 30, 2007 surged 79% to RM55.85 million from RM31.21 million a year earlier, mainly due to higher revenues achieved by most of its divisions. MAHB had cash reserves of RM782mil at the end of last year. It reported RM169mil in net profit for financial year ended Dec 31, 2006. For the first half ended June 30, 2007, MAHB recorded RM127mil in net profit and RM673mil in revenue.
Government/NGO interferences in aviation businesses:
- The Senators’ Club has called for the sacking of MH managing director Datuk Idris Jala to prevent further “sliding of services” by the national carrier stating the government-linked MAS was fast losing its credibility and its services was regressing from “bad to worse.”
- The International Air Transport Association criticised Malaysia's move to cut departure tax at its two budget airline terminals, saying it was discriminatory to other carriers and warning it could hurt tourism in the country. In June, departure tax for international passengers at the Low Cost Carrier Terminals, or LCCT, in Kuala Lumpur and in Kota Kinabalu was dropped by up to 51 percent to RM25 (US$7.40; euro5.40).
- The Transport Ministry will not interfere in the internal operations of Malaysia Airlines (MAS), including the management of its financial affairs and staff. The ministry would keep watch on the company's On-Time Performance (OTP) index and ensure that its aircrafts’ safety standards were maintained at a high level.
- Malacca Chief Minister will step in and try to save the historical air control tower at the Batu Berendam airport. The airport, built in 1952, is undergoing a RM131mil expansion to accommodate Boeing 737-400 and Airbus A320 aircraft and the tower is slated for demolition.
New/Additional Routes/Service/Carrier/Frequency/Upgrade/Downgrade/Movement to Malaysia:
- MH will 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).
Kuala Lumpur (KUL) - Vientiane (Laos)
Kuala Lumpur (KUL) - Banda Aceh (Indonesia)
Johor Bahru (JHB) - Jakarta (CGK) on 28 September 2007.
Johor Bahru (JHB) - Macau (MFM) starts 24 August 2007.
Johor Banru (JHB) - Palembang, Indonesia (PLM) starts 25 August 2007.
Kota Kinabalu (BKI) - Shenzhen
Kuala Lumpur - Solo (2x Daily)
Kuala Lumpur - Shenzhen (2x Daily)
Kuala Lumpur - Kota Kinabalu (10x Daily)
- Firefly's is serving PEN-LGK 3 times daily.
- Singapore Airlines is increasing the fuel surcharge on tickets issued on or after Aug 2 for both Singapore Airlines and Silkair flights to all destinations. For flights between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur and Penang, the surcharge will be increased by US$2 to US$22. For other flights, the surcharge has been raised US$5 to US$63.
- Garuda Indonesia is to cancel all code share flights with MH effective October 28, the start of the northern winter schedule. The codeshare agreement covers the joint Indonesia to Malaysia routes as well as the codeshare services beyond the airlines' individual hubs.
- Emirates flies from Venice to Kuala Lumpur daily.
- Gulf Air is rumored to quit KUL.
- Kuwait Airways, recently introduced Jakarta as its latest outbound destination from Malaysia, is confident the “value-for-money” holiday package will attract more Malaysians travellers.
- Qatar Airways Cargo starting flights to Johor Bahru (JHB).
- PIA new routing KHI-KUL-KHI-Peshawar, PEW is capital of North West Frontier Province (NWFP) bordering Afghanistan.
- India's Jet Airways is to upgrade KUL from B738 to A330 by January 2008. BOM - KUL planned as well.
- Air India Express plans to start to fly from Kuala Lumpur to Chennai by October in the first phase and expand later to Trichy in southern India and to other Indian destinations.
- Direct flights between Johor Bahru (JHB) and Chennai could start by next year with India and Malaysia practising the open skies concept, including in air cargo.
- Australia's Jetstar has launched the first low-cost direct long-haul flights between Kuala Lumpur and Sydney on Sept 9 with a special web-only offer from RM88 upwards for a one-way ticket. The offer is for two travel periods spanning Sept 9-20 this year and Feb 3-28 next year. The standard economy fare at other periods would be RM488, excluding surcharges and taxes.
The arrival of the first Jetstar flight last night of Flight JQ65 from Sydney marked the first time any aircraft from the Qantas group had touched down in KUL on a commercial flight since the late 1990s. Jetstar plans to tackle Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia X on their home turf. Jetstar will at first fly three times a week but plans to ramp up the new service to a daily frequency. Qantas is also considering using KUL as a hub for one-stop flights between Australia and Europe.
Online Facilities/New Product:
- MH will offer online check in via its website by March 2008.
- AirAsia offers meals self collection via web booking system. Passengers who pre-order their meals can pick them up from a retail outlet operated by AirAsia in KUL before boarding their flights.
- Web check in for AK's flight are now available outside KUL. Passengers in JHB, KCH, BKI and PEN may do so as well.
- 12 self service kiosks are now ready in KUL. KLM is the first to offer such service, Malaysia Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and Emirates to join before year end.
- Emirates Airline will soon offer check-in services for its passengers at Kuala Lumpur Sentral. Beginning July 30, passengers flying Emirates can check in at the Kuala Lumpur City Air Terminal (KLCAT). Initially check-in counters at KLCAT will service Dubai-bound travellers. The first passenger who checked in at its counter at KL sentral would receive an exclusive Emirates’ gift. The counters will be open five hours before each departing flight and will close two hours prior to departure. Its counter at KL Sentral will be operated by DRB-Hicom Bhd subsidiary KL Airport Services Sdn Bhd.
- A 34-year-old man acted as if he was an important businessman returning home from a working trip. He 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 KUL, and seized 2kg of syabu on him.
- On May 8, a 56-year-old local man going abroad was detained on suspicion of carrying heroin. However, he swallowed the 475g of heroin before the custom could seize it. Adding that subsequent X-ray test on the man revealed the drug in his stomach. The case is still under investigation.
- The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has warned Malaysians to be wary of Hong Kong travel companies that ask for personal data such as bank account numbers. The tourism board said it had received several enquiries from Malaysians who were called by representatives of certain Hong Kong travel companies claiming to have organised lucky draws in collaboration with HKTB.
- MH's B744 fleet are shrinking. From 17 aircrafts owned, now only 11 in active fleet. Former 'Kuala Terengganu' is now wearing Oasis Hong Kong livery.
- AK has received its 26th A320 and completing the registration series from A to Z.
- MASWings will purchase 5 new Twin Otters 400 aircrafts as part of expansion plan.
- Malaysia Airlines is offering travellers super low airfares for bookings till Aug 15, 2007, during its World Online Celebration. Customers booking these offers through www.malaysiaairlines.com can enjoy up to 75% discount on airfares for all its international destinations, except Australia, for travel from Jan 16 to May 22, 2008.
- Firefly is offering Malaysians the chance to celebrate Merdeka in the air - by flying to destinations for as low as 50sen. Booking can be made at www.fireflyz.com.my
- 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. The guidebook would be made available at travel agents and airline companies in the South and Southeast Asia region. HKTB also organised a workshop 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.
- Pakistan will 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. 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 for the annual Citigold Lux Style Awards 2007.
- MAS had launched the “Get Spotted” campaign to reward its Enrich frequent flyer members. As part of its “Let’s Fly Malaysia!” campaign, Enrich members will receive special edition luggage tags custom-designed for Malaysia Airlines by Datuk Mohd Nor Khalid or better known as Lat. Overall, 50,000 luggage tags would be distributed, and an average of four winners would be selected daily during the campaign period. Each winner will receive 10,000 Enrich miles and RM50 ‘temptations’ inflight shopping vouchers. Winners who are spotted on Aug 31 will receive a 3-day/2-night Golden Holidays package for two persons, either to Phuket, Denpasar, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap or Bangkok.
- Malaysia's largest travel fair, MATTA Fair was held from 7-9 Sep and it has its own (Visa) Matta credit card program issued by EON Bank. Privilledge includes lounge service at KUL and SIN. MH is offering attractive domestic and international flight packages and airfares at the fair.
- The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) Perak held its fourth travel fair at Stadium Indera Mulia from Sept 7 – 9. The fair would have over 70 booths and was expected to attract at least 30,000 people.
- India’s Jet Airways will host its own travel fair just two days after the three-day Matta Fair ends on Sept 9. The fair, from Sept 11 to 13 at the Bangsar Shopping Centre in Kuala Lumpur, will give discounts on packages and tickets to India and beyond. Part of the attraction is six free tickets to be given away during that period.
- Effective July 1, it is compulsory for all licensed travel and tour agents to offer travel insurance to the local and overseas travellers, and customers are advised to accept such coverage.
- US Embassy offers service center for visa application. It offers the type of assistance the embassy could not offer before. It will prepare applicants for interviews at the embassy. 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 email@example.com or visit www.vfs-usa-my.com.
- The Indian High Commission here has outsourced the processing of visas to a local travel agency, which has set up offices here, in Penang and in Johor Baru. Indian High Commissioner said Grandlotus Travel Agencies Sdn Bhd would collect visa applications from those intending to visit India, and submit them to the high commission for vetting and affixing of visa stamps in the passports.
- Single visa for ASEAN planned. Malaysia is pursuing the facilitation of a single visa entry among Asean member countries to boost tourism in the region, which is forecast to receive 30% of the projected one billion tourists globally by 2010. Tourists coming to Malaysia did not encounter problems getting a visa on arrival or for a two-week stay at present.
- Malaysians have been advised to refrain from travelling to Pakistan in view of the recent wave of violence and bomb attacks in the southern part of the country.
- Under the terms of an agreement, which in the airline jargon is known as the Special Prorate Agreement (SPA), MH 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.
- By September 2007, MH 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.
- MH flew out Manchester United Football Team yesterday from MAN on the United Tour of Asia. Aircraft used was 9M-MPM.
- There have apparently been service disruptions possibly aggravated by a suspected slowdown by workers silently protesting the new performance evaluation system which resulting in massive flight delays. A task force had been set up to resolve any dissatisfactiona and later on all employees of Malaysia Airlines will receive a special bonus payment of half month salary or RM1,000, whichever is higher. The payment was recommended by its Special Task Force (STF) on Performance-based Remuneration. The company said to qualify for the bonus, employees must fulfill certain criterias set out by STF.
Earlier, the company awarded SESOS (Selective Employee Share Option Scheme) and performance-based bonus to about 10% of the staff, supposedly based on their performance. However the assessment was either never done, or not done properly, and there was no transparency on how the SESOS and bonus were awarded. The remaining 90% of the workforce, feeling left out, went on "who cares" work attitude resulting in some record delays. The STF was set up to address this and the half month bonus is their immediate response. Heard that this issue will become a what-not-to-do in management class in years to come.
- MH 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, MH's budget airline Firefly is keen to fly to Singapore and Indonesia.
- MH Engineering & Maintenance will provide maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services to PT Eka Sari Lorena Airlines' (Lorena Air) new fleet of six Boeing 737 Aircraft from 2007 to 2010 for some US$48 million (RM165.69 million).
- MH organised a Premier Charity Gala for beneficiaries such as Malaysian Association for the Blind, National Cancer Foundation, Kiwanis Down Syndrome Foundation, Yayasan Budi Penyayang, Persatuan Bagi Kebajikan Kanak-kanak Terencat Akal Sarawak and the Sabah Children Welfare Foundation.
- MH has filed a US$35.55 million (RM122.65 million) lawsuit against Air Maldives Ltd alleging its failure to make payments on the lease of aircraft to the latter. Its solicitors had filed affidavits of service in the Kuala Lumpur High Court in respect of its claims against Air Maldives for US$35.55 million. A MH spokesman said the bulk of the lawsuit was for Air Maldives’ alleged failure to make the lease payments in the 1990s, as well as all other charges related to the lease.
- MH wants to learn from AirAsia and other low-cost carriers (LCCs) as a constructive step to be more competitive in the regional and global airline industry. However, MH would leave its primary premium airline strategy and objective intact towards meeting the needs of customers. MH wanted to be more proactive in reducing costs to reflect higher profitability and increased efficiency, and adopt such strategies as that deployed by LCCs. A lot of airlines have been customer-driven in the past. MH used to give the customers more, without justifying how these costs met with the revenue. Now, MH want to understand what our customers want and what they are willing to pay for.
- MH has announced the appointment of Captain George Snyder as senior technical consultant, safety and security. Snyder, who will join the board’s safety and security committee, has extensive experience in the area.
- MH to strenghten presence in ASEAN, India, China and Middle East. Disposal of some B734s are being finalised but not the widebodies. MH want SZB to be a leading turbo propeller aircraft's airport and wants no restriction (for Firefly) on the routes flown and carriers serving from there (even AK) as long as it is using a turbo propeller aircrafts.
- A new business plan to steer MH ahead and beyond is going to be unveiled in January 2008 following the expiration of BTP in 2008. MH needs new strategies to face the ASEAN open skies policy beginning 1 January 2009, which Dato Idris Jala described as 'the Olympics for the airlines in the region'. MH is preparing itself and wants to win. Firefly may join the regional competition using larger aircrafts and MH's plan to revamp its existing fleets (both narrowbodies and widebodies) is confirmed.
- MH has completed the filming of their newest Safety Video.
- Malaysia Airlines’ unions and associations have urged the Transport Ministry to abide by the Asean Open Skies roadmap, and only open the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore route when total liberalisation of flights between capital cities starts in January 2009. The eight unions and associations said the premature opening of the route, even to limited flights, would have negative nationalistic and economic impact on the country. They represent 95% of the 18,000 workforce. “We are open to competition but it must be done in a proper and timely manner. The Asean roadmap has been agreed by all Asean countries, and we must stick to the fixed timeline,” it added.
- A minimum of RM900 – that’s what the Malaysian Airline System Employees’ Union Peninsular Malaysia (Maseu) is asking for. At the next collective agreement (CA) negotiation with the management due in July next year, Maseu will include a request for a minimum pay of RM900 for the lower grade workers in MAS, including office boys, traffic hands, clerks, tarmac workers and cleaners.
- The government has approved the application of Firefly to service the Senai-Ipoh and Subang-Ipoh air routes.
- Firefly opened its headquarters in Komtar Penang.
- MASWings is still in dispute with FAX over the cost of repairing the turboprops, which were cannibalised by FAX. The government has yet to decide on who should bear the cost, which is estimated up to RM40 million. Earlier, MH demanded a thorough audit to be conducted by Singapore’s Fokker Services Asia Pte Ltd before MASWings can resume the Rural Air Service (RAS) from FAX, which is scheduled to start on Oct 1.
- MASWings is on track to take to the skies as scheduled on Oct 1 and expects to be fully operational by Dec 1, when it will have a fleet of 13 aircraft providing almost 200 weekly flights in Sabah and Sarawak. All preparatory work was on schedule and the new airline would be ready to take over turboprop operations from FlyAsianXpress (FAX) on Oct 1. MASWings flights are now open for booking through the MAS call centre 1-300-88-3000.
- MASWings will initially commence operations with 4 Fokker-50 and 4 Twin Otter aircraft to serve a network of 23 destinations in Sarawak and Sabah as well as the Federal Territory of Labuan. Another 3 Fokker-50 and 1 Twin Otter aircraft will join MASWings effective 28 October 2007 and by 1 December 2007 the new airline will have a fleet of 8 Fokker-50 and 5 Twin Otter aircraft to provide an average of 113 weekly F50 flights and 80 weekly Twin Otter flights. MASWings' flights will use the Malaysia Airlines prefix MH followed by a four-digit flight number. A blue tail and engines livery was unveiled.
- MASWings will be structured into two divisions - Operations and Support Services. General Manager, Wan Abdul Rahim Wan Ishak was named head of operations. Serena Ho will take the role of chief financial officer and will double-hat as assistant general manager of transition management. Meanwhile, the business development and human resources division will be led by Norsalela Md Din and Nor Aida Othman respectively.MAS, which is in the process of taking back the RAS which it handed over to Fly Asian Xpress last August, will commence services in Sabah and Sarawak beginning October 1, 2007 from their main base in Miri, Sarawak.
- International tour operators in Britain have started reinstating Sarawak and world heritage site Mulu National Park into their holiday packages – after a hiatus of almost a year due to uncertainties over availability of local flights. The move by MASWings to take over the rural air service from Fly Asian Xpress (FAX) has already sparked hopes of a revival for the tour industry in the state, said Sarawak Tourism Board (STB).
- AK lunched its new co branded Citibank Credit Card. The former co branded credit card with RHB Bank was terminated.
- AK's subsidiary, Tune Money will rolling out insurance products in September 2007.
- AK have been ordered to thrash out their problems to ensure the disabled community could use the airline with ease. 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. AK in response stated that they will provide wheelchairs for FREE and hire disabled staff.
- AirAsia and FAX have signed an agreement for the latter to use AirAsia's brand for its long haul operation. The suggested brand is AirAsia X. AirAsia will waive the fee for the first year of FAX's AirAsia X operation. On the following years, FAX is subjected to an annual fee of MYR 680,000 (USD 200,000) payable to AirAsia. However, if AirAsia X's turnover for one particular year exceeded MYR 136 million (USD 40 million), a fee of 0.5% from the total turnover is payable to AirAsia instead. The agreement is for a period of 5 years and can be extended to another 5 consecutive terms, each term is 5 years.
- AK CEO Datuk Tony Fernandes believes Malaysia has more to gain than Singapore if the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore air sector is open to competition. He was refuting Malaysia Airlines' argument that Singapore would win and Malaysia would lose out if the KL-Singapore route was liberalised. Why does AirAsia need the two daily flights into Singapore? “If they don’t give us KL-Singapore (route), I will buy Singapore Airlines. If they do give us, we will be in Changi and terrorise the Singaporeans", said Tony Fernandes. AK wants to serve SIN twice a day for beginning.
- AK unveiled its newly enhanced website at www.airasia.com.
- AK is expected to fly to Hong Kong from Kuala Lumpur by January 2008, three years after it chose Macau for its first destination in China, instead of Hong Kong, due to lower airport charges.
- AK is now having its own inflight magazine called 'Travel3sixty'.
- Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) is keen to partner with no-frills Tune Hotels.com to build more Tune Hotels in the vicinity of low-cost carrier terminals (LCCTs). Tune Hotels.com will build a hotel near the KL International Airport’s (KLIA) LCCT on a parcel of leased land. Malaysia will have the world's first budget hotel housed in an international airport when Tune Hotels.com – the hotel chain of budget airline AirAsia – opens in the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) at KL International Airport next year.
The move will see Tune Hotels.com adding yet another hotel to its fast-growing chain, which already includes hotels in Danga Bay Johor Bahru, Penang, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu. The hotel would offer a five-star sleeping experience at one-star price for the 20 million-odd passengers who transit at the LCCT each year.
- AK signed a letter of intent with Shipbuilding Industry Group with a view to establishing a joint venture low-cost airline in Vietnam. The proposed partnership would focus on securing the licence to operate a new Vietnamese airline that would serve domestic, regional and international routes. The new airline will be built on the successful low-cost model pioneered by AirAsia in this region. The airline would carry the name VINA AIRASIA. Hanoi is to become hub, 9 aircrafts are planned within 2 years.
- AK will explore the possibility of expanding to the lucrative China air travel market. AK also planned to set up two more affiliate carriers in the region but declined to elaborate.
FLY ASIAN XPRESS
- FAX's Rural Air Service was badly effected after the audit report by Singapore’s Fokker Services Asia Pte Ltd about them canniballising the turboprops were revealed. It is 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. Half of the aircraft which Fly Asian Xpress (FAX) used to operate for rural air services in Sabah and Sarawak were not airworthy. Reports of Fly Asian Xpress (FAX) cannibalising parts from one aircraft for use in another are causing concern in Sarawak. In fact, some seasoned travellers are so worried they are afraid to board FAX flights now.
- FAX introduced its new CEO Azran Osman-Rani to helm AirAsia X. The former CEO who was mostly in-charged of RAS has been silently withdrawn.
- 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. AirAsia X is glad to have got unlimited landing rights to Amritsar and are planning to schedule their second destination to Amritsar.
- CIMB Bhd will be financing Fly Asian Xpress Sdn Bhd's (FAX) purchase of 15 A330-300 aircraft with a list price of US$2.3 billion (RM7.93 billion). Both parties have signed a term sheet on the deal, which will be formalised with an agreement. This marks CIMB's entry into the aircraft financing sector — the first for a local bank.
- AirAsia and FAX have signed an agreement for the latter to use AirAsia's brand for its long haul operation. The suggested brand is AirAsia X. AirAsia will waive the fee for the first year of FAX's AirAsia X operation. On the following years, FAX is subjected to an annual fee of MYR 680,000 (USD 200,000) payable to AirAsia. However, if AirAsia X's turnover for one particular year exceeded MYR 136 million (USD 40 million), a fee of 0.5% from the total turnover is payable to AirAsia instead.The agreement is for a period of 5 years and can be extended to another 5 consecutive terms, each term is 5 years.
- British billionaire Richard Branson's Virgin Group took a 20% stake on Aug 10 in a new Malaysian airline that has ambitions to become the world's top long-haul budget carrier. Branson and AirAsia X, founded by former Virgin executive Datuk Tony Fernandes, did not immediately give a price for the deal, which is rumoured to be tiny, but the real value of the transaction is in the longer-term alliance of the two businesses.
- AirAsia X has secured rights to fly to Stansted airport, a major UK hub for European low-cost flights, as well as to Australia's Gold Coast tourist mecca and to Avalon airport near Melbourne. The Australian flights are due to begin by the end of next month. AirAsia X's parent firm, Fly Asian Xpress, has ordered 15 new Airbus A330-300 aircraft, the first to be delivered in time for the September launch. It has options on 10 more.
- Gold Coast is AirAsia X's first destination; Hangzhou, Tianjin and Melbourne Avalon before year end. Amritsar's 'Punjabi Express' will follow in early 2008. Birmingham and Manchester are on the radar. FAX to be renamed AirAsia X and will be listed on Bursa Malaysia in 3 years. Virgin Atlantic - AirAsia X - Virgin Blue linkage planned. Sir Branson would be happy to buy back 49% shares in Singapore Airlines.
- AirAsia X's first leased A330 is now readily painted and now being refurbished.
- MASkargo have dropped Basel and Bangkok freighter aircraft services but continues to serve Milan.
- MASkargo is in talks with Air Uzbekistan to create a formal silk route, which will enable MASkargo to leverage on Air Uzbekistan to fly its cargo to CIS countries and it in turn will fly Air Uzbekistan’s cargo to Europe. The two parties were finalising a formal partnership, which was expected to be completed by year-end. MASkargo to drop Dubai and flies to Tashkent instead.
- MASkargo is now a member of TIACA and Malaysia to host Air Cargo Forum 2008, the largest air cargo event at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre from Nov 4 to 6, 2008.
- KUL 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 KUL's main terminal which can offer the same check-in facilities at the city centre.
- 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). 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.
- MAHB would upgrade its wireless Internet service at all terminals in stages as part of improving the quality of its services.
- MAHB has been ordered to thrash out their problems to ensure the disabled community could use the airport (KUL LCCT) with ease. Upgrading of facilities at the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) had taken place gradually, such as the construction of covered walkways.
- After 4 years waiting, MAHB finally gets the nod to dispose off F1 business. The government has undertaken a crucial initiative towards the restructuring of MAHB financials by transferring the latter’s roles in the Formula 1 championship to the former’s investment arm, Khazanah Nasional Bhd.
- Passenger service charges to be increased and major renovation works at KUL will start in 2008.
- Ipoh (IPH)
Earlier, it was announced that the under-utilised Sultan Azlan Shah Airport’s terminal building will be upgraded and the runway lengthened so that the airport can service low-cost carriers, particularly A320 aircrafts.
Then the Menteri Besar has asked for feedback from the people on what should be done to the airport by offering Perakians two choices - lengthen the runway or relocate the airport to Seri Iskandar.
Then the plan to upgrade the terminal building and lengthen the runway of the airport is off because the state government was concerned that money spent on the project might not generate the growth needed to boost economic activities in Ipoh and Perak.
Then the Perak government has decided to build a new RM301mil airport in Seri Iskandar, a new township some 40km from Ipoh city center but is concerned it may turn into a white elephant.
Confusion reigns over the airport issue – whether to upgrade the present Sultan Azlan Shah Airport or build a new one in Seri Iskandar continues. Infrastructure and Public Utilities Committee chairman said the state was looking at four options, including lengthening the runway of the present airport.
- Kota Kinabalu (BKI)
Malaysia's second largest gateway is progressing well with a brand new ATC is almost completed and the new terminal building taking shape.
- Kuala Lumpur (KUL)
Retail outlets will be expanded, the second satellite building to be built and land around KUL to be developed. Most works will start after the Visit Malaysia Year 2007 campaign ended on 31 December 2007.
Under the original master plan for KLIA, there should be ample land bank to house four satellite buildings, two terminal structures and five runways. If all the buildings are constructed, KUL should be able to handle 100 million passengers a year.
- KUL LCCT
The present Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) at KUL was never meant to be a permanent terminal. The Government announced last week that a new LCCT, that could cater up to 30 million passengers a year, would be built close to KUL at an undisclosed amount.
It is learnt that MAHB would not only just manage the airport but would also be involved in the construction by way of preparing all the ground work – from design to issuing out tenders – for the various jobs. Unlike the existing LCCT, where linkages are only by road and air, the new LCCT will also be linked by rail as the KLIA Express Rail Link from KUL and KL Sentral will be extended. The two airports will also be linked by a sky train.
A recent report stated that BOTH the expansion of the existing KUL LCCT and a construction of a new LCCT in KUL will take place.
- Kuala Terengganu (TGG)
A recent report stated that Sultan Mahmud Airport in Kuala Terengganu to be rebuilt in larger scale.
- Kuching (KCH)
A LCCT is rumuored to be constructed in Kuching.
The historical ATC at Batu Berendam Airport in Malacca is to be demolished, which sparks some protests due to its relation with Malaysia's Independence Day back in 1957. The airport is currently being expanded to accommodate B734s and A320s. Commercial flights will be back to Malacca.
- Penang (PEN)
During the unveiling of Nothern Region Economic Region (NCER), it was announced that Penang International Airport will be expanded. Penang and Langkawi airports to be promoted as hubs for budget carriers and small jets. There will also be an expansion of regional and international air links to bring more visitors to NCER in Sumatra, Phuket and Myanmar.
However recently, there were news reports a new international airport in Penang was mooted by Equine Capital. Equine is said to have proposed to build the airport at Batu Kawan at a cost of RM1.2 billion, and in return will take over the existing airport land in Bayan Lepas. The reports stated MRCB would be the contractor. The Bayan Lepas Airport will be made the premier air cargo hub in the IMT-GT and will handle high-quality perishable food items. A new passenger and cargo terminal and additional runways will be built to cater for increasing air traffic.
Then, there was a panel looking into formation of Penang LCCT. A technical report on the proposed low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) in the state will be ready soon. A technical committee, formed to look into the setting up of the LCCT, is working on the report. However, the Transport Minister dismissed the idea because the Penang International Airport in Bayan Lepas is currently handling a passenger load of about three million, or two million short of its maximum capacity.
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) Malaysian Aviation Thread 5 (by 9MMAR Jul 12 2007 in Civil Aviation)#206
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