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MAS/VS To Fly KUL-LHR 18 Times A Week?

Mon Mar 12, 2001 10:33 am

The following article was found in The Star's newspaper. (a Malaysian newspaper) I checked with MAS online schedule, however, this new flight is not up yet. Do MAS just got the rights and have no plans to start the 4 new weekly flights yet? Or Virgin got the rights and have no plans to start direct flights yet? One more thing, I thought I saw somewhere in airliners.net that Lauda Air might very terminate its services into KUL where as now it is reported that it might increase it's KUL services. About Emirates, could the new flights be onward bound to Australia probably to Brisbane or Perth as rumored? Does anybody out there got any news regarding this matter?

SUBANG JAYA: The Transport Ministry has set up a special committee to attract more foreign airlines to fly to Kuala Lumpur. Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ling Liong Sik said the "hubbing'' committee would include representatives from Malaysia Airports Berhad and Malaysia Airlines. The panel would be chaired by ministry secretary-general Datuk Zaharah Shaari.

"Several airlines plan to increase their flights to KLIA, including Emirates Airlines and Lauda Air. "There is also an increase of London to Kuala Lumpur flights, from 14 times a week to 18,'' he said. "Cathay Pacific Airways has also increased its flights to and from Kuala Lumpur to 21 times a week from 14 times,'' he said.

Dr Ling said within the next three to four months, there was a high chance that three more London to Kuala Lumpur flights would be added, making the total number of flights to 21 a week.

He also said some airlines had to pull out from the KLIA route as they were suffering huge losses due tocommercial reasons. Dr Ling said Japan Nippon Airways did increase its flights but their passenger service was unprofitable.

On the formation of a special Cabinet committee to make entry points to Malaysia more friendly, Dr Ling said itwas a good step. "The ministry will be co-operating with Malaysia Airports and the special committee on this matter to give its full support,'' he said
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RE: MAS/VS To Fly KUL-LHR 18 Times A Week?

Tue Mar 13, 2001 4:57 am

The whole KLIA issue is becoming more contentious. BA doesn't know if its going or staying - although it will be going in 2 weeks  Sad

So - there are 7 weekly slots up for grabs by MAS or Virgin. MAS has literally begged BA to stay (now that MAS is govt. owned again) so with BA still deciding to leave - MAS is in a favourable position to get extra landing rights. Virgin cannot decided whether or not to stay on the route at the moment. BA's pull out left VS thinking again whilst the code-share between VS and MH went sour a while ago...so what is going to happen to the ALL important London route will be interesting.

Remember the last time the UK and Malaysia argued over the matter - Malaysia as a nation went on a 'Buy British Last' policy until the UK CAA allowed MAS to fly in to LHR daily.

Although things look quite grim for virtually ALL foreign carriers at KUL at the moment - things seem to be looking rosier at KLM and NWA as the two airlines now face NO competition to build KLIA as their Southeast Asian hub with the help of local partner MAS...

...who knows?
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Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2001 8:55 am

MAS Obtained Additional 4 Landing Rights Into Lond

Wed Mar 14, 2001 8:26 am

Business Times of Malaysia reported on their top stories that MAS had obtained 4 additional landing rights into London. However, when MAS will start the services is still unknown. Anybody have any idea? And they need to apply for landing slots at Heathrow Airport, I wonnder can the BAA reject MAS' application? Anybody have any idea about what aircraft will MAS utilize and whether will it be a morning/afternoon or evening flight? And BA is still keeping their rights, so I wonder if it is true that they will reinstate their flight in October. One funny thing though towards the end of the report, it was stated that MAS flies 3 times weekly via MUC to Manchester using 777 where as MAS is currently using 747s 3 times weekly nonstop to Manchester. Wonder will MAS increase frequency to Manchester as well! Here's the article:

THE Transport Ministry is believed to have secured approval from the British Government for Malaysia Airlines to mount four additional flights a week into Heathrow Airport in London.

The national carrier already operates daily Boeing 747 flights to the British capital since 1995 under an air services agreement signed by the two governments in 1974. In addition, seven other daily flights _ also 747s _ are mounted on a code-share basis with Britain's Virgin Atlantic. With the rights newly secured, the total number of services a week will rise to 18. The airline has been flying to Britain since July 1 1974.

It is not known when Malaysia Airlines will start utilizing the new rights, as matters have first to be sorted out with the British Airports Authority. "Malaysia Airlines would need to apply for landing slots at Heathrow Airport," sources told Business Times.

Industry observers see the move as timely not least because Malaysia Airlines would be able to fill the vacuum on the sector to be left by British Airways (BA) when it ceases its six weekly flights into Kuala Lumpur at the end of the month. BA has cited non-profitability of its operations here for suspending the services. The rights for the new Malaysia Airlines flights are not BA's existing slots, sources said.

It was reported in October last year that the Transport Ministry had been given the green light by the Cabinet to initiate air talks with the British Government to secure permission for Malaysia Airlines to take over the six weekly flights currently mounted by BA. "Even before BA announced that it was suspending operations on the route, Malaysia Airlines was already seeking additional flights into Heathrow. Government and airline officials were deep in talks at their respective levels before then," the sources added.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ling Liong Sik had on Monday said that Malaysia Airlines had got the nod for four additional flights to London. "I believe within the next three or four months, there is a big possibility of us securing even more flights (to London) 21 per week or three daily," he said.

Observers said the development would also help tweak the national carrier's relationship with Virgin Atlantic. Their 10-year code share arrangement, which ends in 2005, currently sees Malaysia Airlines using its own aircraft while allocating 35 seats per aircraft to Virgin Atlantic on the night flights and 37 seats on the day flights. With the additional flights on the sector, the national carrier will be in a better bargaining position when the pact comes up for review. Virgin Atlantic and its 49 per cent partner, Singapore Airlines, may want to consolidate their operations by integrating route networks and frequent flyer programs, as well as combining airport operations and buying space on each other's flights.

The Kuala Lumpur-London sector is a lucrative one for Malaysia Airlines, with loads consistently "full or almost full". In the April 1998/March 1999 financial year, the carrier ferried 208,287 passengers compared to 191,388 a year earlier. Between April 1999 and January 2000, passenger uplift out of London totaled 192,624.

In addition to Heathrow Airport, Malaysia Airlines flies three times a week to Manchester, using the Boeing 777, via Munich.
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MAS Need Not To Fill Up BA Slots.

Thu Mar 15, 2001 8:32 am

Here's another article taken from Business Times in Malaysia. According to them, MAS will be taking delivery of another B777 next month, wonder will that be in the new livery!! And 3 more 747s by March 2002. They have another 6 747s and four 777-200s on order. Does anybody knows when will this be delivered? What happen to the initial 777-300s that MAS ordered? Any answers more than welcome!

WITH the additional four weekly flights into Heathrow Airport in London, Malaysia Airlines may no longer need to seek the six slots a week which are being given up by British Airways (BA). Furthermore, getting the BA rights would only serve as a stop-gap measure to fill the vacuum to be left by the British carrier when it suspends operations into Kuala Lumpur from March 31. "The slots will remain BA's, but operated by Malaysia Airlines. It would probably be on a profit-sharing basis. The four additional slots on the other hand are Malaysia Airlines' own," analysts said.

Business Times reported yesterday that the Transport Ministry is believed to have secured approval from the British Government for Malaysia Airlines to mount four more flights a week into Heathrow. In October last year, the Transport Ministry was reported to have been given the green light by the Cabinet to initiate air talks with London for Malaysia Airlines to take over the flights currently mounted by BA.

An analyst said any expansion of capacity on the route by Malaysia Airlines, either on its own or through other airlines' slots, is welcomed, as "negotiations for traffic rights into London are never easy". Another analyst from a foreign research house agreed, saying the additional flights should be good for the airline provided the route's existing high load factor is maintained.

For the financial year ended March 31 2000, the national carrier posted a 72.9 per cent passenger load factor on its Europe, West Asia and Africa services, up 1.3 per cent from a year earlier. The load on the Kuala Lumpur-London sector is consistently "full or almost full". With the new rights, the airline's total number of services into London will rise to 18 a week. It is however not known when the national carrier will start utilizing them. Malaysia Airlines currently operates daily Boeing 747 flights to London under an air services agreement signed by the two governments in 1974. It also offers seven other flights on a code-share basis, together with Britain's Virgin Atlantic. Any increase in the carrier's operating cost on the route as a result of the new flights will be marginal as the basic infrastructure, such as ground handling, is already in place.

Malaysia Airlines is expected to take delivery of a leased Boeing 777 next month and three 747s by March 2002. "These aircraft would likely be deployed on the European routes," the analyst said. As at January 2000, Malaysia Airlines owns 66 Boeing aircraft, 10 Fokker 50s and five DHC6s. It leased six 777-200s, one MD11 freighter, four 737-400s and two 737-500 from foreign parties. In turn, it has leased out six 737-400s and one 737-500. The national carrier has on order six more 747-400s and four 777-200s, plus two options.

Some analysts have meanwhile urged Malaysia Airlines to consider separating its domestic and international operations, and at the same time suspend non-profitable routes. Hiving off the domestic operations would allow it to concentrate on the more lucrative international services, they said. "That should be the first order of the day if the airline is to be a truly global carrier," an analyst said.

Its network comprises 110 destinations across six continents, but the domestic sector is heavily cross-subsidized. "British Airways, Qantas, Lufthansa and All Nippon Airways (ANA) have either dropped Kuala Lumpur or will be doing so shortly. They are doing this because they say the route is not profitable to them. "Malaysia Airlines should be doing the same, seriously study its international routes and suspend those that are non-profitable. By not flying to these (non-profitable) destinations doesn't mean that you lose the right to fly (into these destinations). It can mount flights at a later date when the load justifies it," another analyst said.

At the same time, it is worthwhile looking at how to capitalize on the pullout by the foreign airlines, not just the London sector, but also into Osaka as currently operated by ANA. The new management has an "old hand" in Datuk Bashir Ahmad, the airline's executive vice-president (airlines). He is one person who can provide invaluable advice here, the analyst said.

Since 1998, Malaysia Airlines has suspended flights to Madrid, Macau, Davao and Ujung Pandang in Indonesia. It has also withdrawn Vancouver from the network. On the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange yesterday, its shares shed 4 sen to close at RM3.54

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