MaverickM11
Topic Author
Posts: 17794
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 1:59 pm

MAS Plans To Set Up A Premium-class Airline

Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:34 am

Just saw this in the Wall Street Journal and thought it odd:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1172...9589.html?mod=home_whats_news_asia

"Mr. Jala also confirmed a report that MAS plans to set up a premium-class airline to operate out of the northern tourist island of Penang, also a hub for electronics manufacturing. He said the airline is still in preliminary discussions with the government on the matter and "hopefully, we will be able to give more details next month.""

Anybody have any more information? A premium airline in Penang? Seems counterintuitive to me!
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
airpearl
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Joined: Tue May 01, 2001 7:42 pm

RE: MAS Plans To Set Up A Premium-class Airline

Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:17 am

Quoting MaverickM11 (Thread starter):
Seems counterintuitive to me!

Exactly. Something seems to have gone awry in the reporting of this piece of news. A local daily had reported that the new airline may start operations with 2 Fokker 50s and operate to Medan, Indonesia and Phuket, Thailand. Hardly premium routes at all.
 
Ryanair!!!
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RE: MAS Plans To Set Up A Premium-class Airline

Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:26 am

First of all, Penang is HARDLY a premium destination. Actually come to think of it, premium traffic into KUL is pretty marginal too compared to SIN or BKK. But can MAS afford to start another off-shoot subsidiary in their present state? An all-premium airline seems a little far fetched.

I am sure this is an errorneous report.
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Econojetter
Posts: 356
Joined: Thu May 24, 2001 11:24 pm

RE: MAS Plans To Set Up A Premium-class Airline

Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:27 pm

'Premium' here probably just means 'not low cost.' Earlier on, the word 'premium' was widely used as the differentiator between MH and AK products.

MH might try to win back some PEN-based business traffic with a handful of nonstops ex-PEN. Business travelers would probably welcome improved frequency offerings to SIN. Other nonstop regional destinations that may be worth looking at are HKG, CAN, TPE (perhaps a bit of a stretch for the B734), even with existing service from competitors. If the BTP is able to realize cost savings to the extent that MH is able to offer those flights at competitive fares, it might win back a few customers from the likes of SQ, CX, CI and CZ. But in order to do that, MH will also have to upgrade the front end products on a number of B734 frames dedicated to those missions.

Maybe MH has determined that there are enough people (to fill an F50 to a satisfactory level) in PEN willing to pay some premium for nonstop MES and HKT. Or maybe this is yet another exercise to promote PEN as a destination by increasing its nonstop links, with MH performing the services until AK has enough aircraft to base some at PEN. Who knows...

Another rumor is that the PEN-based operation will have a different brand name. I can't think of what good that will do.
 
CXfirst
Posts: 3021
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:13 pm

RE: MAS Plans To Set Up A Premium-class Airline

Tue Feb 27, 2007 5:34 pm

I don't think a premium airline would work, I believe it will face the same fate as OZjet

-CXfirst
 
keno
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Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 5:46 pm

RE: MAS Plans To Set Up A Premium-class Airline

Tue Feb 27, 2007 10:23 pm

I believe AK is planning to set up a hub in PEN in the near future, so what chance will this new airline have? Brand new A320 vs stinking old F50 is another matter.
 
MAS777
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Joined: Sun Jul 11, 1999 7:40 am

RE: MAS Plans To Set Up A Premium-class Airline

Wed Feb 28, 2007 9:19 am

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 3):
'Premium' here probably just means 'not low cost.

I agree with Econojetter here...

MAS is not planning on a 'luxury' airline like LH's Privatair ops or MaxJet or the likes. It just means that the airline would be a 'full service' carrier and not a lo-cost set up like AirAsia.

Penang does have its own draw and this can be seen with the likes of SQ, TG, CX, CI and KE operating their own services in/out of Penang. MAS however has always found it difficult to offer any sort of hub operations at PEN - prefering to route a variety of services via KUL in the past. Routes in the past have included KUL-PEN-NRT, LHR-PEN-KUL and during the 80s, their DC10s quite often ran quite a milk-run operating routes like KUL-PEN-HKG-TPE-SEL or NRT.

So this idea may not sound as silly as first imagined. I expect MAS will just set up a 'franchise' operation (like BA does with GB Airways and others) and base a suitable aircraft at PEN to operate domestic and regional routes directly thus negating the current necessary connection at KUL.

(Examples - if you wanted to fly PEN to TGG at the moment - you would have to fly via KUL more than doubling your travel time. Other routes that this 'new' airline could operate more efficiently could be PEN-KCH, PEN-BKI, PEN-SIN, PEN-BKK, PEN-HKT, PEN-MES, PEN-SGN, PEN-HKG, PEN-MAA, PEN-DAC and so on..)
 
keno
Posts: 1809
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 5:46 pm

RE: MAS Plans To Set Up A Premium-class Airline

Wed Feb 28, 2007 11:42 pm

Quoting MAS777 (Reply 6):
I expect MAS will just set up a 'franchise' operation (like BA does with GB Airways and others)

Why not just set set up a franchise operation for the whole of domestic sectors? During the early days of MH business turnaround plan, only 4 key cities were in their list - BKI, KCH, PEN and KCH. All other loss-making domestic routes seem to be maintained just for the interest of "national duty" or however you want to put it.
 
MAS777
Posts: 2766
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 1999 7:40 am

RE: MAS Plans To Set Up A Premium-class Airline

Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:06 am

Quoting KEno (Reply 7):
Why not just set set up a franchise operation for the whole of domestic sectors?

this was explored but the idea of MAS setting up another operation at PEN - as discussed - seems more feasible as it could stand some chance of making some profit (as it won't be solely domestic orientated).
 
Airbus Lover
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RE: MAS Plans To Set Up A Premium-class Airline

Thu Mar 01, 2007 10:13 am

Indeed what they meant by "premium" is not "all-business class" or anything to that extent, but instead, like some have suggested, "not low-cost."

Operations will start with 2x F50s and 1x on standby. The routes are mainly to be in the Northern Triangle but as for exact destinations, we'll see.  Wink

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