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Old October 3rd, 2004, 08:52 PM   #1
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JHB | Senai International Airport (Johor Bahru)

Recent pics I've taken of Senai Airport, Johore.

New Cargo Center





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Old October 3rd, 2004, 09:04 PM   #2
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Main entrance of passenger terminal







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Old October 3rd, 2004, 09:47 PM   #3
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Senai completes new cargo complex
August 18, 2004




SENAI, JOHOR, August 18: Senai International Airport (Senai) is ready to carve out a bigger portion of the region's air cargo business with the completion of its new cargo facility.

Known as Phase 1 Cargo Facility, the RM13 million complex became fully operational on August 1 and forms a key part of a long term development plan to transform the airport into a key logistics hub in Asia.

The construction of the facility took ten months and with a built-up area of 3,600 sq m, it is capable of handling up to 80,000 tonnes of cargo annually.

Equipped with a one-stop customs facility, the complex has its own storage area, build and break area, handling and storage for perishable items and a dedicated dangerous goods area.

The facility includes 1500 sq feet of office space for airline freighters, 1300 sq feet of office space for the cargo agents and eight counters for import and export documentation.

"We have opened the doors of our newly built cargo facility and have been receiving positive feedback from numerous parties in the cargo industry. They intend to capitalise on Senai as a centre of distribution in the Asia Pacific region," said Lars Gronsedt, Chief Commercial Officer of the airport.

"The new cargo facility, which meets international standards, marks the beginning of an integrated cargo operation at Senai, which previously was minimal."

The cargo complex is able to handle two full B747 freighters three narrow body freighters at any one time.

Gronsedt went on to say, "For a start, we're eyeing the large Johor-based cargo volumes that presently go through Singapore's Changi Airport.

"It makes economic sense to use Senai's cargo facility as it has good attributes - vicinity, convenience, semi-automatic cargo equipment and handling system and competitive operating costs."

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Old October 6th, 2004, 02:25 PM   #4
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Edgedaily..

Senai appoints cargo rep for Europe

Senai International Airport has appointed Copenhagen-based WingPartners as its cargo business representative in Europe.

WingPartners would market the airport’s integrated cargo handling capabilities and distribution network to cargo airlines and logistics companies in Europe, said Senai airport operator Senai Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd (SATS) in a statement on Oct 4.

It said WingPartners specialised in aviation and shipping-based marketing and brokering and represented a wide range of global industry players, including Polar Air Cargo, British Mediterranean, GB Airways, Excel, MNG Airlines and Nationwide.

Senai selected WingPartners based on its strong European network and extensive industry experience, said SATS chief commercial officer Lars Gronsedt.

“A report from Boeing stated that Europe-Asia cargo traffic is registering annual growth averaging 6.7%, which is higher than the global annual growth of 6.2%. We want to divert some of this huge traffic to Senai,” he said.

Commenting on the appointment, WingPartners’ co-partner Robert Arendal said cargo airlines in Europe would clearly see the attractiveness of Senai.

“We are already in talks with several airlines in Europe and the feedback on using Senai as a distribution base in Asia has been very encouraging,” he said.
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Old October 9th, 2004, 04:52 PM   #5
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Senai Airport aims for perishable cargo market


Senai International Airport (Senai) is aiming to get the world's key freight forwarders and traders of perishable cargo to use Senai as their regional processing and transit hub.

In a statement Friday, Lars Gronsedt, the chief commercial officer of Senai Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd, the operator of Senai, said that the company would be making a pitch towards this end at an upcoming conference in Dubai.

Gronsedt said the conference, "Second Annual Global Perishable Logistics Group Conference" to be held in Dubai, UAE from Oct 8-12, is being organised by the Global Perishable Logistics Group, a network of global perishable freight forwarders with representatives in over 70 cities across 35 countries.

He said Senai wanted to enhance their position in the market sector which made up one of the biggest airfreight components, accounting for almost 14 percent of airfreight volumes.

"According to logistics reports, perishable air cargo has been forecast to grow at a compounded rate of 10 percent per year and by 2010, would amount to a volume of over 10 million tonnes," he said.

Gronsedt hoped that the conference, which gathered importers and exporters of perishable goods and specialised forwarders under one roof, would be a platform to showcase Senai's present and future perishable-handling capabilities.

He also said that with Malaysia's import of food amounting to RM14 billion per year and exports of RM10 billion, there was a need for an efficient and cost effective handling of perishables.

He said the bulk of shipment that made up transit perishable cargo were seafood and fruits going to Japan, Hong Kong and other Far East destinations.

"Of late, ornamental fish breeders have stepped up exports by air and they are seen as growth sector with a need to develop a processing and packing air hub," Gronsedt said.

He said the future perishable centre at Senai's cargo complex would be dedicated to handle a wide range of perishable goods, including fruits and vegetables, meat and dairy products, fish and seafood, fresh-cut flowers and potted plants and pharmaceuticals in an area covering 30,000 square feet.

Gronsedt said the company offered the same level of efficiency and speed provided by neighbouring airports but at lower operating and ground handling costs.

He said that the presentation of Senai at the upcoming conference would not only highlight the airport's dedicated future perishable handling capabilities and services, but also its key strengths which include a strategic location in South East Asia, first class infrastructure and facilities.
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Old October 9th, 2004, 05:25 PM   #6
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More pics of Senai..
THe yellow bus in the pics is CausewayLink bus which now serve shuttle service between JB - Senai.




Departue Hall


Malaysia Airlines's shuttle bus to JB,Singapore.
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Old November 15th, 2004, 08:45 PM   #7
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Riau Airlines flies to Senai
By Jimmy Yeow


Senai International Airport has clinched another carrier – Riau Airlines – the latest airline to use the airport as a strategic link to Malaysia.

The Sumatra-based Riau Airlines started flying the route on Nov 10, with twice daily scheduled services on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays linking Pekanbaru and Senai, the airport operator said in a statement on Thursday.

It also links to other destinations in Riau, including Jambi, Palembang, Padang, Pangkal Pinang and Bukit Tinggi.

Senai Airport Terminal Services (SATS) chief commercial manager Lars Gronsedt said the partnership would provide air travellers to Riau and simulatenously provide a strategic link to Malaysia and other parts of the region, in particular Singapore.

With the addition of Riau, Senai is now linked to 13 cities throughout Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.

Riau Ailrines which began operations in December 2001, is owned by the provincial government of Riau and serves 15 destinations. They are Senai, Malacca, Penang in Malaysia and Batam, Medan, Natuna, Padang, Palembang, Pangkal, Pinang, Pekan Baru and Tanjung Pinang in Indonesia
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Old November 29th, 2004, 12:35 PM   #8
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The Edge: 29th. November 2004

Senai Airport nominated for two awards

Senai International Airport has been nominated for two awards - the “Best Emerging Airport” and “Best Air Cargo Terminal” categories of the Asian Freight and Supply Chain Awards (AFSCA) 2005.

AFSCA, organised by Cargonews Asia and now in its 19th year, is a highlight of the Asian freight industry calendar. More than 42,000 readers of Cargonews Asia, a freight industry newspaper in the region, are polled to nominate and vote the best service providers in Asia's cargo industry.

The “Best Emerging Airport” award recognised up and coming airports that provided a cost-effective, cargo-friendly fee regime and suitable cargo-related infrastructure while freighting less than 500,000 tonnes of cargo per year, Senai Airport said in a statement on Nov 29.

The airport must also demonstrate timely and adequate investment in new infrastructure to meet future demand and excellent facilitation of air cargo ancillary services, including logistics and freight forwarding facilities on site or off.

Other nominees for the Best Emerging Airport category include Macau International Airport, Shenzhen Baoan International Airport and Tianjin Binhai International Airport from China and Nor Bai International Airport from Vietnam.

It said Senai had also been nominated for the “Best Air Cargo Terminal” in Asia award, which recognised airports that have set and clearly communicated its performance standards to shippers, logistics service providers and airlines.

Other contenders for this award include MAS Advanced Cargo Centre, Changi International Airport Services, Singapore Airport Terminal Services, DHL Express Cargo Terminal (Hong Kong), Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals, Shanghai Putong International Airport Cargo Terminal Co Ltd and Thai Airport Ground Services Co Ltd.

The list of finalists will be announced in February 2005 and the winners on April 27, 2005.

“These nominations mark a milestone as it shows that Senai is being recognised as a fast-growing cargo and logistics hub in Asia,” said chief commercial officer of Senai Airport Terminal Services (SATS) Lars Gronsedt.

“We will continue to deliver services and speed up expansion plans to show players from airlines, cargo carriers, freight forwarders to cargo agents and shippers that we are committed and ready to serve them,” added Gronsedt.

Senai is undergoing a 10-year development plan to transform itself into a key passenger, cargo and logistics hub in Asia. Since SATS, the airport operator, took over operations a year ago, the airport has been aggressively growing its cargo business via its newly built cargo complex, capable of handling up to 100,000 tonnes of cargo a year.

The airport aims to capitalise on the world air cargo market, which is expanding at an annual growth of 6.2%. It is eyeing the large Johor-based cargo volume that is currently served by neighbouring airports.

Senai has also appointed Copenhagen-based WingPartners as its representative in Europe as part of its push to attract industry players to use the airport as their distribution base in Asia-Pacific.
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Old December 6th, 2004, 01:22 PM   #9
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Senai woos more airlines
By Faizal Zakariah


Senai Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd (SATS), which is expanding its infrastructure and facilities in line with its aim of becoming the region's air transport hub, is in talks with several airlines to use its airport in Johor, sources say.

Sumatra-based Riau Airlines started flying to the airport on Nov 10 with twice daily scheduled services on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays linking Pekanbaru and Senai.

A source tells FinancialDaily that SATS is in prelimary discussions with another three to four airlines, including another Indonesian carrier. Among the parties SATS are wooing are said to be Sino Fortune Sdn Bhd for its thrice weekly flights to India and Singapore-based Airmark Aviation (S) Pty Ltd to re-instate services after stopping its operations early this year.

Prior to the Riau Airlines, only Malaysian Airlines and AirAsia operated from Senai Airport. With the latest addition, Senai is now linked to 13 cities throughout Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.

Riau Airlines serves Melaka and Penang in Malaysia, and Batam, Medan, Natuna, Padang, Palembang, Pangkal, Pinang, Pekanbaru and Tanjung Pinang in Indonesia.

Meanwhile, Senai handled 1.15 million passengers in the first 10 months of the year, a 75% jump from the 654,000 passengers a year ago, a company official says.

He attributes the increase in the airport’s passenger traffic to more flights by MAS and AirAsia, which has also introduced new local and regional destinations via the airport.

Senai Airport could see a healthy increase in air travellers from Singapore with the new City Lounge, a transit point at Hentian Sentral in Johor Bahru, he adds.

Senai Airport's passenger traffic is set to meet the 1.5 million target by year-end against 900,000 passengers in 2003. It aims to handle 2.5 million passengers in 2005 by having a minimum of 68 daily flights compared with the current 42.

He says SATS will extend the airport’s existing grooved runway to 3,800m from 3,354m to accommodate long-range aircraft and build a parallel taxiway to increase capacity. The company has already invested RM50 million on the upgrading exercise.

On air cargo traffic, the official says SATS expects to handle 18,000 tonnes by year-end and 50,000 tonnes in 2005. Its new fully integrated cargo complex began operations in August this year.

It targets to handle 100,000 tonnes of cargo annually within the next five years. It is wooing air cargo and logistics players in Europe and the Middle East to use Senai as their distribution base in Asia.

Currently, the cargo complex can handle up to 80,000 tonnes of cargo annually. It can take cargo from two B747 freighters and three narrow body freighters at any one time.

SATS has identified a 15.2ha site near the airport for the second phase of the Cargo Terminal to house its warehouse and logistics operations.

He says a cargo agent complex will also be built and eventually be gazetted as a Free Commercial Zone Area, which will allow for breaking bulk, grading, repacking, relabelling and transshipment activities.
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Old December 11th, 2004, 02:27 PM   #10
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Why don't the Johor Government just change the name of the airport to Johor Bharu International Airport? It will be same as KLIA that the airport is not in KL but 50km south of KL at the town of Sepang?
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Old December 11th, 2004, 02:41 PM   #11
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Actually the Johor Gov don't have the right to change the name actually even the federal gov. It is because the government company through MAHB has sold the airport to Syed Mokhtar Bizz Tycoon and because of this it is the first privately own airport in Malaysia.
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Old December 11th, 2004, 07:16 PM   #12
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an article i grabbed from i-penang.com

Martin Jalleh
07 December 2004


Of low fares, no frills and only a farce

I wish to congratulate Air Asia (AA) for having achieved a record of sorts on 5th December, by changing its JB-Penang flight time six times within a day. Truly, in all my years of traveling I have never been treated to such an unique experience by an airline.

My fellow passengers on that flight echoed my sentiments when we exchanged notes on AA's great and historic feat. We look forward to the day when we will be able to meet the CEO of Air Asia (AA) in person and present him with a well-deserved Tony Award for the best theatrics by his airline, which should be aptly called: "Now everybody can let fly".

I had through a friend booked online on 1 November a ticket with AA for a JB-Penang flight on 5 December 2004. Initial information through the airline 's e-mail had indicated that the flight on that day was scheduled at 3.25pm.

On 23 November AA phoned to inform that the flight was changed to 10.35am. Then on the morning of 5 Dec my friend called me from KL informing me that she had received a SMS from AA saying that the flight had been postponed to 1.35pm.

All packed up and ready to go to the Senai Airport, I received another SMS from my friend again which said that the flight had been rescheduled to 3.30pm. It looked as though Air Asia was improving its services by sending such "jokes" to its passengers via SMS.

Just as I was about to leave for the airport, I received news that the flight was "retimed" yet again to 6.35pm. I was very impressed by the SMS service of Air Asia. My heart went out to those who did not have handphones. They would have missed the fun "without frills". How would they get to know of the changes, I had also wondered.

You have got to hand it to the airline. AA does not only make it possible for everyone to fly, it even adds an element of mystery when you choose to fly with the airline. Its latest secret promotional weapon is called "Guess when your plane will take off - 10.35am, 1.35pm, 3.30pm, or 6.35pm?"

On reaching the Air Asia counter, I was informed by their nervously-smiling staff that the 6.35 pm flight had been retimed - to 8.30pm! The short messages from AA must have been the airline's ingenious way of helping us prepare ourselves for a long night at the airport. How thoughtful of AA!

The official story was that one of their planes was "grounded". They had to buy a spare part from overseas (spare us the excuses, please). The part had to flown in through Singapore. There was an unexpected delay at the Customs (how convenient!) and of course "we apologise for the inconvenience caused".

It seems, to make life more interesting for its staff, AA has started a story-telling competition meant only for its staff. The winner - whoever is able to tell the tallest tale in the event of a long delay - will get a short holiday and have his/her named inscribed in the World's Compendium of Excuses. As for the clients of AA, they would be dished a combo surprise -- cheap fares - and cheap excuses!

"What about other planes? You mean to say that AA has only one plane? If you can't even handle the local flights then don't talk about expanding overseas. Please tell your boss this!" a lady roared at Raj at the counter.

"I have had to return to the airport four times today.and now you tell me the flight is delayed again. Is Air Asia going to pay for my petrol? What about those who have nowhere to go and who have been here as early as 8am to catch the supposed 10.30am flight?" another razed at Raj.

I met Singaporeans who shared that they were at the airport since early morning. Some had left Singapore as early as 5.30am that morning to avoid possible jams at the Causeway and to be early for the supposed 10.30am flight. Their children must be grateful to AA for they can now return and write an essay on "A Day in the Senai Airport".

The AA manager at the Senai Airport, Mr Lee, who had so selflessly hid behind the scenes and allowed his staff to receive the "accolades" for AA's surprise year-end day-long party at the Senai Airport, agreed to provide the passengers dinner (which turned out to be a box of mee goring) after we had given him an education on the norm of who provides the food in a surprise party.

Then all of a sudden the schedules board and the TV monitor screens in the airport showed that the 8.30pm flight was retimed to 10.05pm! It was the fifth change of the day! Mr Lee, who was stumped, and who struggled and stuttered to explain, told everyone that he was very sure that there will be a plane and we will be able to leave at 10.05pm.

"Just as you were very sure of the 10.35am, 1.35pm, 3.30pm, 6.35pm and 8.30pm flight? And what if the plane does not arrive and we do not leave at 10.05pm, what are your contingency plans?" I asked. It was very obvious he had none. There was no PR personnel to give an update. There was no crisis management team even though it was very clear that AA had a crisis in their hands. Every AA flight on that day was "retimed" - the latest (or earliest?) -- a JB-KL flight at 4.25am!

Children cried. Adults cursed. Lee crawled quietly back to his office downstairs. At times we had to go downstairs to force him to call KL to find out what was happening. Every red-black uniformed staff of AA cringed when passengers approached them.

As it turned out there was no flight at 10.05pm! We were told that it was retimed to 11.20pm! Everyone had only the energy left to make a vow never ever to travel by AA.

Soon after everyone had settled down in the plane, we were told that we had to wait a while for 14 "missing passengers". I raised my voice and said "Let's get moving we have waited the whole day." The crew ignored me. The captain came out of the cockpit and told the stewardess: "I am not waiting any longer. Close the doors!" It was the most sensible statement of the day by a AA official!

When we reached Penang International Airport, there was a long line of very angry people waiting to board the plane. I approached a steward and told him to tell his boss that what had happened and the manner in which AA had handled it was indeed very shameful. The people around rushed in to add in their comments to the steward. AA had lost many clients that day.

Please don't tell Tony Fenandez this, but I am planning to buy a 0.99sen kite and give it to him as a Christmas present. Now everybody on flight AK 630 can tell Tony to go fly a kite.

Martin Jalle(7 Dec. 2004)
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Old December 11th, 2004, 09:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sugizm
an article i grabbed from i-penang.com



Of low fares, no frills and only a farce

^ Read this on Malaysiakini yesterday nite.....yea...very shameful!
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Old December 11th, 2004, 09:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJ
Why don't the Johor Government just change the name of the airport to Johor Bharu International Airport? It will be same as KLIA that the airport is not in KL but 50km south of KL at the town of Sepang?


Well.......I am not too sure about Senai's case but as for KLIA....they had to put 'KL' rather than 'Sepang' due to recognition purposes. It is the branding that 'KL' had over 'Sepang'. And they wouldn't wanna repeat the same mistake with Subang and also to be travellers-friendly. Travellers wouldn't be too confused over names if KLIA is used....just like HK's Chek Lap Kok is officially HKIA and not Lantau Airport or Chek Lap Kok Intl Airport
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Old December 11th, 2004, 09:31 PM   #15
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Oh din realised this thread till just now!

Great pics Mams!!!

I kinda like Senai Airport.....I think they should have some sort of an airport hotel there and more restaurants or cafe......it would be painful to get stranded there (like I did!)

Oh....and they should also have more seats!
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Old December 20th, 2004, 02:34 PM   #16
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Plans to expand Senai airport into hub for halal food
Jose Barrock

SENAI Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd, the concession holder and manager of the Sultan Ismail International Airport in Malaysia's southern most State, Johor, may be moving into the distribution of halal food in a big way, people familiar with the matter told Mail Money yesterday.

Mail Money was told that high ranking officials from Senai Airport had been approached by private parties looking to initiate the business and looking to use Senai Airport as a distribution hub for the initiative.

Negotiations are however still at an infancy stage and little is known of how much Senai Airport will have to spend on the initiative.

It is also understood that the private parties are looking to rope in national carrier Malaysia International Shipping Corp Bhd (MISC) to transport the halal via sea, and are expected to commence negotiations anytime soon.

The move could be a boon to Senai Airport's cargo transportation, as the global market for halal food is estimated to be as much as RM8 trillion, and the Federal Government has expressed interest of transforming Malaysia into a hub for halal foodstuffs.

At presstime, it is still not clear if the private parties are affiliated to Solidvest Sdn Bhd, a company given the mandate by the Foreign Investment Committee, to set up three halal food processing units in peninsular Malaysia at a cost of US$2.9 billion (RM11 billion).

Senai Airport is controlled by tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary, who also has under his purview the Port of Tanjung Pelepas Sdn Bhd and Johor Port Bhd.

Since Syed Mokhtar took over the airport's operations from Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, passenger traffic has surged, gaining as much as 78 per cent in the first six months of the current year to almost 700,000 passengers. Senai has set a target to handle as many as 1.5 million passengers this year.
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Old February 21st, 2005, 02:21 PM   #17
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Great pics mam. The cargo building looks very decent
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Old February 21st, 2005, 02:22 PM   #18
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Old April 7th, 2005, 06:44 PM   #19
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PHASE 1 ..SENAI CARGO CENTRE

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Old April 8th, 2005, 04:42 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sugizm
an article i grabbed from i-penang.com

Martin Jalleh
07 December 2004


Of low fares, no frills and only a farce

I wish to congratulate Air Asia (AA) for having achieved a record of sorts on 5th December, by changing its JB-Penang flight time six times within a day. Truly, in all my years of traveling I have never been treated to such an unique experience by an airline.

My fellow passengers on that flight echoed my sentiments when we exchanged notes on AA's great and historic feat. We look forward to the day when we will be able to meet the CEO of Air Asia (AA) in person and present him with a well-deserved Tony Award for the best theatrics by his airline, which should be aptly called: "Now everybody can let fly".

I had through a friend booked online on 1 November a ticket with AA for a JB-Penang flight on 5 December 2004. Initial information through the airline 's e-mail had indicated that the flight on that day was scheduled at 3.25pm.

On 23 November AA phoned to inform that the flight was changed to 10.35am. Then on the morning of 5 Dec my friend called me from KL informing me that she had received a SMS from AA saying that the flight had been postponed to 1.35pm.

All packed up and ready to go to the Senai Airport, I received another SMS from my friend again which said that the flight had been rescheduled to 3.30pm. It looked as though Air Asia was improving its services by sending such "jokes" to its passengers via SMS.

Just as I was about to leave for the airport, I received news that the flight was "retimed" yet again to 6.35pm. I was very impressed by the SMS service of Air Asia. My heart went out to those who did not have handphones. They would have missed the fun "without frills". How would they get to know of the changes, I had also wondered.

You have got to hand it to the airline. AA does not only make it possible for everyone to fly, it even adds an element of mystery when you choose to fly with the airline. Its latest secret promotional weapon is called "Guess when your plane will take off - 10.35am, 1.35pm, 3.30pm, or 6.35pm?"

On reaching the Air Asia counter, I was informed by their nervously-smiling staff that the 6.35 pm flight had been retimed - to 8.30pm! The short messages from AA must have been the airline's ingenious way of helping us prepare ourselves for a long night at the airport. How thoughtful of AA!

The official story was that one of their planes was "grounded". They had to buy a spare part from overseas (spare us the excuses, please). The part had to flown in through Singapore. There was an unexpected delay at the Customs (how convenient!) and of course "we apologise for the inconvenience caused".

It seems, to make life more interesting for its staff, AA has started a story-telling competition meant only for its staff. The winner - whoever is able to tell the tallest tale in the event of a long delay - will get a short holiday and have his/her named inscribed in the World's Compendium of Excuses. As for the clients of AA, they would be dished a combo surprise -- cheap fares - and cheap excuses!

"What about other planes? You mean to say that AA has only one plane? If you can't even handle the local flights then don't talk about expanding overseas. Please tell your boss this!" a lady roared at Raj at the counter.

"I have had to return to the airport four times today.and now you tell me the flight is delayed again. Is Air Asia going to pay for my petrol? What about those who have nowhere to go and who have been here as early as 8am to catch the supposed 10.30am flight?" another razed at Raj.

I met Singaporeans who shared that they were at the airport since early morning. Some had left Singapore as early as 5.30am that morning to avoid possible jams at the Causeway and to be early for the supposed 10.30am flight. Their children must be grateful to AA for they can now return and write an essay on "A Day in the Senai Airport".

The AA manager at the Senai Airport, Mr Lee, who had so selflessly hid behind the scenes and allowed his staff to receive the "accolades" for AA's surprise year-end day-long party at the Senai Airport, agreed to provide the passengers dinner (which turned out to be a box of mee goring) after we had given him an education on the norm of who provides the food in a surprise party.

Then all of a sudden the schedules board and the TV monitor screens in the airport showed that the 8.30pm flight was retimed to 10.05pm! It was the fifth change of the day! Mr Lee, who was stumped, and who struggled and stuttered to explain, told everyone that he was very sure that there will be a plane and we will be able to leave at 10.05pm.

"Just as you were very sure of the 10.35am, 1.35pm, 3.30pm, 6.35pm and 8.30pm flight? And what if the plane does not arrive and we do not leave at 10.05pm, what are your contingency plans?" I asked. It was very obvious he had none. There was no PR personnel to give an update. There was no crisis management team even though it was very clear that AA had a crisis in their hands. Every AA flight on that day was "retimed" - the latest (or earliest?) -- a JB-KL flight at 4.25am!

Children cried. Adults cursed. Lee crawled quietly back to his office downstairs. At times we had to go downstairs to force him to call KL to find out what was happening. Every red-black uniformed staff of AA cringed when passengers approached them.

As it turned out there was no flight at 10.05pm! We were told that it was retimed to 11.20pm! Everyone had only the energy left to make a vow never ever to travel by AA.

Soon after everyone had settled down in the plane, we were told that we had to wait a while for 14 "missing passengers". I raised my voice and said "Let's get moving we have waited the whole day." The crew ignored me. The captain came out of the cockpit and told the stewardess: "I am not waiting any longer. Close the doors!" It was the most sensible statement of the day by a AA official!

When we reached Penang International Airport, there was a long line of very angry people waiting to board the plane. I approached a steward and told him to tell his boss that what had happened and the manner in which AA had handled it was indeed very shameful. The people around rushed in to add in their comments to the steward. AA had lost many clients that day.

Please don't tell Tony Fenandez this, but I am planning to buy a 0.99sen kite and give it to him as a Christmas present. Now everybody on flight AK 630 can tell Tony to go fly a kite.

Martin Jalle(7 Dec. 2004)
I had the same experience...
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