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Old January 26th, 2005, 07:49 PM   #701
David-80
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LOL, the airasia thing is getting very hot in here right now. Let see hows the aftermath of this fiasco!

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Old January 26th, 2005, 09:41 PM   #702
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David-80
LOL, the airasia thing is getting very hot in here right now. Let see hows the aftermath of this fiasco!

cheers
Muahahaha....very fun to watch. I am actually fairly nuetral about whether AWAIR gets to fly here or not. It flying here helps to boost the competition, and contributes to the numbers of coz. But at the same time, Fernandez's antics are so funny. CAAS is really wierd at the same time thou...if they really want to keep him out, why approve Thai Airasia's flights here?

Maybe it was really a case of documantation afterall...just that CAAS plotted to remind him at the last minute just to frustrate him?
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Old January 26th, 2005, 11:58 PM   #703
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huaiwei
Muahahaha....very fun to watch. I am actually fairly nuetral about whether AWAIR gets to fly here or not. It flying here helps to boost the competition, and contributes to the numbers of coz. But at the same time, Fernandez's antics are so funny. CAAS is really wierd at the same time thou...if they really want to keep him out, why approve Thai Airasia's flights here?

Maybe it was really a case of documantation afterall...just that CAAS plotted to remind him at the last minute just to frustrate him?
Well I think he shouldn't blame CAAS given that the company only handed in the document one day b4 the actual flight........

Based on this chinese new article in Lianhe Zaobao....



社论/言论/天下事 2005-01-26

捍卫开放的航空枢纽地位

  交通部长姚照东日前透露,政府将继续拨款给今年底到期的“航空枢纽发展基金”,从而鼓励更多航空公司在樟宜机场的跑道起降。这个原计三年的基金总值2亿1000万元,主要是协助航空业伙伴巩固我国的区域航空枢纽地位。至今,民航局已拨出超过1亿500万元,让44家航空公司如昆达士、中国国际航空、印度航空等从中受惠。

  政府的这个最新宣布,再次表现出它极力捍卫新加坡航空枢纽地位的努力。事实上,若考虑到我国的航空枢纽地位共为国人制造了12万个就业机会,为新加坡国内生产总值所作的贡献高达9%,政府有必要保有这方面的坚持。如果这个地位受到影响,不只是航空业的工友砸了饭碗,零售业、旅游业和其他相关行业难免会遭波及。

  有鉴于此,民航局一向来都对任何有意前来我国开辟新航线的航空公司敞开双手,表示欢迎。当局甚至提供两年豁免降陆费等优惠,协助降低这些新航空公司在樟宜机场的运作成本。航空公司若增加航班或飞往新景点,也都一再加强樟宜机场与世界各地的联系网络。新的航空公司如果能为我国的枢纽地位增值,更是会获得优先考虑。

  然而,所谓安全第一,民航局在处理航空公司的申请时,绝不会基于“欢迎政策”而在确保飞行安全上做出妥协。亚洲航空在印尼的联营公司AW航空,上个星期三便因没获得民航局的批准,以致从雅加达飞来我国的首航班机化为泡影,293个乘客受影响。

  民航局指出,AW航空的所有飞行文件只在首航的前一天傍晚才交上,为了要确保乘客的安全,当局无法在一夜之间发出准证。姚照东也说:“就好像处理其他航空公司的申请一般,我们将尽快审查所有文件。当所有安全课题都审查过,而乘客的安全都有了保障,我们就会发出准证。我们希望能尽快完成这个工作。”

  这场茶杯里的风波,前天随着亚航总裁东尼·费尔南德斯的出面,有冲突加剧的迹象。他恫言如果迟迟无法获得民航局的批准,廉价航空AW航空或许会放弃往来雅加达和我国之间的市场。

  对消费者来说,不包括行政费与机场税的19元99分启航单程促销票,确实深具吸引力,足以刺激人们的旅游欲望。各种不同类型的航空公司在同一条航线上竞争,可满足不同乘客的需要,提供更多的选择。因此,民航局若能早日给AW航空发出执照,对新印两地的消费者都是好消息。不过,每份数百页的文件若不细读审查,任何遗漏酿成的悲剧,后果却是没有人所乐于面对的。

  民航局处理申请的谨慎态度,应该获得表扬。新加坡政府坚持天空开放协定的立场,也是捍卫枢纽地位的要素。新澳两国在下个月探讨全面开放协定的可行性,如果取得突破,将可让双方的航空公司把乘客载到更多景点,打倒多年来“保护主义”的壁垒。

  总之,新加坡捍卫天空开放的原则不变,坚守航空枢纽地位的努力也绝不放松。在这两大前提下,营造一个安全自由的天空,也是民航局一定要给予每个乘客的承诺。
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Old January 27th, 2005, 01:12 PM   #704
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Business Times - 27 Jan 2005

Four Asian budget airlines plan IPOs to fuel growth

They seek to expand fleet and routes to meet travel demand

(SINGAPORE) Four of the 11 low-fare carriers that fly in South-east Asia and India said they are planning initial public offers of their stocks in the next two years, tapping funds to expand as the region's air travel grows.

India's Air Deccan plans to raise as much as US$300 million by September 2006, selling at least a quarter of its stock to buy planes and extend its routes overseas, said managing director G R Gopinath. Singapore's Valuair Ltd, Bangkok-based Orient Thai Airlines and Nok Air said they are also aiming to raise funds in the next two years by selling shares.

South-east Asia 'is going to be the region with the most growth in the world,' said Sarit Panjarnano, an analyst at KGI Securities (Thailand) in Bangkok. Greater easing of aviation policies 'will lead to more air traffic from India and China'.

The four airlines are following the Oct 29 stock sale by Malaysia's AirAsia, South-east Asia's biggest discount carrier, which raised MR863 million (S$371 million) to buy new planes.

With increasing affluence in the population of China and India, the demand for air travels has increased. Easier travelling rules in China and India are also letting more citizens fly abroad for business and leisure.

Orient Thai, which operates Thailand's largest discount carrier, plans to sell at least a quarter of its stock, the Bangkok-based airline's chairman Udom Tantiprasongchai said yesterday. Nok Air, owned by Thai Airways International, is considering an initial public offering in late 2006, chief executive Patee Sarasin said yesterday.

Valuair, one of three discount carriers based in Singapore, is also looking at an initial offer, said chief executive Sim Kay Wee, without giving a time.

AirAsia, the first low-cost carrier to fly in South-east Asia, offered the stock to individual investors at MR1.16 a share, with institutional investors paying RM1.25 apiece.

Asia's demand for air travel is expected to expand at least 10 per cent this year, according to a forecast by Sydney-based Centre for Asia-Pacific Aviation. Increasing number of Chinese and Indian travellers, from the world's two most populous nations, will lead the growth in demand, said the centre's managing director Peter Harbison.

'We'll see double-digit growth on a lot of Asia-Pacific routes this year, particularly those due to the influence of low-cost carriers coming through,' said Mr Harbison at Monday's Asia Pacific & Middle East Aviation and Travel Outlook conference held here.

At Singapore's Changi Airport, Asia's sixth-busiest, low-fare carriers flew 7 per cent of the 3,700 weekly flights. Besides Valuair, Singapore Airlines' Tiger Airways and Qantas Airways' JetStar Asia also base their flights at Changi.

Air Deccan, based in India's Bangalore city, plans to increase its fleet to 17 aircraft this year, with the capacity to expand its daily services to 100 flights.

Orient Thai, which began flying in December 2003 using the One-Two-Go brand, offers low-fare flights in Thailand and operates full-service flights to South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.

The Bangkok-based airline plans to more than double its fleet this year to expand domestic and international flights. The airline will lease 15 planes in 2005, three of them from Boeing, Mr Udom said. He said the remaining 12 will be 'medium-sized' planes.

'The company must accelerate the fleet expansion and other facilities to serve high demand,' said Mr Udom. 'We want to increase flights in Thailand and fly to China.'

Orient Thai is planning to set up a wholly owned budget airline in Hong Kong, Mr Udom said, without giving details. It will resume flying to Hong Kong from southern Thailand's Phuket on Feb 1. The service was halted after the Dec 26 tsunami destroyed tourism facilities on Phuket. - Bloomberg

Copyright © 2004 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old January 27th, 2005, 01:16 PM   #705
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Business Times - 27 Jan 2005

CEOs differ on strategy for low-cost airlines

Some see desire for comfort; others want consistently low fares

By VEN SREENIVASAN

(SINGAPORE) Should low-cost airline operators in Asia-Pacific starkly differentiate themselves from the incumbent network carriers? Or should they offer a hybrid service encompassing a combination of low fares and a certain minimal level of frills? And, is the over-emphasis on low cost, point-to-point, mass travel disenfranchising a silent group of travellers who want, and expect, a certain level of comfort and frills?

These were among the topics broached at yesterday's Second Annual Asia Pacific Low-Cost Airline Symposium.

Tony Davis, chief executive of Tiger Airways, and Udom Tantiprasongchai, Thai discount carrier One-Two-Go's chairman, differed on what strategy will best work for low-cost carriers in the region.

Mr Davis, who joined Tiger this year after stints at Britain's BMIbaby and British Airways, insisted that regional low-cost carriers have to be radically different from their legacy counterparts.

'Conditions in Asia are very different from those in Europe,' he said. 'Here they have to compete with full-service players who can match their prices and product. In short, you compete even against the B747-400s. So you got to have a stark differentiation in the product. Mid-frills just won't work. You have to offer consistently low fares, while operating at the lowest cost.'

But Mr Tantiprasongchai disagreed, arguing that the ideal model for Asia was low fares, some basic conveniences, including simple food and drinks.

'Most (Asian) passengers are willing to pay something for convenience,' he said. 'No traveller wants to be deceived by unrealistic advertised fares.'

He suggested that operating cost structure in this region allowed low-cost carriers to offer fares which were a third below their legacy counterparts, while still providing a certain level of service on-board.

Meanwhile, William Franke, managing partner of aviation investment company Indigo Partners and Tiger Airways' chairman (in which Indigo has a 24 per cent stake), suggested that the huge emphasis on low-cost air travel had 'disenfranchised' a silent group of travellers who wanted comfort and convenience.

'While many talk low-cost model, they won't travel the low-cost model,' he said in his keynote address earlier. 'These 'frill seekers' are aplenty, looking for comfort and convenience.'

He pointed out that this desire for comfort, convenience, speed and flexibility was fuelling demand for private executive jets, air taxis and even all-business class travel among business travellers.

'With the right business model, there could be success in the all-business class model,' he said, noting that demand for private jets would hit 10,000 during this decade.

He added that although there were opportunities for investment in the low-cost carrier business in Africa, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific, it was not for the faint hearted.

'Low fare has introduced flying to the masses for the first time,' he said. 'But imperfect legal systems, language problems and arcane regulations pose serious challenges for investors.'

Besides the emergence of low-cost services in new markets and the prospect of all-business class travel, Mr Franke also sees a potential for the emergence of long-haul low-cost travel.

'Low-cost model will be pervasive in the region, but the opportunity to invest profitability in them is over,' he said. 'Some of the best opportunity may be in legacy carrier model, but with a cost structure which is consistent with that of low-cost carriers.'

But for investors who wanted to make money in aviation, they would have to identify the 'next, next' thing, after the LCC phenomenon, he said.

Copyright © 2004 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old January 27th, 2005, 01:22 PM   #706
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Business Times - 27 Jan 2005

Low-cost carriers to fill Asian skies if curbs go: analyst
(SINGAPORE) Asia's growing numbers of budget airlines could service hundreds of big cities that currently have no international air links if governments ease restrictions, a leading aviation analyst said yesterday.

The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation's managing director Peter Harbison told a seminar on low-cost airlines there were 130 cities in Asia with populations of more than one million people and a further 105 cities with more than 500,000.

He said the 'vast majority' of these cities were not serviced by international airlines.

'The potential for route expansion, as economic development pushes millions more people through the travel threshold, is vast,' he said. He cited China, Japan, India and South-east Asia all as areas with enormous budget airline potential. Low-cost airlines were already taking up 16 per cent of the 916 current orders for aircraft in the Asia Pacific region.

However, he said governments in the region must liberalise the aviation industry if budget airlines were to reach their potential.

'The rate of liberalisation will decide the speed and success rate of low-cost carriers. They have a big future but there are certainly some road bumps ahead,' he said.

Mr Harbison outlined air service agreements, aircraft ownership and control, and entry rules as areas subject to restrictions and inhibiting budget carriers.

Regional airports have a role to play as well, such as adapting their operations to accommodate dedicated low-cost terminals, he added. - AFP

Copyright © 2004 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old January 27th, 2005, 02:11 PM   #707
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Jan 27, 2005
Tiger Airways seeks solutions to restrictive pacts

By Goh Chin Lian

SINGAPORE-BASED low-cost carrier Tiger Airways is looking at how its Malaysian rival, AirAsia, got around restrictive bilateral agreements by forming joint ventures in other countries.

Such a strategy looks set to be key to Tiger Airways growing beyond Singapore's borders, said the airline's president and chief executive, Mr Tony Davis.

He said neighbouring Indonesia and Malaysia have 'very restricted agreements with Singapore, unfortunately', and that all the routes the airline wants to fly depend on Singapore having air services agreements with other countries.

'Clearly, until we have a single open-skies agreement in Asia, we are constantly having to make sure that not only is there an air services agreement, but also that we get chosen out of the five airlines to be given those rights,' Mr Davis said.

He was speaking yesterday on the sidelines of a low-cost airlines symposium at Suntec Convention Centre organised by Sydney-based Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation.

The other airlines based here competing for air rights are Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Valuair and Jetstar Asia.

Mr Davis said: 'If we can get access to other markets, we wouldn't be wholly reliant on those air services agreements.'

He would not say which markets his airline is eyeing for such a joint venture, except that it is doing research and looking to the AirAsia model of 'creative solutions'.

AirAsia tied up with Thai media and telecoms group Shin Corp in 2003 to form low-cost airline Thai AirAsia, and took a 49 per cent stake last year in debt-ridden Indonesian airline, Awair, now also a low-cost airline.

Airline industry players say how quickly governments open up their skies will determine how fast Asia's low-cost airline market can grow.

But Tiger Airways chairman William Franke believes the next big thing in the airline business is not no-frills airlines, but traditional airlines with a twist.

He said the next generation of airlines will look like the legacy carriers that offer multiple classes of travel as well as full on-board service from meals to entertainment, but have a low-cost structure much like budget airlines.

Copyright © 2004 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old January 27th, 2005, 05:31 PM   #708
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Finally, good news in Jetstar route to Jakarta and Surabaya. Afterall, this is might accelerate Tiger to start their changi - jakarta route

Jetstar Asia plans to start flights to Indonesia in February

SINGAPORE (Bloomberg): Jetstar Asia, the international budget carrier of Qantas Airways Ltd., said on Thursday it plans to fly to Jakarta and Surabaya in Indonesia next month as it expands its network to meet the rising travel demand in Asia.

Con Korfiatis, Jetstar Asia's chief operating officer, said the airline is also interested to fly to Malaysia and expects to serve Manila and Shanghai soon after starting its Indonesian flights.

"I expect our services to Indonesia to be the next cap off the rank and we hope to have that up and running next month," Korfiatis in an interview at a low- cost airline conference in Singapore.

Budget carriers such as Jetstar Asia, Singapore Airlines Ltd.'s Tiger Airways Pte. and Valuair Ltd. are expanding fleets and routes in Southeast Asia, a region with a combined population of 500 million people.

Passenger traffic in the region is forecast to grow an average 6.1 percent each year until 2023, compared with a global average of 5.2 percent, according to Boeing Co., the world's second-largest maker of commercial planes.

Jetstar Asia, which started offering flights to Hong Kong, Taipei and Thailand's Pattaya in December last year, plans to add more services to Indonesia and the Philippines and expand its network to Vietnam and other Indochina countries, Korfiatis said.

The Singapore-based airline, which expects to make a profit in one to two years, will soon take delivery of its fourth leased Airbus A-320. It will have another four by the end of this year.

The A-320 can seat 150 passengers and has a maximum range of 3,000 nautical miles (5,556 kilometers). (***)
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Old January 28th, 2005, 06:29 PM   #709
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Business Times - 28 Jan 2005

Asian LCCs should develop 'hybrid model' with basic frills

By VEN SREENIVASAN

(SINGAPORE) The European low-cost carrier model may not be as successful in Asia where there are significant regulatory restrictions and travellers expect some basic level of service. Instead, Asian low-cost carriers should develop a 'hybrid model' where they maintain a low-cost operating base, but are also able to provide some basic 'frills', said Valuair chief executive Sim Kay Wee.

Speaking at the Low-Cost Airline Symposium yesterday, Mr Sim pointed out peculiarities of the Asian market which low-cost operators had to take into consideration. These include longer point-to-point distances, under-serviced secondary airports and an operating environment where the interest of national carriers were closely aligned to national interests.

In addition, regional full service carriers enjoy more low-cost structures than their European counterparts. Under such circumstances, a strategy of 'lower fares', rather than 'the lowest fares', was more likely to yield the requisite results.

'Recognising that a number of aviation authorities are wary of a price war, a low-cost carrier operating in the Asia Pacific can sell lower air fares without disrupting the market, and still make a reasonable return,' he said. 'With the expected traffic growth, low-cost airlines can aim for load factors in the 80 per cent range, making it a viable proposition.' He said a hybrid model which was a convergence between that of the full service carrier and the low-cost carrier was the answer. 'Some countries prefer economic stability and slower transition than the turmoil that comes with open skies,' he noted.

Unlike low-cost carriers like Tiger Airways and Air Asia, Valuair provides certain 'frills' like hot meals and drinks, 20-kg baggage allowance and assigned seating on its Airbus A320 planes. Valuair's strategy is to fix its fares at a 20 to 30 per cent discount against full service carriers on similar routes, instead of offering a 'graduated' fare scale preferred by its low-cost counterparts.

Copyright © 2004 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old January 28th, 2005, 06:51 PM   #710
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28 January 2005

Star Cruises to expand fleet, banks on fly-cruise packages
By Frederick Lim, Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE : Star Cruises is seeing a strong potential for growth in the regional cruise industry.

It is looking to add another three ships to its fleet over the next few years to cope with growing demand.

The company is seeking to position itself not just as a cruise operator alone, but also as a fly-cruise specialist.

Last month Star Cruises took a strategic 20 percent stake in Valuair and it will launch its first fly-cruise deals with the budget carrier from March onwards.

The company is also hopeful that it will benefit from Singapore's initiatives to double tourist arrivals by 2015.

Over the last five years, Star Cruises has seen its passenger loads climb by an annual compounded rate of 16 percent.

On average it brought in 130,000 passengers per year from as far as Japan, China, Australia and India to sail on its cruise ships.

And it expects demand to rise even more strongly as it sees Singapore as having tremendous potential to become a cruise hub for the region.

Said Chong Chee Tut, Star Cruises chief operating officer, "Singapore has got several advantages. It is not just in terms of climate -- an area where you can cruise year round, very much like Miami. Of course in some other countries, especially during winter, it gets cold, the sea gets rough, they are not suitable to be a year round cruise hub. Singapore is ideally suited for that. Traditionally Singapore is also a major air hub and that's important if you want to develop the inbound fly-cruise market."

And it is in the fly-cruise market that Star Cruises is charting its future growth plans.

With its newly-formed partnership with Valuair it sees itself as being well-positioned to capture a large slice of the market.

Mr Chong said, "The people who want to come and cruise out of Singapore, it offers them a slightly cheaper alternative, to fly a cheaper airline into Singapore. And from our perspective it also provides a more seamless air-sea packaging for people. All they need to do is call one call centre and they can book the air component, the hotel component, and cruise component."

Star Cruises says it will be adding one ship this year, to be followed by another in 2007 and one more the following year.

As for earlier media reports that it was planning an integrated cruise centre and casino resort in Singapore, Star Cruises says it is still evaluating its options and has yet to make a final decision. - CNA

Copyright © 2005 MCN International Pte Ltd
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Old January 29th, 2005, 01:41 AM   #711
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Jan 29, 2005
4,000 tickets to Phuket sold
Tiger Airways aims to sell all 20,000 tickets at $9.98 before bookings close on Feb 6

By Kok Tse Wei

BARGAIN-CHASING travellers have bought 4,000 air tickets to Phuket at $9.98 each.

The promotion by Singapore-based low-cost carrier Tiger Airways started on Jan 21.

It hopes to sell all 20,000 tickets on offer when bookings end on Feb 6, says spokesman Ronald Wong.

He is happy with the 20 per cent take-up rate so far, adding: 'We're not worried as a lot of people tend to buy near the end of the promotion period.'

But he says all 720 tickets available for the Chinese New Year and Good Friday holiday periods are sold out.

Return tickets to Singapore from Phuket are also at $9.98 during the promotion. Passengers must travel by end-April.

The airline is working with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to bring visitors back to the resort island, which was hit by the Dec 26 tsunami.

Occupancy rates at hotels there have reportedly fallen to 10 per cent.

The rates have since picked up with the introduction of promotions but exact figures were not available from TAT at press time.

Earlier reports also said that Tiger's planes were only 25 per cent filled in the aftermath of the tsunami.

More than 30 hotels and resorts are also offering special rates for Tiger passengers. Rooms at the Deevana Patong Spa & Resort, for instance, start from about 900 baht (S$38) a night, including breakfast. This is half the normal price, says a TAT spokesman.

The lower costs have drawn travellers like Ms Lisa Pang, 36, who flies frequently to Phuket.

'I think it's quite safe now. They need tourists anyway,' says the administrator. She will fly out on March 12 during the one-week school break for four days with her family of four.

Mr Chang Chia Sheng, 34, a Taiwanese manager based in Singapore, is taking his wife and daughter for a four-day vacation on Feb 7.

But they will be playing it safe there.

'We've chosen a hotel that's quite far away from the beach. We'll try not to do sea activities but go for theatre shows and enjoy the spa,' he says.

Besides the Tiger promotion, another airline, SilkAir, is also selling discounted tour packages to Krabi, Langkawi and Phuket.

The Krabi and Langkawi packages cost $128 each, while the Phuket one is $99. The packages include airfare, hotel accommodation, breakfast and airport transfer. Bookings close on Feb 5.

A SilkAir spokesman says the most popular package is the one to Phuket.

'We expect to sell more than 2,000 such packages to all three locations for travel in late January and February,' she says, adding that the packages are sold out for many dates, including the Chinese New Year holidays.

Copyright © 2004 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old January 29th, 2005, 05:51 PM   #712
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easyJet aims to boost self-service check-ins after Geneva test
Wed Jan 26,11:02 PM ET

GENEVA (AFP) - Low-cost airline easyJet hopes to roll out self-service check-in kiosks at airports across Europe if a test of the time-saving method is a success in Geneva, its busiest winter destination, a top official said.

"The goal is really, more and more, to put in place this system in airports," said Jean-Marc Thevenaz, the director of easyJet Switzerland, noting that it reduces passengers' check-in time by about 50 percent and cuts costs.

Either Berlin or Basel is likely to be next on the British-based carrier's list of airports to switch to the self-service model, he said.

"We want to go everywhere," Thevenaz told a group of reporters on Tuesday.

The trademark orange-coloured kiosks, shaped like slot machines at a games centre, enable easyJet to handle more passengers for a larger number of flights at the same time, he explained.

From now on, all easyJet travellers from Geneva must either insert a credit card into one of a bunch of new machines erected in the departure hall, enter a reservation number or type in their name to receive a boarding pass.

Anyone with luggage to stow onboard must register for a coded luggage label. They are then required to queue up at the old check-in counters where a member of staff takes the bag, weighs it and checks the passenger's passport.

"It seems crazy because you do all the stuff with the machine and the bags and then you have to go to the kiosk anyway to check again," complained one passenger, Alan McKenzie, a 45-year-old software worker from Britain who had just sampled the system for the first time.

"I don't see how it is more efficient for easyJet," he said, clutching a new, credit card-sized boarding pass for his afternoon flight home.

Thevenaz, however, argued that staff had to be present to ensure the luggage being loaded onto a plane belonged to the correct passenger for security reasons, adding that the time spent on this was now much shorter.

EasyJet tested its do-it-yourself kiosks at a smaller airport in Nottingham, England, last summer but the Geneva venture is its largest to-date.

"It is the test for us. If we pass this one we can install our system anywhere," said Thevenaz, noting that the Geneva airport was the firm's busiest in winter due to the large number of skiers and the high volume of awkward luggage, such as skis and snowboards.

Most passengers passing through departures appeared at ease with the new system as plenty of easyJet staff were on hand to explain how it worked.

"It is the first time that I have seen these machines and I think they are great. It seems faster than the old method," said Marcelle Thiery, a 47-year-old Spanish engineer heading home to Madrid.

With 18 kiosks on the Swiss side of the airport that have been operational since last week and five on the French-side that have been in use since mid-December, easyJet wants to demonstrate that airports need to change.

"The way we manage people, the way we manage luggage has not been changed for 10 to 25 years," said the easyJet executive.

"The volume we are bringing to the airport is so big we cannot just continue to have a row of check-in counters. That does not work any longer," he said, underlining that the company's passenger traffic through Geneva had jumped from zero in 1998 to two million annually and was set to rise further.

A second terminal being planned for the airport next year should boost passenger figures to four million by 2007, Thevenaz added.

For his part, Jean-Pierre Jobin, chief executive of Geneva International Airport, welcomed the move by easyJet, while noting that longhaul fliers such as British Airways and Swiss already offered a self-service check-in option.

"It increases the productivity and it reduces the cost... It is the future," he told AFP.

Ultimately Jobin said he wanted one type of kiosk that could be used by all airlines rather than each relying on their own machine.
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Old January 29th, 2005, 06:26 PM   #713
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Business Times - 29 Jan 2005

Plans for Tiger Airways to fly to Subang?

(KUALA LUMPUR) The radical idea of Singapore's budget airline Tiger Airways flying into Subang airport and leasing aircraft from Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd (PMB), and PMB eventually ending up with a stake in Tiger, are possibilities that The Star broached in a front-page story yesterday.

Talk of developments in Malaysia's aviation industry was rife and this made many research analysts excited.

Tiger Airways, via its spokesperson, told StarBiz, 'Tiger Airways is always on the lookout for opportunities to expand our network in South-east Asia, but we cannot confirm any particular organisation that we are speaking to.' Tiger currently operates four A330 aircraft for its routes from Singapore to Thailand and is keen to fly into Malaysia, its officials had said last year.

PMB, Malaysia's only aircraft leasing company, wants to lease aircraft to more customers than its sole customer, Malaysia Airlines (MAS). PMB has 84 aircraft that are currently leased to MAS.

PMB, when approached for comments, had this to say: 'We are considering some leasing opportunities and there are several parties that have indicated their interest in leasing our aircraft. But at this juncture, there has been no approach made by Tiger Airways to lease aircraft from us,' PMB spokesperson Shahril Mokhtar told StarBiz.

All this talk stems from a preliminary proposal that was put forth to the authorities several months ago, but whether the idea was taken up is unclear.

The entry of Tiger Airways would be good for the air travel industry but there are several considerations such as getting the landing rights, the decision on whether to re-open Subang airport and the impact of such a scenario to existing low-cost carrier AirAsia and MAS, which now operates the domestic operations on behalf of PMB.

The question is whether PMB can take up a stake in Tiger Airways and set up a joint venture. That has to get the blessings of the authorities.

PMB's parent, Khazanah Nasional Bhd, declined to comment on the equity issue.

Another issue is also whether such a move would get the blessings of both the Malaysian and Singaporean governments since PMB is Malaysian-owned and Tiger Airways is 49 per cent owned by Singapore Airlines with another 11 per cent held by Temasek Holdings, the Singapore investment agency.

This may well be another interesting piece of talk but the possibility of it happening should not be discounted since PMB wants to open up and Tiger Airways is a growing low-cost carrier.

Copyright © 2004 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old January 30th, 2005, 05:39 PM   #714
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BAA and Ryanair row over charges
By KEVIN DONE
29 January 2005
Financial Times

BAA, the UK airports operator, has doubled its provision against Ryanair's unpaid airport charges at London Stansted airport from Pounds 7m to Pounds 14m.

BAA claims that the Irish low-cost carrier has repudiated its previous low-cost deal by its failure to pay all of its landing charges, and since last summer, it has been charging Ryanair at Stansted's full landing charge rate, excluding any discounts.

The provision has been set at Pounds 7m a quarter.

Stansted is Ryanair's most important operating base in Europe, and tensions between the two groups are expected to intensify as BAA seeks to increase charges generally at Stansted in coming years in order to finance the ambitious expansion of the airport.

The expansion plans include building a second runway.

They have been locked in litigation since last summer and have issued counter-writs, with BAA claiming that Ryanair has failed to pay its full charges, while the airline claims that the fuel levy charged by BAA at Stansted is excessive and unlawful.

BAA said that it was confident of winning the dispute, but, given the court action, it had established the provision.

The group, the world's largest airports operator, announced yesterday that it had increased its pre-tax profit in the first nine months of the financial year to the end of March 2005 by 18.1 per cent, from Pounds 441m to Pounds 521m.

Underlying profit, before tax and exceptional items, rose by 16.8 per cent from Pounds 441m to Pounds 515m.

BAA booked an exceptional profit of Pounds 12m in the third quarter from the disposal of Jurys Inn Hotel at Heathrow airport.

BAA passenger traffic at its seven airports in the UK - led by Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted - rose by 6.5 per cent in the first nine months to 110.6m, and Mike Clasper, chief executive, said the group remained on track to achieve its forecast passenger growth of more than 6 per cent for the full year.

In the first nine months, operating profits at Heathrow rose from Pounds 290m to Pounds 312m, at Gatwick from Pounds 84m to Pounds 93m, and at Stansted from Pounds 32m to Pounds 41m.
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Old January 30th, 2005, 05:43 PM   #715
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Sons of Ryanair founder come in for a landing - at The Sail

27 Jan 05

$9.4 million price tag: Sources say the Ryans have bought all 11 units on the 16th floor at The Sail, shown here in the artist's drawing as the white towers

By KALPANA RASHIWALA

(SINGAPORE) Two scions of Tony Ryan, the founder of Irish budget airline Ryanair, have bought an entire floor of The [email protected] Bay for about $9.4 million or $922 per square foot, sources told BT yesterday.



Brothers Cathal and Declan Ryan, who are in their 40s, are said to have picked up all 11 apartments on the 16th floor of the 70-storey tower that The Sail's developers, City Developments and AIG, began selling in late October.

The brothers are said to be looking at re-arranging the layout of the apartments on the floor they have bought. The transaction was inked a few days ago.

Gerry de Silva, spokesman for CityDev's parent, the Hong Leong Group, told BT yesterday there had been an en bloc sale of an entire floor located 'between the 15th and 20th storeys' to British investors at $9.4 million - but he would not confirm the buyers' names or the floor.

He said, however, that the 11 apartments they bought comprise six sea-facing units and five with city views.

The one, two and three-bedroom apartments add up to 10,215 sq ft.

To date, CityDev and AIG have sold 555 of the 681 apartments in The Sail's taller tower. They have yet to announce plans for other block, with 63 storeys and 430 apartments.

The average price achieved so far for the 99-year leasehold condo is $967 psf.

Mr de Silva said about 38 per cent of the buyers are foreigners, including mainland Chinese, Hong Kongers, Malaysians, Britons, Americans and investors from the Indian subcontinent.

The Sail is the first condo coming up in the Marina Bay area where Singapore's Central Business District extension is being developed. At 70 storeys, it will, when completed, be Singapore's tallest residential project and the world's highest apartment buildings.

Cathal and Declan were understood to be looking for an en bloc deal involving several contiguous high-rise floors at The Sail, but these are no longer available in the tower that has been released for sale.

The Ryan family is one of the richest in the UK, according to The Sunday Times Rich List 2004.

The family is aiming to repeat its European budget carrier success in Asia. The Ryans' private investment arm, Irelandia Investments, has a 16 per cent stake in Tiger Airways, the low-cost carrier started by Singapore Airlines.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 06:38 PM   #716
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Ryanair Profits Decline 16 Percent
By JANE WARDELL
31 January 2005

LONDON (AP) - Ryanair Holdings PLC blamed high oil prices and intense competition for a 16 percent drop in third-quarter net profit reported Monday. The result was better than expected, however, and the low-cost airline raised its full-year profit outlook.

Net profit for the quarter fell to 34.5 million euros ($44.96 million) from 40.96 million euros a year ago. Revenues increased 15 percent to 294.44 million euros ($383.74 million) from 254.99 million euros and passenger volumes rose 13 percent to 6.9 million.

Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said fuel costs would keep affecting earnings, but that the airline continued to "grow strongly and profitably in spite of adverse market conditions."

Ryanair said that yields, or average fares, rose by 1 percent, as opposed to the airline's earlier warning of a likely 5 percent to 10 percent decline.

O'Leary said that based on current booking trends, yields for the fourth quarter could be as much as 5 percent higher than in the previous corresponding quarter.

Ryanair is now expecting to record a net profit before exceptional items and goodwill of 246 million euros ($320 million) in the year to March 31, 2005, Chief Financial Officer Howard Miller said. The carrier had previously expected at least 200 million euros ($260 million).

Ryanair shares rose 7.5 percent to 6.31 euros ($8.22) in afternoon trading on the London Stock Exchange.

O'Leary said the better-than-expected yield development in the quarter was largely due to capacity reductions by competitors and the impact of fuel surcharges made by full-service airlines such as British Airways PLC and Deutsche Lufthansa AG. Those surcharges made Ryanair's fares "more attractive" to European consumers, he said.

The airline said it will continue to hedge against fuel prices -- its hedging contracts expired at the end of October 2004 but were restarted at the end of November as prices fell. It is currently hedged at around $41 a barrel through to March. Benchmark light, sweet crude for March delivery was trading at $46.10 a barrel Monday, down $1.08.

Deputy chief executive officer Michael Cawley said the airline expects yields to head lower again next financial year, possibly by about 3-4 percent.

The carrier also announced Monday that it will begin operating three Italian domestic routes in April, its first venture into the local market there. The routes, starting April 28, would connect Rome to Alghero in Sardinia, to Venice and to Verona.

In less positive news, the airline reported a disappointing trial of its new onboard entertainment service, which offers videos and music for 5 pounds ($6.50) per flight, partly due to an initial lack of availability of non-English language content.

O'Leary said the service issues had been resolved but the airline will not roll out the service across its fleet "unless we see a significant improvement in customer take-up."
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Old January 31st, 2005, 06:39 PM   #717
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Ryanair launches three Italian domestic routes
31 January 2005

ROME (AP) - The budget airline Ryanair said Monday that it would start operating three Italian domestic routes in April.

The three new routes would connect Rome to Alghero in Sardinia, to Venice and to Verona in northeastern Italy, starting April 28, Ryanair said.

The airline said it would operate up to 10 daily flights for the three routes, starting from a euro4.99 (US$6.5) fare.

It's the first time that the airline launches domestic routes in Italy, and the move is seen as a challenge to Italian state-run carrier Alitalia.

Speaking at a news conference in Rome, Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said his company's low-fare routes "mean Italian consumers can now fly for a fraction of Alitalia's high fares."
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Old January 31st, 2005, 06:40 PM   #718
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Ryanair Exec: Sees 34M Passengers In Yr To Mar 2006
31 January 2005

LONDON (Dow Jones)--Ryanair Holdings PLC expects to carry 34 million passengers in its financial year ending March 31 2006, Deputy Chief Executive Michael Cawley said Monday.

Cawley was speaking to reporters after the company reported third quarter results that were much better than analysts expected.

The deputy CEO said the airline is expecting to carry about 27.5 million passengers in the current financial year ending March 31, 2005 compared to 23.1 million in the previous year.

Ryanair said Monday it now expects yields - or average fares - to rise by up to 5% in the fourth quarter ending March 31. Based on the expected increase in passenger numbers, Cawley said yields are then expected to fall in the next financial year, possibly by 3-4% from a year earlier.

"Fares are going up to the three-month period at the end of March, after that we expect them to fall," he said. The increase in yields during the fourth quarter is partly due to a comparative steep 22% fall in the year earlier quarter.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 12:17 PM   #719
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Business Times - 01 Feb 2005

Tiger Air unveils new low Thai fares

By VEN SREENIVASAN

(SINGAPORE) The low-fare battle looks set to get bloodier with Tiger Airways yesterday announcing one-way fares of $9.98 to Phuket, and $19.98 to either Bangkok or Hatyai.

'Traveling at low fares to three of Thailand's most vibrant destinations with Tiger Airways will be a fantastic way for Singaporeans to spend their holidays,' said Tony Davis, chief executive officer of Tiger Airways in a statement. 'The low fares give holiday and business travelers more options on how they want to spend their money instead of setting aside a huge part of their budgets just for getting to their destinations.' The latest fare offerings are for bookings made between Feb 1 and Feb 7, for travel during the period March 1 to April 30. This comes barely two weeks after Tiger added a fourth daily Singapore-Bangkok flight and announced 45,000 low-cost seats every month to Bangkok, with one-way fares starting at $49.98.

Mr Davis insists that Tiger Airways must, and will, offer the lowest fares possible. 'Conditions in Asia are very different from those in Europe,' he said last week at an aviation symposium. 'Here, they have to compete with full-service players who can match their prices and product. You compete even against the B747-400s. So you got to have a stark differentiation in the product. Mid-frills just won't work. You have to offer consistently low fares, while operating at the lowest cost.'

Last week, the Singapore Airlines associate announced that it was preparing to fly to Ho Chi Minh City, which would become its fourth destination.

Tiger Airways currently operates four new Airbus A320 aircraft.

But its fares are likely to be matched soon by competitors, especially Jetstar Asia and Thai AirAsia.

Earlier this month, Jetstar Asia tied up with credit card operator Visa to offer more seats at lower prices for cardholders. Until Feb 2, the Qantas associate offered one-way airfares from Singapore to Taipei, Hong Kong and Pattaya at $99, $70 and $40 respectively. BT understands the packages could be renewed soon.

And just 10 days ago, AirAsia unleashed its latest round of promotions with a whopping offer of 50,000 free seats out of its Kuala Lumpur and Senai hubs to destinations in Malaysia and Thailand. The budget carrier is preparing to unveil new lower fares on its Singapore-Phuket and Singapore-Bangkok routes.

Copyright © 2004 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 02:55 PM   #720
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Quote:
Last week, the Singapore Airlines associate announced that it was preparing to fly to Ho Chi Minh City, which would become its fourth destination.
I thought last week, tony davis announced they will fly to Jakarta? even on CNBC interview, he did mention his expanding view is toward Indonesia and Malaysia. So vietnam is new for me.

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