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Old July 24th, 2005, 11:11 PM   #201
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AirAsia secures sponsorhip with Man U
22 Jul 2005 11:25 PM



AirAsia Bhd has secured a sponsorship deal with Manchester United as the latter's official low fare airline, becoming the first Asian low cost airline to be associated with one of the biggest football clubs in the English Premier League.

In a statement on July 22, AirAsia said the agreement, which includes global advertising and sponsorship activity above and below the line, would start next month and covered its associate companies Thai AirAsia and AWAIR in Indonesia.

An official signing ceremony was held in Hong Kong on July 22 to mark the partnership.

"We are delighted to sign AirAsia. AirAsia is a highly dynamic, innovative and focused organisation that provides a welcome addition to Manchester United's family of global partners," said the club's chief executive, David Gill.

"Signing a deal with such a vibrant organisation as AirAsia, which provides an excellent high value service to a number of Asian markets, is very exciting.

"Their markets are home to a large number of Manchester United supporters and this deal signifies our growing popularity internationally," said the club's commercial director, Andy Anson.

AirAsia chief executive officer Tony Fernandes said: "Manchester United stands for creativity, passion and the best of football.

"The partnership signifies our determination to be the best and have the highest quality product. In the ensuing years, AirAsia will stand for all that Manchester is, in becoming the best quality and value for money airline in the world."
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Old July 25th, 2005, 06:34 AM   #202
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Malaysian Airline to Lease 5 Boeing 737-800s for New Services
Updated : 25-07-2005
Media : Bloomberg
Story By : Chan Tien Hin and Kyunghee Park




(Bloomberg) -- Malaysian Airline System Bhd., the nation's biggest carrier, said it will lease five 737-800 planes made by Boeing Co. as early as in October for use on new destinations in India and China.

The airline will lease three 737-800 planes in October for Fuzhou, Shenzhen and Guilin in China, said Rashid Khan, the airline's senior general manager for sales, in a July 20 interview. The Kuala Lumpur-based airline will lease two more planes next year in the northern hemisphere summer, he said.

``We are pretty much focused on our operations in China and India,'' Khan said. ``Our China and India strategy require us to grow our frequencies into these markets. We need that aircraft range to serve secondary airports.''

The 737-800, which can fly as far as 3,383 nautical miles (6,265 kilometers), is competing with the Airbus SAS A320 model as replacements for 39 Boeing 737-400 planes in Malaysian Airline's fleet. The government-owned airline needs to modernize its aircraft to compete with low-fare airlines like AirAsia Bhd., including replacing its 10 Fokker 50 turboprop planes on domestic routes to Sabah and Sarawak states on Borneo island.

The airline may decide in September between either Boeing's 737-800 and 737-900 models or the Airbus A320 to replace its 737-400s, Khan said.

Overseas Revenue

Revenue from China flights accounts for 15 percent of Malaysian Airline's sales, Khan said. ``We're looking at double-digit growth,'' he said. ``Over the last couple of years, we have seen India and China passenger growth is excess of 15 percent per annum.''

Malaysian Airline will use the leased aircraft to also offer new services to Cochin and Trichi in India and fly to Darwin in Australia in the summer of 2006. It also plans to add more flights to southern China's Kunming to double the weekly flights to six in October.

Malaysian Airline may get as many as 50 planes to replace its 39 Boeing 737-400 aircraft, Germal Singh Khera, the airline's assistant general manager of international affairs said on May 31. It is also considering the proposed A350 aircraft by Airbus and Boeing's 787 model, he said.

The airline has already filed a proposal with the Malaysian government, which would enable it to raise surcharges on passenger and cargo fares if jet fuel costs continue rising, Khan said.

Malaysian Airline shares rose 4.5 percent to 3.72 ringgit on Friday in Kuala Lumpur.
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Old July 27th, 2005, 03:40 PM   #203
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Malaysia's budget carrier AirAsia expects to operate flights to Brunei soon
27 July 2005

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - AirAsia, Southeast Asia's largest budget carrier, plans to expand by launching flights to the oil-rich sultanate of Brunei soon, an official said Wednesday.

The airline is in the "final stages of discussions" with Brunei authorities for flights between Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's largest city, and Brunei's capital of Bandar Seri Begawan on Borneo island, a spokeswoman for the Malaysian-based company said on condition of anonymity.

The frequency of flights and when they would likely begin have not been determined, she said.

AirAsia, the region's leading budget airline in fleet size, currently has routes covering Indonesia, Malaysia, Macau, the Philippines and Thailand. It has expressed interest in the past to serve new destinations in countries such as China, India, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.
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Old July 28th, 2005, 08:03 AM   #204
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AirAsia is doing really well. Tony Fernandes got featured as a cover story in an edition of Airline Business last year and today he appeared on the front page of Business Times (business daily in Singapore). Really a man of charisma, leading a team of dedicated professionals in a fast-growing airline.
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Old July 29th, 2005, 06:37 PM   #205
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Man U, Real Madrid pick MAS
29 Jul 2005 8:15 PM




The world's most popular football teams, Manchester United and Real Madrid, will be flying Malaysia Airlines back to their home bases within the next 24 hours.

Both teams will be concluding the final leg of their Asian Tours in Tokyo and Bangkok, respectively.

"Both commercial flight arrangements were operationalised and mounted by the charter department by leveraging on Malaysia Airlines' global presence and network," Malaysia Airlines said in a statement on July 29.

"These two charter arrangements further strengthens and reinforces our reputation as a premier charter operator that caters to highly specialised and specific flight arrangements," said Malaysia Airlines assistant general manager charter services, Captain Nik Huzlan.

Malaysia Airlines is the official carrier of the Manchester United Asia Tour 2005. From July 21 to 31, the national airline would have flown the 80-member Red Devils entourage from Manchester to Hong Kong, Beijing, Tokyo and back home.

The entourage had the options of flights on three wide body aircraft types - A330-200, B777-200 and B747-400, which carry the official Manchester United Asia 2005 insignia. This is the second time that Malaysia Airlines has been involved in the Red Devils tour of Asia.

Real Madrid is flying tonight to Madrid from Bangkok on a B777-200 aircraft. This is the second time that Malaysia Airlines has been asked to fly Real Madrid to this part of the world.
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Old July 29th, 2005, 08:54 PM   #206
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I cannot understand certain policies adopted by MAS. For example, they let 10 foreign carriers handle all the international flights from Penang Airport with the exception of Singapore. Examples include Xiamen Airlines(Xiamen), China southern (Guangzhou), Korean Air(Seoul), cathay (hong kong) china airlines (taipei)What is more surprising is that all routes were dropped at the same time. they announced that all international connections out of Penang will be suspended from june 2002 or something cant remember the exact date.I can never understand the rationale of this decision. Take Kota Kinabalu for example. They keep increasing the international connections out of KK when KK doesnt attract that many foreign airlines( 3 the most). This showed that KK does have trouble sustaining international flights as the frequencies of those flights are only 2 or 3 times weekly. I am not confident that MAS can get additional slots in Heathrow easily as Heathrow has very little or no runway capacity left. Those who want to travel to UK might want to take note of this as well. More than 1000 Malaysians were refused entry into the UK in 2003, which is one of the highest in the UK
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Old July 30th, 2005, 06:59 PM   #207
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well, you are right, Australian Airlines just suspended their service to KK due to low demand, but, hey its the only way to go to borneo...by airplane, of course you can take a ship/ferry but we need some fast service (ooops, i am a bit too far am I?) but recently there has been an increase in domestic and international tourist arrivals into sabah and that made the airport burden with almost 4 million passengers, about 1.5 million overcapacity (well, that's what the media reports), there is a need for serious expansion.
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Old August 1st, 2005, 08:36 PM   #208
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MAS Adds Three More Destinations In China
Updated : 01-08-2005
Media : Bernama




Malaysia Airlines (MAS) will fly direct to three more destinations in China by end of this year, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy said Monday.

He said the biweekly fights using the Boeing 737-800 aircraft to Fu Zhou would start on Nov 2, Guilin on Nov 3 Nov and Shengzhen on Dec 10.

"With the three additions, MAS will fly direct to 10 destinations in China," he told reporters after receiving a delegation from Guilin led by Guilin mayor Huang Ye Fei at his office here.

This would further enhance relations between Malaysia and Chinain trade and tourism, he added.

He said the ministry would have air talks with China by end of this year to discuss further liberalisation in terms of open sky, both in cargo and passenger traffic.

"We decided to have further negotiations on the present air services with China," he said.

Asked whether MAS will increase the surcharge following the increase in the prices of petrol, diesel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) Sunday, Chan said: "They have not come back to us to ask for an increase in surcharge".
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Old August 1st, 2005, 09:40 PM   #209
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malaysia airlines rock!
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Old August 1st, 2005, 11:32 PM   #210
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Malaysia Airlines carries two premier football teams in 24 hours
29 Jul, 2005




Kuala Lumpur, 29 July 2005: Malaysia Airlines will be flying two of the world’s most popular football teams, Manchester United and Real Madrid back to their home bases within the next 24 hours.

Both commercial flight arrangements were operationalised and mounted by the Charter Department by leveraging on Malaysia Airlines’ global presence and network.

Assistant General Manager Charter Services, Captain Nik Huzlan said, “These two charter arrangements further strengthens and reinforces our reputation as a premier charter operator that caters to highly specialised and specific flight arrangements.

“Requirements for both these charters are customised and tailored to the specific needs of our passengers. For instance, the food and beverage that is prepared and served on board has been done in consultation with the teams’ nutritionists. For inflight comfort, our specially selected cabin crew are trained to ensure the players are assured of their privacy and are well rested upon arrival at their destination.”

For Manchester United Asian Tour 2005, the club appointed Malaysia Airlines as its official carrier. From 21 to 31 July, the national airline has flown the 80-member entourage from Manchester to Hong Kong, Beijing, Tokyo and back home. The entourage was given the privilege to fly on all the three wide body aircraft types namely the A330-200, B777-200 and B747-400. All three aircraft carried the official Manchester United Asia 2005 insignia.

Making its first stop in Hong Kong the Manchester United Asian Tour 2005 insignia was spotted by their fans as the aircraft made its descent to land at the Chek Lap Kok International Airport. As it concludes its final leg of the tour, the team will fly direct from Tokyo to Manchester on 31 July 2005. This is the second time Malaysia Airlines has been involved in the Red Devils’ football circuit in Asia.

Simultaneously top European football club, Real Madrid flew home to Madrid, Spain tonight from Bangkok, Thailand on a Malaysia Airlines B777-200 aircraft. The 13-hour direct flight enabled the team to rest and recuperate on board after an equally hectic football tour in Asia. This is the second time Malaysia Airlines has been asked to fly Real Madrid to this part of the world.

Recently Malaysia Airlines was accorded 5 Star Airline award by United Kingdom’s Skytrax International and has been named World’s Best Cabin Staff for four years in a row from 2001 to 2004.
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 05:21 AM   #211
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Malaysian Airline Filled More Seats, Cargo Space in June
Updated : 02-08-2005
Media : Bloomberg
Story By : Chan Tien Hin



(Bloomberg) -- Malaysian Airline System Bhd., the nation's biggest carrier, filled more seats and cargo space in June, its fifth straight monthly gain, as the company expanded its overseas routes.

The Kuala Lumpur-based airline filled 69 percent of its combined passenger and cargo capacity during the month, compared with 63.1 percent a year earlier, according to operating statistics posted on its Web site today. In May, it filled 65.7 percent of total capacity, up from 58.9 percent a year earlier.

The state-controlled carrier expanded to China and India to meet competition from low-fare carriers, adding services to the southwestern Chinese city of Kunming on Jan. 15 and Kolkata, India, on Jan. 28. It's also spending about 700 million ringgit ($187 million) to refurbish its first- and business-class cabins, to compete with Singapore Airlines Ltd. and Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd.

The carrier increased its seat capacity by 4.3 percent in June and carried 5.7 percent more passengers on its domestic and international flights from a year earlier.

Malaysian Airline filled 72.7 percent of its total passenger seats in June from 65.2 percent a year earlier.

The airline packed 71.9 percent of available seats on its international routes, 8.6 percentage points more than a year earlier. It filled 79.8 percent of seats on its domestic routes, where it competes with AirAsia Bhd., Southeast Asia's biggest low-fare carrier, a drop of 2.7 percentage points.

Malaysian Airline filled 64 percent of its cargo capacity in June compared with 60.4 percent a year earlier, it said.

Shares of Malaysian Air, which have dropped 15 percent this year, fell 0.53 percent to 3.74 ringgit yesterday.
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Old August 4th, 2005, 09:03 AM   #212
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AirAsia secures loan to pay for new aircraft
Updated : 04-08-2005
Media : Business Times
Story By : ANNA MARIA SAMSUDIN



BUDGET airline AirAsia Bhd has secured close to a US$1 billion (US$1 = RM3.75) loan to pay for 30 new A320 aircraft to be delivered within two years, the first batch of Airbus planes which it ordered.

A source told Business Times that the deal between the discount carrier and the un-named international lender has already been finalised and is currently awaiting approval from Bank Negara Malaysia.

Under the deal, AirAsia, which has already paid a 15 per cent deposit for the aircraft, will be required to settle the loan within 12 years.

กงI think AirAsia has made a wise decision on this deal. This is indeed a good time to take up loans in US dollars,กจ the source said.

AirAsia is planning to buy 60 new A320s under its fleet expansion plan. It is scheduled to take delivery of the first two A320s in December this year, followed by one aircraft delivery in subsequent months.

It was estimated that the entire fleet expansion exercise would cost RM14.4 billion.

Chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes, in an earlier report, explained that AirAsia prefers to pay for the new aircraft with loans instead of from its initial public offering (IPO) proceeds because it is generating enough cash from operations to pay the debt.

He also disclosed that among the international lenders that the airline was talking to were Royal Bank of Scotland, Citigroup Inc, HSBC Holdings plc, Deutsche Bank AG and Franceกฆs Calyon.

AirAsia had earlier announced the possibility of missing its RM147.4 million profit forecast for the financial year ended June 30 2005 due to the shortage of aircraft to support its route expansion in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and China.

For the nine months ended March 31 2005, the airline registered a RM95.14 million net profit on the back of RM466.74 million revenue.

The airline cited higher fuel costs and the start-up cost of its Indonesian arm PT AWAIR as the primary factors that affected its performance in the third quarter.

Credit Suisse First Boston said AirAsia may miss its profit target by 17 per cent, or RM25 million, while Macquarie Securities Ltd analyst Paul Dewberry said the airline may miss its forecast by 3.4 per cent or RM5 million.
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Old August 8th, 2005, 08:28 AM   #213
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Noodle attack delays flight

ACHADTHAYA CHUENNIRAN

Phuket _ An angry passenger threw a cup of hot noodles at an air hostess after being asked not to use her mobile phone during takeoff from Bangkok yesterday.

The mid-air quarrel resulted in 200 passengers booked on the plane's return flight being kept waiting for nearly four hours at Phuket airport.

An airport official said the quarrel erupted on AirAsia flight FD3015, from Bangkok to Phuket, after a woman passenger tried to make a call on her mobile phone during takeoff.

The flight attendant asked her to turn off the phone but the passenger refused. The attendant insisted she not make the call as it was against flight regulations.

As the flight attendant turned her back to leave, the passenger threw a hot cup of noodles at her, hitting her in the back, according to the airport official.

The passenger later claimed the flight attendant called her names although she could not produce any eyewitnesses.

When the plane landed in Phuket, police were informed and the captain, flight attendant and passenger were told to report to police.

Meanwhile, 200 passengers were waiting to board the plane to return to Bangkok at the scheduled departure time of 5.45pm.

An irate passenger called the Bangkok Post at 8.15pm complaining they had not been informed of the reason for the delay.

``Some of us have overseas connecting flights to make, some have emergencies waiting at home and they told us nothing.

``Instead, they ask for police guards to ensure peace among us,'' said Chanthawipa Apisuk, secretary-general of Empower Foundation, an organisation working to protect the rights of sex workers. ``Our request for an explanation met with smiles from the ground crew and nothing else.''

AirAsia airport staff declined to comment.

The flight finally left at 9.15pm.
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Old August 9th, 2005, 01:01 AM   #214
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What kind of laws are there in Malaysia and Thailand regarding air rage? It seems Western countries are becoming less tolerant of these kinds of incidents now that everyone's a bit more edgy about terrorism.
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 07:32 PM   #215
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Malaysian Airline chief exits, firm dives into red

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Malaysian Airline System's managing director took retirement a little more than a year into the job on Monday, while Malaysia's flagship carrier said high fuel prices had dragged it to a first-quarter loss.

Managing Director Ahmad Fuaad Dahlan had taken the helm in April 2004 as part of a new generation of managers installed at several state-linked firms under a government efficiency drive.

Malaysian Airlines did not give Fuaad's motive for retiring so soon into his post. He is 55, according to an airline statement, which also said the chairman would act as managing director until the airline finds a successor, which it expected to be within the next six months.

"Fuaad Dahlan wanted to retire. The board of directors considered and granted his request. He submitted the letter last week," MAS Chairman Munir Majid told reporters, declining to elaborate.

Minutes after the surprise announcement, the airline reported a heavy first-quarter net loss of 280.7 million ringgit ($74.5 million) for the three months ended June 30, compared with a profit of 26.6 million ringgit a year earlier.

The airline had spent 1.1 billion ringgit on fuel during the quarter, 58 percent higher than the 706 million a year ago. Only about 60 percent of its fuel needs are hedged, analysts have said.

"We have not had an encouraging start to the year," Munir said. "Fuel is not the only reason for the losses. We acknowledged that we have not been profitable in operating the airline business."

FIVE-YEAR PLAN

Following the loss, the airline announced a plan to contain costs, boost revenues, return to profit and compete more effectively with other international carriers within five years.

It aims to earn 1 billion ringgit in net profit within five years, incoming Executive Director Tengku Azmil Zahruddin Raja Abdul Aziz told reporters in a briefing.

The five-year plan includes improving revenues by enhancing flight yields and networks as well as driving down costs by improving procurement methods and fuel conservation plans.

"In previous years, profits have come from one-off gains," said Munir. "We know the gaps in our business, and we acknowledge that we have to address these issues to improve and return MAS to a strong and profitable airline. We have a clear plan to address the gaps."

MAS said demand for travel was strong despite fuel surcharges on airline tickets, but it warned about high fuel prices and uncertainties over security in developed countries. Competition for regional markets is intense, it added.

Operating revenue jumped 15.6 percent in the first quarter.

The airline's share price ended down 0.6 percent at 3.38 ringgit, dipping 2 sen in the final few minutes of trade after news of Fuaad's exit. The results followed the close.

The stock has lost almost a quarter of its value this year, underperforming local budget carrier AirAsia Bhd by 20 percent and Singapore Airlines Ltd , one of Asia's most highly rated full-service airlines, by 24 percent.

Separately, state asset agency Khazanah Nasional, which controls MAS with a 69 percent stake, said in a separate statement that Tengku Azmil will be replaced at the airline's parent Penerbangan Malaysia in his capacity as CEO by Nasution Mohamed. ($1 = 3.7680 ringgit)
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Old August 24th, 2005, 07:18 AM   #216
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AirAsia bullish on profits despite high oil prices: official

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 23 (AFP) - Southeast Asia's most profitable low-cost carrier AirAsia said Tuesday that oil prices are expected to climb higher but are unlikely to push the company into the red.

"I have a gut feeling that fuel prices are going to go higher, but we are ready for it," chief executive officer Tony Fernandes said, adding that 75 percent of AirAsia's fuel usage has been hedged up to June 2006.

AirAsia said earlier this month that it may consider increasing fares to compensate for rising oil prices.

Fernandes said that despite the difficult conditions, AirAsia hopes to maintain its track record by not incurring a loss in results for the fourth quarter to June which are to be announced on Friday.

"We have not incurred any loss before, so we hope to continue the process," he told reporters.

Fernandes said rising oil prices were a blessing in disguise, having affected AirAsia's competitors more severely and keeping new players from entering the crowded low-cost carrier market.

AirAsia is reportedly tipped to post net profits of 127-143 million ringgit (34-38 million dollars) for the year ended June, lower than the 159.88 million profit it projected during its initial public offering last November.

Analysts attributed the expected lower profit to a delay in aircraft deployment and high oil prices.

For the nine months to March, AirAsia posted a net profit of 95.52 million ringgit on sales of 466.74 million dollars.

On Monday national carrier Malaysia Airlines dumped its managing director Ahmad Fuaad Dahalan after announcing a 280.66 million ringgit (74 million dollar) net loss in the three months to June, from a profit of 26.58 million a year ago due to soaring oil prices.
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Old August 24th, 2005, 10:50 AM   #217
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Quote:
Originally Posted by globocentric
I cannot understand certain policies adopted by MAS. For example, they let 10 foreign carriers handle all the international flights from Penang Airport with the exception of Singapore.
MAS has no prerogative and authority at all in determining the number of foreign carriers flying into/from Penang (or any other cities in Malaysia for that matter). thus, when u said 'they let' is misleading. all is governed by Jbtn Penerbangan Awam or DCA.

as with SQ, that is actually in line with the old agreement that MAS/SIA has after the split.. that's y u do not c any other airlines plying KUL-SIN. the old policies also affect SQ operations into any other cities in Malaysia (except for the new MOU that they had with SQ lil brother Silk Air of flying into KCH and Kota Kinabalu..).
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Old August 27th, 2005, 06:59 AM   #218
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Malaysia's AirAsia says net profit 30 percent below target
26 August 2005

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - Malaysia's budget carrier AirAsia said Friday its net profit for the fiscal year ending in June fell 30 percent below target, largely dragged down by soaring fuel costs.

AirAsia, releasing its first full-year results as a listed company, said it posted a net profit of 111.6 million ringgit (US$29.7 million, euro24.7 million), well below the 160 million ringgit (US$42.44 million; euro35.36 million) that it predicted during its initial share offer last year.

It blamed the poor full-year results on tight supply of Boeing 737-300 planes available for lease, soaring fuel prices and continued losses at its 49 percent-owned Thai AirAsia associate.

In the final quarter to June alone, it said net profit dipped 60 percent from the previous three months to 16.1 million ringgit (US$4.3 million, euro3.5 million) as fuel costs jumped 18 percent, staff costs rose 20 percent and major overhaul costs more than doubled.

"The impact of jet fuel and aircraft shortages were always going to affect us," Timothy Ross, a director, said in a telephone conference call with journalists.

Also, AirAsia had expected to deploy 26 planes during the year, but only had 21.

AirAsia, the region's biggest low-cost carrier in fleet size and its only publicly listed one, said it was cautiously optimistic about prospects in the current year despite high global oil prices.

"The cost of jet fuel remains a real concern ... the board does not anticipate fuel prices falling significantly and is of the view that they will remain at high levels in the short term," it said in a statement.

Still, AirAsia put in a better performance than national carrier Malaysia Airline, which suffered a 280.7 million ringgit (US$73.9 million; euro60.8 million) loss in the same quarter due to surges in fuel and other operating costs.

AirAsia is also upbeat about the current financial year with all of its fuel needs fully hedged for the first six months, while half the requirements for the second half are covered.

Chief Executive Tony Fernandes, also participating in the conference call, said he believes that AirAsia can hold off any increase in its fuel surcharges for at least six months.

"If we have to we will. We feel we have a lot more capacity to increase. But we probably won't for the next six months," Fernandes said.

AirAsia implemented fuel surcharges for the first time on July 14 of 5 ringgit (US$1.32; euro1.10) for one-way for flights within West Malaysia, 15 ringgit (US$4; euro3.3) for flights from East to West Malaysia, and 25 ringgit (US$6.6; euro5.5) for overseas routes.
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Old August 29th, 2005, 09:30 PM   #219
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Monday August 29, 2005
Malaysian, Not Foreigner To Run Malaysian Airlines-Report

KUALA LUMPUR (AP)--The Malaysian government has shortlisted several candidates with experience in multinational companies overseas to head flag carrier Malaysian Airline System Bhd. (3786.KU), which was stunned by a massive first-quarter loss that led to the removal of the company's managing director, a news report said Monday.

A decision on replacing Ahmad Fuaad Dahlan, who was apparently forced out on Aug. 22, will be made much sooner than the six-month deadline set by the airline, the New Straits Times reported.

MAS officials were not immediately available for comment.

The state-owned airline has "identified several Malaysians with the appropriate track record on turning around companies and improving operations," the New Straits Times reported.

There was some speculation earlier that Ahmad Fuaad would be replaced by a foreigner, but sources said that was not to be, the newspaper reported.

"From the outset ... the MAS board has been scouting around for a Malaysian to be the CEO and an expatriate had not been considered as reported," the sources told the newspaper.

However, some key management positions down the line could be filled by expatriates, the sources said.

The sources said the shortlisted candidates have "experience in top positions in multinationals overseas and the necessary skills to stem the slide of one of the country's best known brands."

The carrier reported last Monday a loss of MYR280.7 million in the quarter to June, mainly due to soaring fuel costs. Ahmad Fuaad went into retirement the same day and the Malaysian carrier, which owns Southeast Asia's biggest passenger plane fleet of some 100 aircraft, announced top management changes, saying it plans to revamp its operations to generate MYR1 billion in profit after five years.

MAS is currently run by a committee headed by chairman Munir Majid and newly appointed executive director Azmil Zahruddin Raja Abdul Aziz.

In an interview with Dow Jones Newswires Friday, Munir said MAS is prepared to take tough measures to survive, including laying off staff and lowering wages.

But over the short term, the company will aim to cut fuel use by 10% and take a major "review of everything" ranging from aircraft purchases to network expansion to ensure cost-competitiveness, he said.

-Edited by Costas Paris
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Old August 29th, 2005, 10:54 PM   #220
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Malaysia Airlines really impressed me when I flew them from Cairo to KL, and KL to Cairns. The service was great, and hospitality was generous too. The only complaint I would say is there wasn't enough legroom for me.
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