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Old February 17th, 2012, 03:21 PM   #2381
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More in-flight entertainment choices on MAS
Published: 2012/02/17
http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_New...#ixzz1me37Ogm7

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has increased the content of its in-flight movies, television (TV) programmes and songs library on all Boeing 737-800, 777-200, 747-400 and Airbus 330-300 aircraft in its fleet.

In a statement today, MAS said starting this year, it has increased the in-flight entertainment (IFE) content by 100 per cent for both Hollywood movies from 30 to 60 and audio compact disc selections from 200 to 400, 80 per cent for TV content from 94 to 170 programmes and 50 per cent for international movies from 24 to 36.

Its head of customer experience, Datuk Mohd Salleh Ahmad Tabrani, said the airline was always looking for ways to enhance the in-flight experience of its customers and offer them more choices.

"They can now choose up to 60 Hollywood films, double the number offered when the IFE was first installed.

"Included in this are new film titles like 'Happy Feet Two' and 'The Adventures of TinTin', plus the top 10 highest grossing movies of all times," he said.

He said the increased content also meant the customers would be able to watch something new every time they travel.

Mohd Salleh said the airline planned to extend this upgrade later this year to cover the contents of Going Places (monthly travel magazine), Select (in-flight entertainment guide) and Temptations (in-flight sales catalogue). -- Bernama
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Old February 20th, 2012, 07:12 AM   #2382
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MAS offers business-class promo deals
Published: 2012/02/20
http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_New...cle/index_html

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is offering attractive business-class travel promotional deals for both domestic and international flights effective today till Feb 27.

The offers for domestic sectors and to Asean destinations are valid for travel with immediate effect till Aug 31, while the deals for the US, North Asia, Europe, South Asia, China/Hong Kong and Australia are valid until June 30.

For customers' convenience, fares offered are inclusive of airfares, fuel surcharges and airport taxes, said MAS Regional Senior Vice-President for Malaysia and Asean Muzammil Mohamad.

He said: "At Malaysia Airlines, we are continuously upgrading our products and services for customers to enjoy more at value deals.

"The deals are made possible due to the new fuel-efficient aircraft that are regularly joining our fleet. These aircraft also have improved inflight facilities that also allow us to enhance our service offerings to customers.”

"In addition, we have re-strategised to increase our frequencies to regional routes and matching customers' expectations who prefer premium full service and direct connectivity for their journeys at value deals.

"We invite customers to enjoy these all-inclusive value deals and delight with our award-winning Malaysian Hospitality during their travels," he added.

The promotions for domestic travel have been common rated where
all-inclusive fares for travel between KLIA and any city in Peninsular Malaysia.

It starts at RM399 one way and RM798 for return whilst the airfare between KLIA and any city in Sabah and Sarawak is from RM799 one way and RM1,598 return.

For travel between KLIA and any Asean city, the all-inclusive one-way fare starts from as low as RM399 one way for Medan, RM599 for Phuket and RM899 for the remaining Asean destinations.

The all-inclusive rates for destinations in China start from RM1,356 one way to Guangzhou, Xiamen and Kunming, whilst similar rates to South Asian cities start at RM1,164 to Hyderabad, RM1,179 to Dhaka, RM1,189 to Bangalore, RM1,211 to Colombo and RM1,222 to Chennai.

Travellers planning for premium travel experience to Australia, the United States and Europe till June 30 can grab deals starting at RM2,894 one way to Perth, RM3,456 to Sydney, RM4,972 to Los Angeles, RM5,123 to London and RM5,358 to Paris.

Children, aged below two and 12, enjoy a further 35 per cent discount for domestic travel business-class fares and 25 per cent off on fares for international business-class travel.

The above offers are available through various MAS' distribution channels like its ticket offices throughout Malaysia, 24-hour toll-free call centre at 1300 88 3000, www.malaysiaairlines.com and its appointed agents. -- Bernama
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Old February 29th, 2012, 03:58 PM   #2383
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MH Boeing 772-ER at Schiphol.
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Old March 8th, 2012, 06:07 AM   #2384
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MAS A380 livery .. check Malaysia Airlines FB.
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Old March 8th, 2012, 12:22 PM   #2385
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PICTURES: Malaysia Airlines unveils A380 configuration; to receive aircraft in June

Malaysia Airlines has unveiled the design and specifications of its first Airbus A380-800 aircraft.

The aircraft, to be delivered in the middle of June, will have a new livery on its exterior, said the airline.

More details and pictures at http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...n-june-369265/




Looks clean. But i miss the red color.
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Old March 8th, 2012, 03:14 PM   #2386
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Malaysia Airlines A380 will commence service on July 1.


Quote:
Originally Posted by patchay View Post
Malaysia Airlines unveils new frills jumbo jet for long haul premium
The Malaysian Insider | March 08, 2012



KUALA LUMPUR, March 8 – Malaysia Airlines (MAS) revealed today the new look of its A380 jumbo jet, in a bid to entice well-heeled travellers for the long haul.

The Airbus A380-800, which can seat 494, is aimed to provide space and comfort for passengers. It is on track for entry into service from July 1 with the Kuala Lumpur-London route. MAS added that it will launch twice-daily flights on the KL-London route at end August this year when it gets its second A380, while the third will be used for KL-Sydney flights.

Passengers in first-class will be treated to luxurious seats that have a pitch of 85 inches and flatten out to a full 87-inch long, with individual 23-inch inflight entertainment (IFE) screens. Seats in business class have a 74-inch pitch and full flat bed seats each measuring 72 inches in length together with individual 17-inch IFE screens, while economy-class seats measure 18 inches wide and can recline six inches and come with 10.6-inch individual screens.

Passengers will also be treated to local and international dishes that are lighter and healthier, and for the first time, the ‘Chef-on-Call’ service currently available to first-class, will be extended to business class customers.

Read More >>> http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/b...-for-long-haul
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Originally Posted by World 2 World View Post
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THE KUALA LUMPUR DEVELOPMENTS COMPILATION (LATEST: JAN'2015) >>> PAGE 1 >>> PAGE 2 (Suburb)

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Old March 8th, 2012, 09:44 PM   #2387
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http://www.malaysiaairlines.com/

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Originally Posted by nazrey View Post
MAS’ beacon of change set to take off on July 1
By Presenna NambiarPublished: 2012/03/09
http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_New...#ixzz1oYWET72o

MALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) will launch ticket sales for its A380 Kuala Lumpur- London flights today, with fares at a 5 to 10 per cent premium to its current pricing.

A quick check on MAS' website shows that tickets on the Boeing 747 for first class flights in July are selling at RM10,440 one way for morning flights, and RM12,824 one way for night flights.

The Boeing 747 aircraft seats 359 passengers in three classes.

The A380 was reconfigured to 494 seats, which comprises three classes namely first, business and economy to reflect MAS "premium" status.

Initially the A380 was to have four classes (first, business, premium economy and economy) and to seat slightly more than 500 people.

The first A380 aircraft will serve the KL-London route three times a week from July 1 2012. MAS will take delivery of the aircraft on June 19 2012.

With the entry of its second A380 in August, it will fly daily flights on the route.

The arrival of MAS' third A380 will see it start serving the KL-Sydney route three times a week, while the fourth aircraft will enable it to increase it to daily flights to Sydney.

MAS will take delivery of a total of five A380s this year.

The arrival of the A380 will also see MAS merging its first class lounge with its Platinum class at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, making it a larger lounge with added facilities.

Calling the A380 as the beacon which signifies the changes in MAS' premium offering, MAS marketing and promotions senior vice-president Al-Ishal Ishak said the aircraft will sport new livery of blue and metal colours.

He added that as to whether the same livery will be extended to the rest of fleet is up to MAS board to decide.

Announcing changes to its treatment of First Class passengers on the A380, customer experience head Datuk Salleh Ahmad Tabrani said all three classes on the A380 will benefit from the new experience that MAS has to offer.

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Old March 9th, 2012, 04:45 AM   #2388
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Source:http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stori...187924/1/.html
Quote:
Qantas' Asian airline in doubt as Malaysia talks fail
Posted: 09 March 2012 0738 hrs

SYDNEY: Australian carrier Qantas' plans to create a premium Asian airline were thrown into disarray Friday after it announced talks with Malaysia Airlines had collapsed.

While Asia remained a priority for Qantas and it wanted to expand in the region, given global economic uncertainty and its focus on financial discipline, the group said it "will allocate minimal capital to such ventures".

"Last year, Qantas announced a five-year plan to address the challenges facing the international business," chief executive Alan Joyce said in a statement announcing the talks had failed.

"The transformation of Qantas' international business remains vital, with plans to return the international business to profitability in the short-term on track."

Qantas revealed plans to establish a joint-venture premium airline in Asia last August as it repositions itself within the industry's fastest-growing region and seeks to turn around its loss-making international arm.

Singapore and Malaysia were seen as the likely bases and it is understood that Qantas had been favouring Kuala Lumpur given it would involve lower costs.

But Qantas said Friday that talks with Malaysia Airlines on a partnership, including the establishment of a new premium airline, "would not continue due to parties being unable to reach mutually agreeable commercial terms".

The news comes just days after Malaysia Airlines admitted it was "in crisis" after posting a 2.52 billion ringgit (US$836 million) loss last year largely due to soaring fuel costs.

"The results make for unpleasant reading. The company is in crisis," Malaysia Airlines chairman Mohamad Nor Mohamad Yusof said, before adding he was confident it could recover.

It is understood Qantas is not in talks on establishing a tie-up with Singapore Airlines, long a fierce rival of the Australian carrier and whose new long-haul budget carrier Scoot will have a daily flight to Sydney.

Qantas' plans to establish a new Asian airline sparked a fierce backlash from the start, with unions concerned the move would see jobs sent offshore.

The ensuing acrimony between management and unions saw Joyce ground the entire fleet last October, stranding thousands of passengers at airports around the world and digging into the airline's bottom line.

The 48-hour grounding was ultimately ended by the national industrial relations umpire, which forced the disputing parties into arbitration.

Qantas is battling to restructure its business and earlier this year announced it would slash at least 500 jobs, cut costs and close two international routes after an 83 percent slump in first-half net profits.

Its share price was down 4.06 percent at midday Friday at Aus$1.655.

- AFP/de/wk
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Old March 10th, 2012, 11:29 PM   #2389
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As Malaysia Airlines continues to carry you across the globe, we're making it possible to reduce the carbon footprint of your air travel.

Malaysia Airlines is aware that 2% of the world's carbon emissions of greenhouse gases are contributed by the aviation industry. We have, since 2005, strived to reduce fuel consumption by flying more direct routes at the most economical speed, practicing continuous descent approaches and flying lighter and cleaner aircrafts to improve fuel efficiency. We have also embarked on green programmes on the ground such as integrating 3R (reduce, reuse and recycle) waste management practices, energy conservation, pursuing and obtaining ISO14001 certifications for environmental management systems and increasing the use of biodegradable products. We're also improving the awareness of our staff on the importance of curbing global warming.

Running tighter and greener operations in the air and on the ground makes both business and environmental sense.

Malaysia Airlines is, nevertheless, prepared to go further. From 1st June 2008, for every flight our staff boards on company business, we plan to offset the carbon dioxide emissions generated.

http://www.malaysiaairlines.com/



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Old April 2nd, 2012, 02:01 PM   #2390
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Source:http://malaysia-today.net/mtcolumns/...eixzz1qq5ihxap
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MAS in danger of losing 5-star status from Skytrax
Monday, 02 April 2012 admin-s

(Business Times) - Skytrax’s website shows that Malaysia Airlines’ ranking is 'under review', which industry observers believe that this could point to a possible downgrade.



Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) could be in danger of losing its 5-Star Airline status from Skytrax, the world’s largest airline review site. Skytrax’s website shows that MAS’ ranking is “under review”.

Checks show that its status has been “under review” since October last year,dismissing doubts that it could be a periodical review.

Industry observers believe that this could point to a possible downgrade of its ranking. Skytrax’ 5-Star Airline ranking is the ultimate sign of quality approval and is awarded to airlines achieving the highest overall quality performance.

It recognises the high standards of airport and onboard products across assessment categories, combined with consistently high standards of staff service delivery in both the onboard and airport environments.

Skytrax’s other ranks are 4-Star, 3-Star, 2-Star, 1-Star and Unclassified Airlines. MAS has been a 5-Star ranked airline since 2005. Only five other airlines are ranked 5-Star – Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Hainan Airlines, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines.

Kingfisher Airlines had its 5-Star ranking suspended recently.

Attempts to contact the Skytrax team were unsuccessful.

Queries sent to Malaysia Airlines were also not answered.

“A possible downgrade of MAS’ ranking (on Skytrax) is unlikely to affect its entry into the oneworld alliance, but it will probably be harder for MAS to get people to buy into its whole ‘premium’ concept should it happen,” said OSK Research analyst Ahmad Maghfur Usman.
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Old April 3rd, 2012, 04:46 AM   #2391
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Quote:
AirAsia X takes fight to Qantas

Gareth Hutchens
April 3, 2012

Groundbreaking ... officials celebrate AirAsia X's arrival at Sydney Airport. Photo: Tamara Dean

IT WAS another sign of the changing face of air travel in Australia.

Low-cost airline AirAsia X touched down in Sydney yesterday, on Qantas's home turf, for the first of the foreign carrier's new daily flights between Sydney and Malaysia.

The no-frills airline - you want water on board? pay for it! - originally sold tickets for $99, one way to Kuala Lumpur, as it added Sydney to its string of local destinations behind Perth, the Gold Coast and Melbourne.

Advertisement: Story continues below Analysts say the new service will increase competition on point-to-point services between Australian cities and Asia, the major growth market in aviation.

''They're a very aggressive price competitor. They have been in every market,'' the managing consultant at CAPA Consulting, Ian Thomas, said.

''They're applying some direct pressure, as far as Qantas is concerned, more so to the mainline carrier than Jetstar.''

AirAsia X's chief executive, Azran Osman-Rani, said the Kuala Lumpur-based carrier plans to increase its workload from Sydney next year, increasing flights to twice daily to take advantage of the strong Australian dollar and local demand for cheap flights to south-east Asia.

And he had a message for Qantas: ''They've got to figure out how they can tap into [Asian] growth,'' Mr Osman-Rani said, ''and to tap [into] the lower cost base, because that's where the opportunities are.

''That's probably a challenge for [Qantas]. It's not just labour, it's infrastructure costs, even fuel costs, because to get physical fuel down here you've got to ship it down, which adds to a lot of the costs.''

Mr Osman-Rani said the airline had already sold 100,000 tickets from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur up to next January.

''That's why Sydney is very interesting because [there] was immediate strong demand,'' he said. ''For the first time ever, where we've opened up for sale in the first week, that people from the destination was more than the number of people from Malaysia or south-east Asia.''

AirAsia X recently withdrew its long-haul flights to Europe because of the poor state of the European market and started to concentrate on the Australian market instead.
source: http://www.smh.com.au/business/airas...402-1w8lj.html

A good start for AirAsia X to Sydney!!

Other news about AirAsia X to Sydney...
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/trav...402-1w7jo.html

http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v6....php?id=656417

Strong ticket sales!!
http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v6/ne....php?id=656490
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Last edited by ntly1; April 3rd, 2012 at 05:23 AM.
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Old April 6th, 2012, 11:19 AM   #2392
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Old April 9th, 2012, 10:00 AM   #2393
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image hosted on flickr

Malaysian by Peter Ede, on Flickr
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 05:24 PM   #2394
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MH A380

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Old April 25th, 2012, 04:50 PM   #2395
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Funny pre-flight announcement

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Old May 26th, 2012, 12:24 AM   #2396
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AirAsia Group

AK QZ FD PQ JW D7

http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story...9&sec=business

AirAsia in for stronger earnings

AIRASIA'S first-quarter core earnings of RM153.5mil is 15% of our full financial year 2012 (FY12) forecast and 17% of consensus.

We deemed the result in line as first quarter is seasonally the weakest quarter of the year. AirAsia's FY10-FY11 first-quarter earnings contributed to 13%-17% of full-year earnings.

We expect stronger earnings for the remaining quarters mainly due to higher passenger yields, lowered jet fuel cost and earnings recognition from Thai AirAsia.

First-quarter passenger yield increased by 1.8% year-on-year to 14.2 sen but dropped 10.7% quarter-on-quarter due to seasonality factor.
Average ancillary income per pax was relatively stable on quarter-on-quarter basis at RM39.6 per pax but dropped by 20.6% year-on-year due to the incorporation of some of its ancillary business into the Thai joint venture (i.e. online travelling and training services).

Thai AirAsia continued to make profits and contributed RM2.3mil to AirAsia's earnings for the first time (after deducting unrecognised retained losses). Thai AirAsia will be listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) by end of this month with an initial public offering price of 3.70 baht. Post-IPO, AirAsia's stake will be diluted to 45% from 49%.

Thai AirAsia is expected to finance its own fleet in the future, which will reduce AirAsia's financing burden and enable AirAsia to relocate resources for other new joint ventures.

Indonesia AirAsia reported losses of 36.6 billion rupiah after taking delivery of five Airbus (higher cost) from AirAsia. Management has maintained their bullishness on Indonesia AirAsia for its vast market and emerging air-travelling trend, with chief executive officer Tony Fernandes to be stationed in the country and strategise on Indonesia AirAsia's development.

The unit is expected to break-even by end-2013. Nevertheless, management has maintained its target to list Indonesia AirAsia by end-2012.

Philippines AirAsia has started operations with two A320s since March while Japan AirAsia will commence operations by August and management is targeting both to break even after the first year of operations. Both units reported combined losses of RM8mil (AirAsia equity portion) in the quarter.
Note that AirAsia is actively seeking more joint ventures in other Asian countries to further expand its network.

AirAsia has hedged 40% of its fuel requirements for the second quarter via fixed swap of Jet Kero at US$122 per barrel and 27% for the second half via fixed swap of Brent at US$116 per barrel.

Its net gearing improved further to 1.26 times as at March (versus 1.42 times as at Dec 2011) with cash levels of over RM2bil.

AirAsia has announced net dividend payment of 5 sen to reward its shareholders. We maintain a “buy” on AirAsia with an unchanged target price of RM4.70 based on sum-of-parts.
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Old May 26th, 2012, 12:29 AM   #2397
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AirAsia’s Fernandes to Move to Jakarta as Airline Expands

http://www.businessweek.com/news/201...irline-expands


AirAsia (AIRA) Bhd. Chief Executive Officer Tony Fernandes, one of Malaysia’s most successful businessmen, said he’s moving to live in Jakarta to help accelerate the regional expansion of Asia’s biggest budget carrier.

Fernandes has steered AirAsia’s growth from a two-plane operation to 110 aircraft in just over a decade, overtaking Malaysian Airline Systems Bhd. (MAS) (MAS) as the country’s largest carrier by market value. He’ll move to live in the Indonesian capital in about two weeks where the group is setting up a regional office, while keeping Malaysia as its headquarters.

“Part of AirAsia’s success might require him to move away from the epicenter in Malaysia so that he can see the woods instead of the tree,” said Gerald Ambrose, who oversees 5.4 billion ringgit ($1.7 billion) in assets as managing director of Aberdeen Asset Management Sdn. in Kuala Lumpur.

The carrier has grown from its Malaysian roots to establish budget spin-offs in countries including Indonesia, Thailand and most recently the Philippines and Japan. Fernandes wants to form similar airline partnerships in South Korea, Vietnam and the Middle East.

“I get over-involved in the Malaysian operation,” Fernandes told reporters in Toulouse, southern France, where he was taking delivery of the airline’s 100th Airbus SAS A320 plane. “I should also be looking at Japan, Indonesia.”

About 20 AirAsia head office staff are moving to join him and help with regional strategy, Fernandes said.

More Planes

The group placed an order last year for 200 advanced A320neo planes to facilitate route expansion. It’s considering additional orders for Airbus single-aisle jets, he said.

AirAsia rose 4.1 percent to close at 3.60 ringgit in Kuala Lumpur today after news of its potential fleet expansion. The benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index gained 0.2 percent.

The parent of AirAsia’s Thai unit is slated to list shares in Bangkok this month. The airline’s Indonesian venture is also planning an initial public offering this year, it said last year.

Fernandes’s decision to move comes as AirAsia and Malaysian Air’s biggest shareholders this month unwound a share swap following protests by the national carrier’s biggest union.

He has had a “rough ride here in the past three months in the uncertainty with Malaysian Air,” Ambrose said. “He might think he wants to stand back and focus on the business.”
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Old May 28th, 2012, 01:04 AM   #2398
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Thai unit's listing allows AirAsia to focus on other associates: OSK

http://www.thesundaily.my/news/389926

Thai unit's listing allows AirAsia to focus on other associates: OSK

Posted on 28 May 2012 - 05:36am
[email protected]


PETALING JAYA (May 28, 2012): OSK Research Sdn Bhd views the listing of AirAsia Bhd's Thai unit via holding company Asia Aviation Pcl as positive as it will recapitalise Thai AirAsia and allow AirAsia to de-gear when the former can raise its own aircraft financing.

OSK aviation analyst Ahmad Maghfur Usman said this will allow AirAsia to focus on its growth plans for its other associates. Thai AirAsia is 51% owned by Asia Aviation and 49% by AirAsia.

Ahmad also sees trading opportunity in AirAsia on Thai AirAsia's listing on the Stock Exchange of Thailand on May 31, given the valuation gap arising from the initial price offering (IPO) shares' forward price-to-earnings (P/E) multiple of 14.1 times 2012 earnings versus AirAsia's nine times.

"AirAsia is currently trading at an attractive nine times 2012 P/E versus its peers' 11-13 times. We remain bullish on the group's outlook as we do not see any yield pressure from Malaysia Airlines and Firefly. Furthermore, in view of the uncertain macro outlook in the immediate term, AirAsia stands to benefit from downtrading by travellers as well as the weaker oil price," he said in a report on Friday.

"It is understood that Thai AirAsia is allocating about 1.5 billion baht (RM150 million) for aircraft acquisitions in the immediate term. The remaining 2.8 billion (RM277.5 million) will be used for working capital and to pay off liabilities owed to AirAsia, which as at Q1FY12 stood at 45 million baht (RM4.5 million)," said Ahmad.

He sees the progressive transfer of aircraft currently leased by Thai AirAsia from AirAsia, which bodes well for AirAsia as this will help it free up some debt which it raised to buy Thai AirAsia's fleet.

"With AirAsia's outstanding debt totalling RM7.5 billion as of Q1 and noting that 27% (24 aircraft) of AirAsia's fleet is currently leased by Thai AirAsia, this could potentially free up as much as RM2.02 billion of AirAsia's debt should the group directly transfer them to Thai AirAsia," he added.

This will consequently reduce AirAsia's net gearing to 79% from 126%, cut interest expenses by RM90-100 million from RM380-400 million per year and about RM154 million in depreciation charges.

"We could see this de-gearing occurring progressively but the drawback is AirAsia would lose out in earning lease income as it operates like a typical franchise model. Note that AirAsia also earns income from branding rights and so on from its associates and sister companies," said Ahmad.

OSK forecast that Thai AirAsia could potentially rake in earnings of 2.3 billion and 2.4 billion baht over the next two years on the back of 19 billion and 22 billion baht in revenue on continued traffic growth for the low-cost carrier.

"Based on the subscription price of 3.70 baht apiece, Thai AirAsia's valuation is at a premium, pegged at 14 times and 13.6 times respectively for FY12 and FY13.

"However, given that it will be on a strong growth path over the next few years, we think the price of 3.70 baht apiece is fair in line with its peers average range of 11-13 times. This is at a premium to AirAsia, which is currently valued at 10 times FY12 earnings, excluding its Thai and Indonesia associates," said Ahmad.

OSK is maintaining its earnings estimate and "buy" call on AirAsia, with a fair value of RM4.57.
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Old May 28th, 2012, 06:55 PM   #2399
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Old May 30th, 2012, 05:18 PM   #2400
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AirAsia Japan to offer 5 yen promotional fares for domestic routes

http://mainichi.jp/english/english/n...bu139000c.html


AirAsia Japan to offer 5 yen promotional fares for domestic routes


TOKYO (Kyodo) -- AirAsia Japan Co., a budget airline owned partly by All Nippon Airways Co., said Wednesday it will start selling one-way tickets on its website for 5 yen for 10,000 seats on three domestic routes in a special campaign ahead of its inaugural flight scheduled for Aug. 1.

The promotional tickets are available for flights linking Narita International Airport near Tokyo to Sapporo, Fukuoka and Naha in Okinawa Prefecture. The Tokyo-Sapporo and Tokyo-Fukuoka flights will commence on Aug. 1, while the Tokyo-Okinawa route will start on Aug. 3.

The special tickets will be sold for four days from Thursday to Sunday for flights from Aug. 28 to Nov. 28.

AirAsia Japan said the minimum regular fare for the Tokyo-Sapporo and Tokyo-Fukuoka routes will be 4,580 yen and 5,180 yen, respectively. The minimum fare for the Tokyo-Okinawa route will be 6,680 yen. Passengers will be charged an additional 150 yen in commission, the airline said.

AirAsia Japan President Kazuyuki Iwakata said the company plans to commence services linking Narita with Incheon and Busan in South Korea, while considering opening routes to Taiwan and China.

"We'd like to fly about 1 million people in the next one year," Iwakata said at a news conference in Tokyo.

Established last August, AirAsia Japan is owned 67 percent by ANA and 33 percent by Malaysia's AirAsia Bhd., the largest budget airline in Asia.

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes, who attended the press conference, indicated the launch of domestic flights by its affiliated carrier will bring more travelers from other Asian countries to Japan.

"A large part of AirAsia's traffic will be coming from other parts of the world," using the long-distance carrier of AirAsia, Fernandes said. "People in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore all want to come to Japan."

Fernandes also requested that airports in Japan build low cost terminals with simple facilities specifically for budget carriers so their passengers are charged smaller fees to use airports.

"The premium market will still be there, we will grow the market," Fernandes said, adding he believes low cost terminals will draw more people for air travel and benefit airports as well.

On medium-term goals, Iwakata said AirAsia Japan aims to chalk up annual sales of about 30 billion yen within three years and some 100 billion yen within five years.

The launch of services by AirAsia Japan is likely to further intensify competition among low cost carriers in Japan, where budget carrier Peach Aviation Ltd., also owned partially by ANA, has already started domestic services.

Another low cost airline, Jetstar Japan Co., set up by Japan Airlines Co. and the Qantas Group of Australia, will begin services in July.
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May 30, 2012(Mainichi Japan)





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