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Old December 15th, 2004, 03:10 PM   #21
David-80
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Btw, their 24 planes (737-300s) will move to AWAIR (Air Asia Indonesia) because some small airports here cant support Airbus.

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Old December 16th, 2004, 02:27 PM   #22
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I wonder whats the technical superiority of A320 over B737??
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Old December 16th, 2004, 04:41 PM   #23
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Well, depend on which series of 737, A320 can fly longer than 733 for sure but I think its match with 737NG like 737-700/800/900.

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Old December 17th, 2004, 12:21 PM   #24
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Business Times - 17 Dec 2004

Cheap Macau flights not affecting Genting

AirAsia offering inexpensive flights to Macau at a fare of RM159 one way

By PAULINE NG
IN KUALA LUMPUR

AIRASIA'S new cheap flights to Macau may prove a draw for gamblers from Kuala Lumpur, but not enough to make a dent in Genting's casino operations, analysts say.

AirAsia began its maiden flight to Macau on Wednesday, flying into the Special Administrative Region of China with almost 150 guests. AirAsia group chief executive officer Tony Fernandes said that the response to the carrier's new destination has been 'simply phenomenal, with seats for the Kuala Lumpur-Macau sector sold out solid for the next 10 days'.

The average profile of a Genting punter, however, suggests Genting doesn't have to worry unduly.

'The majority of gamers to the Genting casino are day trippers who make a quick trip after work. They're more grind market than high rollers,' a gaming analyst observed.

That's not to say that Macau isn't entirely a threat to Genting. Since the gaming business ceased to be a 10-casino monopoly of Hong Kong casino king, Stanley Ho, the number of casinos has jumped to 15. Despite Las Vegas' 200-plus casinos, Macau, which is aiming to be the Vegas of Asia, reportedly generates more cash - almost US$3 billion annually.

Maybank Research senior analyst Tai Kin Chiew thinks that Macau's proximity and AirAsia's cheap flights - the low cost carrier advertised 5,000 seats at a special promotional fare of RM99.99 one way and regular fares starting from RM159 one way - 'is definitely a negative' for Genting.

Still, if punters are only looking to having a wager, Mr Tai concedes they would likely find it easier to head to the holiday cum casino resort on a mountain in central Pahang. More than 15 million visitors descended on Genting Highland last year but Genting does not provide statistics on how many visited the casino.

Macau, the only legal place to gamble in China, attracts some 11 million visitors yearly, more than half from China. Its location barely 37 miles from Hong Kong and being served by over 150 fast ferry rides, makes it a very convenient destination.

That holds true for Malaysians, too. Many are already thinking of boarding a cheap AirAsia flight to Macau and then on to Hong Kong from there. 'My friends have booked on AirAsia. They see it as a cheap way to get to Hong Kong. They're not there to gamble,' said an analyst.

Copyright © 2004 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old December 18th, 2004, 03:40 AM   #25
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This story was printed from TODAYonline

AirAsia plans 1st flight to China in April

Weekend • December 18, 2004

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia's AirAsia plans to fly to southern China from Bangkok in April, company officials said on Friday.

The plan will mark AirAsia's emergence in fast-growing mainland China, after it began flying to Macau from Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur this year. AirAsia is South-east Asia's biggest and only listed low-cost carrier.

"(The first flight to China) will be in April, from Bangkok ... three hours (away)," said Thai AirAsia chief executive Tassapon Bijleveld at a press conference on AirAsia's purchase of new planes.

AirAsia signed a deal on Friday to buy 40 Airbus A320 planes with an option to buy another 40. The deal comes about a month after the airline's initial public offering in Malaysia.

AirAsia owns 49 per cent of Thai AirAsia, while Thailand's Shin Corp holds the other 51 per cent.

AirAsia has yet to decide which Chinese city it will first serve, Mr Tassapon added. The company will also continue to focus on developing its three major markets — Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, group chief executive Tony Fernandes said. — Dow Jones

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Old December 18th, 2004, 05:12 AM   #26
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AirAsia orders 40 jets, may lease 12 in interim


BY B.K. SIDHU




AirAsia Bhd will add 12 more aircraft to its existing fleet of 24 over the next six to 10 months, on top of the US$2.5bil order it placed yesterday with the world’s largest aircraft maker, Airbus SAS, for forty A320.


The order for 40 aircraft is the largest placed to date by an Asian carrier for the A320 family. AirAsia also has rights to order an additional 40 aircraft, bringing the total to 80 over eight to 10 years at a total cost to the airline of US$5bil.

AirAsia will only be able to take delivery of its first A320 in January 2006 and the balance 39 over five years, although group chief executive officer Tony Fernandes had wanted them delivered within a three-and-a-half year period.

AirAsia, however, needs 12 aircraft urgently, as it is on an aggressive drive to expand its flight network that operates from four hubs: KL International Airport, Senai Airport, Bangkok, and Jakarta.

“We will likely lease the 12 aircraft, although we may consider buying one or two. For this, we are looking at the B737 aircraft type,’’ Fernandes said after signing a memorandum of understanding for the 80 aircraft with Airbus in Sepang yesterday.








(From left) Tony Fernandes, AirAsia chairman Datuk Pahamin A. Rajab and John Leahy at the signing of the MoU on aircraft purchase










AirAsia currently has 24 B737s, 19 of which are leased. It owns the other five.

The budget airline has not committed itself to buying the additional 40, but if it does so it will eventually end up with 116 aircraft – the largest fleet in South-East Asia.

AirAsia said it would gradually shift its operations to the new aircraft type with new engine to replace its current fleet, but in the interim operate a mixed fleet.

Fernandes said the additional 12 planes were needed as AirAsia would begin flights to China from Bangkok in April; and as the airline planned to ply various other destinations in the countries it currently operated in. The airline began flying to Macau from KLIA recently.

And, with its flights from Jakarta to Medan experiencing a 92% load factor, it needs additional planes to fly to more destinations within Indonesia.

Airbus beat Boeing over the 80 aircraft order. Airbus officials declined to say what discounts were offered to AirAsia but it is common for aircraft makers to offer discounts to the list price. The list price for the A320 is US$63mil.

Fernandes said two factors swayed AirAsia selecting Airbus over Boeing: economics and great support.

“The economics made a lot of sense and we are buying a brand new aircraft that will reduce costs for us,” he said. “The Airbus team has also been very supportive and determined. We do not buy planes every day and it is important to have the right partner.’’

The A320 has higher passenger capacity and improved fuel efficiency that leads to cost savings and lower cost of operation on a per seat basis. That is why Fernandes said pricing for tickets “will go down’’.


He said a quarter of the proceeds from the recent initial public offering (IPO) of over RM800mil would be used to finance the purchase.

In a statement, AirAsia said the funding for the purchase would be mainly from borrowings that would be guaranteed by European credit agencies, with which AirAsia was having negotiations.

Airbus chief commercial officer John L. Leahy, who flew in from France for the signing, said the A320 would contain components made close to home.

“For many years, CTRM in Malacca had been a supplier of many advanced composite wing components for the A320 family and have subsequently extended their relationship with Airbus with an agreement to produce wing components for the A380,’’ he said.

Leahy said there were a total of 340 aircraft of the A320 family in service with 30 airlines in the Asia-Pacific.

As for the engines to power the A320, Fernandes said General Electric Co (GE) was the front-runner. GE is a partner with France’s Snecma that jointly own CFM International, the engine supplier for the A320.

On Bursa Malaysia yesterday, AirAsia shares rose 3 sen to RM1.81.
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Old December 18th, 2004, 05:21 AM   #27
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Airbus: Price offered to AirAsia was competitive


THE “discount” price given to AirAsia Bhd, that helped Airbus win the contract against US brand Boeing, was very “competitive and close.''

“I never said that I offered a big discount to AirAsia and discount is the word that I hate to use,” John Leahy, Airbus chief commercial officer and executive vice-president (customer affairs) stressed.

AirAsia signed a MoU with the European space consortium yesterday for 40 firm orders to purchase the new A320 aircraft in a deal worth about US$2.5bil.

Rumours were rife that Airbus was giving almost 50% off to AirAsia for the A320 which carries a price of US$63mil each.

“The offers made by both manufacturers were very similar in terms of price. Our aircraft here is a modern aircraft designed at the end of the 1990s, for the 21st century,” he said.

“If all things are equal in terms of bidding, then it is natural that AirAsia selected the plane with wider seats, lower fuel burn and lower maintenance cost,” he added.


On whether the “single largest order” had anything to do with the price, Leahy said the large order would normally come with a slightly lower price “but that is not always the case”.

“We give competitive prices comparable to what Boeing is giving in the market place right now for aircraft,” he added.

Leahy said the contract worked out to be a “profitable” deal for Airbus which was “pleased” with the transaction.

Airbus, with the A320 family, has over 6% of the market share for a single isle aircraft around the world.

Low-cost carriers (LCCs) are very significant in the US and Europe, moving up close to 40% of the domestic regional market. Airbus has dominated the LCC market over the past two years.

However, Leahy said Airbus would not shift its focus to LCC even though there was strong demand for the aircraft.

“We are actually doing very well around the world. In fact, the A320 family has over 60% share in the worldwide market. If we look at the LCC market five years ago, those LCCs would have bought B737 but now, they are all buying the A320 family,” he said.

Airbus' strategy is to win over the airlines to buy its improved aircraft. – Bernama
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Old December 19th, 2004, 11:06 AM   #28
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19 December 2004

Malaysian AirAsia stamps its dominance as Asia's biggest budget carrier

KUALA LUMPUR : Malaysian discount carrier AirAsia is to buy another 40 Airbus aircraft and launch flights to China by March 2005 to maintain its position as Asia's leading budget airline.

"We will exercise the option to buy another 40 A320 jets. And if the price is good, we will (further) increase the number of Airbus jets," AirAsia chief executive Tony Fernandes told AFP.

His comments follow AirAsia's signing on Friday of a deal to buy 40 A320 jets valued at 2.5 billion dollars from Europe's Airbus, which beat out US aerospace giant Boeing for the contract.

The new aircraft would be introduced gradually into AirAsia's entire fleet, including its Indonesian and Thai subsidiaries, with the first due for delivery in January 2006.

The purchase is part of plans for regional expansion as the carrier looks to the Chinese market.

Fernandes said Chinese aviation authorities had given AirAsia preliminary approval to fly to China and expected to start flights by March.

The airline is in the midst of securing approvals to fly to key Chinese cities such as Xiamen, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Chongqing and Hainan from Bangkok through its subsidiary Thai AirAsia.

Fernandes said the first destination in mainland China would likely be Xiamen. AirAsia already flies to Macau.

Analysts said AirAsia's entry into China would boost its revenue given strong trade ties and the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Malaysia was China's seventh-largest export market last year, while the mainland was Malaysia's fourth biggest.

Azrul Azwar, senior economist with MIDF Bhd., told AFP the purchase of new jets would ensure AirAsia remained the dominant discount carrier in Asia compared with rival budget airlines operating in Singapore.

"They will have the muscle and capacity to be Asia's number one," he said.

AirAsia currently has 26 Boeing 737 aircraft which will be phased out.

Azrul said a bigger fleet would help the carrier, which started in 2001 with just two aircraft, to expand the number of routes and increase passenger volume.

"Their revenue is expected to increase," he said.

Azrul described the China routes as "niche routes" since premier carriers shy away.

"It will definitely contribute to earnings," he said.

Fernandes said Boeing could learn a lesson from European rival Airbus.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes' marketing vice president Randy Baseler had said the US manufacturer had not been able to clinch the AirAsia deal mainly because Airbus had undercut them.

"This is business. Boeing should study why they lost. You (Baseler) sit there and blame everybody," Fernandes said.

Fernandes said since Airbus gets more orders, it was able to increase production, reduce costs and build bigger market share.

Launched as a budget carrier in December 2001 with just two aircraft, AirAsia has defied the sceptics to become a significant player in the air industry and imitated by startled national carriers.

Fernandes however said he was not worried about competition from the new Singapore-based budget carriers.

"Look ValuAir started in May, they still have only two aircraft. Tiger Airways has only two also and Jetstar has one," he said.

AirAsia's sharp takeoff has drawn the attention of national carriers in the region, with two having launched their own Singapore-based budget airlines in AirAsia's slipstream this year.

Australia's Qantas has a 49 percent stake in Jetstar Asia while Singapore Airlines backs Tiger Airways.

A third, ValuAir, was started by former a Singapore Airlines managing director, Lim Chin Beng.

Analyst Azrul said the Malaysian government should decide soon on whether it would transform the former Subang Airport into a regional low-cost hub, something which AirAsia is seeking.

"Subang is ideal as a low-cost carrier hub. We should decide soon since Singapore is trying to create a similar hub in the republic. We should not lose out," he said. - AFP

Copyright © 2004 Agence France Presse. All rights reserved.
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Old December 19th, 2004, 11:29 AM   #29
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AirAsia seems more intent to fly to China from Bangkok then from KL?
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Old December 19th, 2004, 07:22 PM   #30
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I think its due of oil cost and operation effectiveness, because Bangkok is closer to China. Same goes with Jakarta, when it was mentioned on the news about Jakarta being a hub for its Australian operation.

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Old December 19th, 2004, 07:30 PM   #31
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Hmmm...or is it because of how Thailand has liberal aviation pacts, and the Thai subsidiary of AirAsia can take advantage of that?

Interesting how they are trying to move into Indonesia using the same strategy. Will Lion Air and Citilink be able to counter them? The later, in particular, seems like a farce!
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Old December 19th, 2004, 08:15 PM   #32
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That could be the case or it may have been a strategy for AirAsia to push Malaysian authorities for re-opening of subang airport, its like " open subang or we go to china from bkk" !

Quote:
Interesting how they are trying to move into Indonesia using the same strategy. Will Lion Air and Citilink be able to counter them? The later, in particular, seems like a farce
LOL, its already started now, Lion air has their subsidiary Wings air started their operation with MD-80s and sells tickets at 3 dollars for one way! (99 seats only per flight) This came after AirAsia via Awair launched their 10 $ tickets sales to Medan and BPP.

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Old December 21st, 2004, 12:25 PM   #33
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Business Times - 21 Dec 2004

AirAsia targets passengers on Malaysia-originated routes

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia said on Tuesday it would hit 20 million passengers a year by 2009 on its Malaysia-originated routes if the government lets the airline use the nation's old main international airport.

AirAsia, the region's largest low-cost airline, is seeking government permission to operate out of Malaysia's former main airport in Subang, instead of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, located around an hour's drive from the city.

AirAsia, which operates in Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, expects passenger volume to hit 8 million this year, and is aggressively pursuing expansion plans.

The airline announced last week a deal to buy 40 Airbus A320 passenger jets as part of those plans.

"We believe we can put 20 odd million passengers (a year) in Subang within five years," AirAsia Group Chief Executive Tony Fernandes said at a news conference on Tuesday.

Mr Fernandes added that AirAsia will be able to cut fares by up to 15 per cent if it operates from Subang. "Airport costs can go down 30 per cent," he added, without elaborating.

The old airport at Subang has been used primarily for charter and private aircraft since Malaysia opened the high-tech Kuala Lumpur International Airport in 1996 and pressured airlines to move operations there.

The government is considering a proposal for a dedicated low-cost carrier terminal at either airport. It is expected to make a decision in January, Mr Fernandes said.

Copyright © 2004 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old December 21st, 2004, 06:53 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babystan03
I wonder whats the technical superiority of A320 over B737??
There is none. As the article said, Airbus won on price.
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Old December 23rd, 2004, 03:55 PM   #35
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Business Times - 23 Dec 2004

AirAsia records US$2.7 million profit in first quarter

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's budget airline AirAsia has posted a net profit of US$2.7 million for the first quarter of its financial year.

The airline said its revenue totalled US$32.6 million during the first quarter, which ended Sept 30.

AirAsia -the region's biggest budget carrier-did not provide comparative figures because it just listed on the bourse in November.

The airline said it expects its financial performance for the year ending June 30 to be 'satisfactory.'

For the year ending June 2005, AirAsia expects net profit to reach US$42 million.

AirAsia, which currently serves routes in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, carried 1.8 million passengers in 2003, and an estimated 3.2 million passengers this year.

It expects passenger numbers to rise to 6 million in 2005.

AirAsia is aggressively pursuing expansion plans and has signed a deal to buy 40 Airbus A320 passenger jets.

Copyright © 2004 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old January 13th, 2005, 06:25 AM   #36
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Subang airport awaits orders

By LEONG SHEN-LI



Voices in support of or opposed to the reopening of Subang airport are getting louder as the Government's announcement on the matter is expected at any time. LEONG SHEN-LI looks at the arguments being presented by both sides.

IT is hardly surprising that the debate over whether Subang airport should be reopened has heated up in recent weeks.

Although no official date has been given for an announcement, there is a strong feeling that Subang’s D-Day is drawing very near. Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy had promised that a recommendation would be made to the Cabinet before the end of last year, and a decision on the matter would be made in early January.

While waiting for the final word to be publicised, people on both sides of the fence have upped the ante and have been voicing their views in the media on what the best decision should be.

It is also learnt that the lobbying of decision makers had increased in the hope of swaying them to go one way or the other.

The whole idea of letting Subang handle commercial flights again –this time specifically for low-cost carriers – in fact came from the Government itself.

In the middle of last year, Chan announced that the Government was looking into the possibility of turning Subang into a low-cost carrier (LCC) hub to tap into the vibrant budget airlines sector that had taken the region by storm.

Under what has been dubbed the “two airports” policy, KL International Airport will cater solely to full-service carriers.

He said the move was to ensure that Malaysia continued being a hub for the Asia-Pacific region.

This is in fact the crux of AirAsia’s argument for the reopening of Subang, which has been closed to commercial flights since 2002. AirAsia is easily the loudest voice calling for Subang’s resumption of services.

Its chief executive officer Tony Fernandes maintains that without Subang, Malaysia will lose its lead position in the sector to other countries in the region.

Singapore’s Changi airport is by far the greatest threat – it is building a new LCC terminal and already has three LCCs operating from there.

While Subang’s location is good, Fernandes argues that the main reason for favouring Subang is that it is a “simple” airport to operate from, with low-cost and easy-to-manage operations.

He is also worried about the possibility of AirAsia losing its current dominance in the Asia-Pacific region’s LCC market because it will not be operating at the lowest possible cost.

With Changi’s new LCC terminal, the three LCCs based there will enjoy advantages that will help them overtake AirAsia.

With Subang, AirAsia could increase its passenger load to 20 million a year and reduce airfares by up to 15%.

“We can handle some 25 million passengers at the LCC hub in Subang and KLIA can handle another 25 million, and this is good for everybody,” he said, adding that KLIA would find it difficult to handle 50 million passengers because it was not built for that volume.

Fernandes argues that there can be two air hubs for a city, pointing to major cities in the world such as New York, Paris, Rome, Berlin and London that have two or more airports and all of them have been operating successfully.

Freeing up KLIA of LCCs will enable Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd to solicit other premium airlines to fly to KLIA, allowing it to earn higher revenues in terms of landing fees and airport taxes.

According to Fernandes, a successful LCC hub will be able to create more jobs and promote tourism in Malaysia. He cites his own AirAsia as an example: In three years, its staff grew from 200 to 2,000.

The ones arguing against the reopening of Subang include Malaysia Airlines and foreign carriers. Other parties such as Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd, which operates the high-speed train between KLIA and Kuala Lumpur, have also voiced similar views.

The main thrust of their argument is that the reopening of Subang will compromise KLIA’s position as the region’s aviation hub, which was the original intention of the Government when it decided to build KLIA.

MAS chairman Datuk Dr Munir Majid was reported as saying that KLIA could become a white elephant if Subang was reopened and the multi-billion ringgit airport would not see any expansion to meet the targeted 100 million passengers by 2020.

He suggests that an LCC terminal be built in KLIA as a compromise.

With Subang reopening, the main worry is that passenger volume could drop considerably, leading to fewer flights and, in turn, less connectivity.

“Eventually, foreign airlines will find KLIA less attractive and move to airports in neighbouring countries.

“It will spell the end for KLIA’s development as the regional hub and gateway for Asia-Pacific,” the Board of Airlines Representatives (BAR) was reported to have said in its representation to the Transport Ministry.

BAR represents foreign airlines operating in Malaysia.

Contrary to what Fernandes has claimed, BAR says if Subang were to become the preferred gateway for foreign LCCs, the number of full-service carriers going to KLIA could drop.

“Full-service carriers venturing into low-cost operations may eventually opt for total low-cost operations, causing a drop in their frequency into KLIA,” it says.

Another argument used is the cost of rehabilitating Subang. It was reported that the amount could be as high as RM1bil, which taxpayers may end up paying.

There is also the cost of maintaining two international airports, complete with the necessary Customs, immigration, quarantine and security facilities.

ERL chief executive officer Dr Aminuddin Adnan argues that it is unwise to reopen Subang because its potential for expansion is limited.

He says that limited land in the area will not allow the airport and the LCC sector in Malaysia to grow. KLIA, on the other hand, has ample space for expansion.

“Billions of ringgit have been invested to make KLIA a reality, and when we undertook the ERL project, it was with the understanding that the Government would close Subang airport,” he was reported as saying recently.

He adds that the ERL functions as the missing link with ready infrastructure to provide transportation to KLIA.

Whether the scenarios presented by both sides will actually turn out to be true remains to be seen.

As the ultimate decision lies in the hands of the Government, it is hoped that the interests of the various companies concerned as well as that of users be taken into consideration.
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Old January 26th, 2005, 09:56 AM   #37
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AirAsia may give up expansion into Singapore



HAVING undergone a tough time to launch its latest flight from Jakarta to Singapore, AirAsia Bhd chief executive officer Tony Fernandes says he has had enough of Singapore’s tactics and the airline may give up completely its interest to expand there.

The Singapore government is currently deciding whether to allow AWAIR, an AirAsia 49% associate, to operate flights from Jakarta after halting its maiden flight at the eleventh hour recently for allegedly not having a full documentation.

Addressing an audience comprising bankers and senior officials from regional financial institutions at the 5th Malaysia Capital Market Conference 2005 in Kuala Lumpur, Fernandes did not mince his words about the treatment he had received from the Singapore government.

He said the latest incident reflected how the Singapore government had tried to block the entry of low-cost carriers (LCCs) such as AirAsia from competing directly with the republic’s homegrown LCC and its national airlines Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Silk Air. There are currently three LCCs based in Singapore - SIA-owned Tiger Airways, Qantas-owned Jetstar Asia and privately-owned Valuair.









Tony Fernandes







“First they barred our bus from entering Singapore, now they have barred us from taking our planes there despite their earlier approvals,” he said.

He said his experience showed that Singapore was not as open to business as they had portrayed itself to be.

“From our experience, they are very closed and we want to tell the whole world about it,” said Fernandes, who left the conference audience in stitches with his straightforward presentation style.

He said the decision to stop AWAIR flight had upset the Indonesian authorities and disrupted the travel plans of passengers who had made their travel bookings earlier.

Fernandes said he was prepared to face the consequences for being vocal about the treatment he received from the Singaporean government.

“After this, we may cancel our intention to fly to Singapore from Jakarta,” he said, adding that AirAsia could grow well without having to operate from the island.

Fernandes also said AirAsia was on track to achieve its forecast profit of RM172.8mil for its financial year ending June 2005.

“Our second quarter result had been encouraging, and we are confident of achieving our target,” he said, but declined to elaborate.
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Old January 26th, 2005, 01:27 PM   #38
FM 2258
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AirAsia looks so cool. Airbus A320's are so damn ugly. I hope they decide to buy a fleet of 737-900's. That would be so sweet. I love 737's.
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Old January 29th, 2005, 06:54 AM   #39
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AirAsia wins low-cost airline of 2004 award


LOW-FARE carrier AirAsia has been named the Asia-Pacific Low-Cost Airline of the Year 2004 by the Centre for Asia-Pacific Aviation (CAPA).

The award was presented by Binit Somaia, the Centre's regional director for Indian subcontinent, at a gala event during the Asia-Pacific & Middle East Aviation and Tourism Outlook 2005 conference held in Singapore recently, an AirAsia statement said yesterday.

AirAsia also walked away with two other CAPA awards, including the Asia-Pacific Aviation Executive of the Year (2004), clinched by its group chief executive officer, Tony Fernandes.

It also bagged the inaugural Asia-Pacific Low-Cost Advertising Award for Best Asia-Pacific/Middle East Low-Cost Airline Print Advertisement 2004.

The CAPA awards are presented annually to Asia-Pacific and Middle Eastern personalities and organisations doing the most to influence business and regulatory strategy in ways that will have a lasting and irreversible impact on the evolution of the aviation and tourism industries. – Bernama
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Old February 1st, 2005, 06:45 PM   #40
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Thai AirAsia aims up to 2.5 mln passengers in '05
1 February 2005

BANGKOK, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Thai AirAsia, 49-percent owned by Malaysian budget airline AirAsia Bhd, said on Tuesday it aims to carry up to 2.5 million passengers this year, up from about 1 million in 2004, and make its first profit.

Chief executive Tassapon Bijleveld also said he expected Asia's fledgling low-cost airline industry to grow 20-30 percent this year, down from last year's 30-40 percent.

"This year, competition should not be different from last year. The industry should grow 20-30 percent and AirAsia is targetting passengers of around 2.4 to 2.5 million," Tassapon said.

The airline, which started operations a year ago, had said it expected to make a profit in its first year of operations but it failed due to high oil prices and intense competition on both domestic and international routes.

Low fares would help AirAsia attract more passengers and it planned to double its fleet to 12 aircraft this year and expand it to 20 over the next three and a half years, Tassapon said.

The airline wanted to boost its international routes, where profits were higher than on domestic routes, he said.

The airline planned to start at least three new international routes in April, to China, Hanoi and Phnom Penh, and a domestic Bangkok-Narathiwat route next week, he added.

Thai AirAsia is 50 percent owned by Shin Corp PCL (SHIN.BK), Thailand's largest telecoms group, founded by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

On Tuesday, Shin Corp shares closed up 3.5 percent at 45 baht, while the overall Thai stock market rose almost 1 percent.
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