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Old August 6th, 2006, 06:58 PM   #521
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From: http://au.news.yahoo.com/060806/19/101jt.html
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Budget carriers AirAsia, Tiger Airways may fly Malaysia-Singapore route: report

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Malaysia is studying the possibility of allowing budget carriers AirAsia and Singapore-based Tiger Airways to fly the lucrative Kuala Lumpur-Singapore route, a report has said.
Transport Minister Chan Kong Choy said a committee had been set up to study the pros and cons of allowing the two low cost carriers to fly the route.

"The committee has two weeks to make recommendations on the feasibility and impact of such a move," he was quoted as saying by the New Sunday Times newspaper.

Chan said the committee was set up last week and was headed by the ministry's secretary-general Muhamad Safaruddin Muhamad Sidek.

Malaysia's AirAsia, Asia's largest and most profitable low cost carrier had expressed interest in flying to Singapore at a much lower fare.

Tiger Airways has the backing of Singapore Airlines, which owns 49 percent of the carrier. State-linked Singapore investment company Temasek Holdings is also a key shareholder with 11 percent.

The near hour-long route is currently monopolised by national carriers Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines.
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Old August 6th, 2006, 07:05 PM   #522
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High oil prices will not dent AirAsia's ambitious plans: CEO

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 6, 2006 (AFP) - High oil prices will not put Asia's largest budget carrier AirAsia off new routes to Indonesia, China and India as it looks to fly 15 million passengers by the end of 2007, its CEO said.

AirAsia's Tony Fernandes, however, warned that rising fuel costs could force another round of consolidation among budget carriers in the region such as those in neighbouring Singapore.

"AirAsia has never experienced such strong passenger load. People want to fly and we will continue to offer discount prices," Fernandes told AFP over the weekend.

"People want to fly to new places in the region. We are not seeing any slowdown in traffic volume," he said, adding that "we expect passenger numbers to rise to 15 million in the year ending June 2007."

The profitable carrier flew nine million passengers in the fiscal year ending in June 2006.

Fernandes said the Malaysia-based airline was keen to expand in Indonesia with first flights to Yogyakarta and Palembang, and new routes to Pekanbaru and Solo.

"There is strong demand from passengers in Indonesia" where the number of passengers is expected to soar by 50 percent next year to three million, he said.

"We have always been bullish about Indonesia. There is also demand for Penang (in northern Malaysia) to Jakarta. I hope to get the routes," he said.

Fernandes said despite uncertainty over how long oil prices will remain at such high levels, AirAsia would push ahead to open new destinations in China and three routes on the east coast of the Indian continent.

"High oil prices are hurting other people especially the new boys. Our cost is low and we have been around much earlier when costs of assets were low," he said.

Fernandes said AirAsia was expected to fly to China's Xiamen and Shenzhen by December 2006 and India early next year.

"We will thrust deep into China," he added.

World oil prices fell on Friday, but losses were limited by strong demand, tight supplies and geopolitical tensions, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in September, dropped 71 cents to 74.75 dollars per barrel in pit trading.

AirAsia has carried over 20 million passengers since it started operating five years ago.

Fernandes said AirAsia did not face any shortage of pilots.

"I am receiving five applications everyday and we have 100 cadet pilots undergoing training now," he said.

Asked if he expected a new round of consolidation among the budget carrier operators, especially in Singapore, as oil prices rices, he said it could end up with just one budget carrier in the republic.

"It will end up with only one or one of two will become a medium-haul operator," he said.

The two budget operators in Singapore are Tiger Airways and Jetstar Asia.

Jetstar Asia is a majority Singapore-owned company but is 49 percent owned by Qantas. It merged with another Singapore low cost carrier, Valuair, last July, and the companies are now held by the main shareholder Orangestar Holdings Pte Ltd.

AirAsia last month said it would order 30 new A320 passenger jets to meet expanding operations, bringing Asia's most profitable airline's Airbus fleet to 130.

It has taken up 99 domestic routes from Malaysia Airlines under a government route rationalisation plan effective from August 1.
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Old August 7th, 2006, 03:36 PM   #523
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AirAsia group shows 64% rise in passenger numbers in June (updated)



AirAsia Bhd and its associates in Thailand and Indonesia showed a combined 63.5% growth in passenger numbers last June to 930,921 from 569,417 in the same month last year.

In a statement on Aug 7, AirAsia said the strongest growth was shown in Indonesia, where it recorded a 164.5% rise in passenger growth to 147,846 from 55,898 in June last year.

Malaysia saw a growth of 41.1% to 554,941 passengers from 393,425 a year earlier, while Thailand saw a 90% growth from 120,094 to 228,134 passengers.

For the quarter ended June 30, 2006, AirAsia group saw a 59.9% rise in passenger volume to 2.79 million from 1.74 million a year earlier, with Indonesia growing at 186.2%, Thailand 88.3% and Malaysia at 34.9%.

AirAsia said the figures represented the number of earned seats, which included seats that had been paid for regardless of whether the passengers turned up or not as it was a no refund airline.

On Aug 4, AirAsia chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes said in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2007,
it was targeting to carry 15 million passengers next year, compared with nine million in 2006.

AirAsia also announced that the group had surpassed the 20 millionth passenger mark in June 2006.

Since it was set up in December 2001, the airline has expanded from a two-aircraft operation to a fleet of 45, serving a regional network spanning 10 countries covering Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Macau, China, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore and Brunei.

With the recent confirmation of 40 Airbus order, AirAsia’s total order now stands at 100 aircraft with 30 options.
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Old August 15th, 2006, 11:44 PM   #524
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AirAsia secures US$230 million in Islamic financing to fund new aircraft
15 August 2006

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - Southeast Asia's largest budget carrier, AirAsia, has secured a US$230 million (€181 million) Islamic loan to buy new planes, a senior executive said Tuesday.

One of the largest Islamic banking groups, Kuwait Finance House, is taking the lead in arranging the loan, which will pay for six of 100 Airbus 320 planes that AirAsia has already said it will buy.

Apart from the Islamic financing, the company is also taking commercial loans and may consider issuing bonds to pay for its new aircraft, the airline's deputy chief executive Kamarudin Meranum said at a signing ceremony.

"With Islamic financing ... we can tap a bigger pool of funds," he said.

Bank officials said the loan announced Tuesday is the first in the region to follow Islamic financing principles called Ijarah Muntahiah Bitamlik.

Under the Islamic structure, the lender will purchase the aircraft and lease it back to AirAsia. After 12 years, the company will buy the planes for what they are then worth.

The Islamic loan structure will help protect AirAsia from the uncertainties of foreign exchange and interest rate fluctuations, Kamarudin said.

The six aircraft are part of the first batch of 33 jets that are expected to be delivered by the end of 2007, he said.

Kamarudin said the fleet expansion was necessary to accommodate AirAsia's rapid growth in the Malaysian market following a domestic air services revamp this month that opened up new routes, as well as its planned expansions in Indonesia and Thailand.

AirAsia expects to fly 15 million passengers this fiscal year, nearly 70 percent more than it flew in the year ending last June, he said.

Kamarudin said AirAsia has not decided whether it will hedge its fuel needs and that the company is still confident it can absorb higher oil prices.

Jet fuel prices are hovering around US$100 a barrel, rising in concert with benchmark crude prices. Analysts have said airlines that fail to hedge may suffer if there are further spikes in fuel prices.
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 09:23 AM   #525
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MAS new fare system to make domestic travel cheaper
August 22 2006
BusinessTimes

MALAYSIAN Airline System Bhd (MAS) has started a new domestic fare system that could make internal travel cheaper than before.

Although full fares for domestic economy and business classes have been raised, the airline started offering from yesterday what it calls a "micro-segmentised" fare system.

Two business class and five economy class segments one-way fares are offered in the new system through both MAS offices and travel agents.

These fares and another two-tier economy class segment one-way fares are also offered online.

The new fare plan offers price flexibility but has its own set of rules covering such aspects like ticketing deadlines, refunds, cancellations, no-shows and fare restrictions.

The revised fare structure, however, allows travellers the freedom to combine different one-way fares to plan their travel for both outbound and inbound flights.

MAS said with the new fare structure, its customers can actually enjoy lower rates than previously.

Meanwhile, full fares for domestic economy class has been increased by a weighted average of 15 per cent while that of business class by 30 per cent per ticket.

MAS managing director and chief executive, Idris Jala, said although the full fares have been revised upwards the airline is still offering one of the cheapest domestic fares in the world.

MAS comes second to Thailand in terms of average domestic fares. It costs RM0.63 per mile in Thailand as opposed to RM0.71 per mile in Malaysia.

"When we reviewed our domestic fares, we took into consideration that the travelling public want more affordable prices," he said.

Economy class one-way fares bought through the airline's 24- hour call centre, ticketing and travel agents start from RM79 for travel within East Malaysia, RM89 for travel within Peninsular Malaysia and RM149 for travel between Peninsular and East Malaysia.

Revised one-way economy class online fares start from RM59 for travel within Sabah and Sarawak, RM69 for travel within Peninsular Malaysia and RM99 for travel between Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia.

The airlines administration fee is waived for online bookings.

MAS will be offering 1,000 domestic seats online from September 1 to July 31 next year.

The airline will continue offering existing discounts on the normal economy class fares for senior citizens, members of parliament, the blind and disabled, students, media, security forces, corporate travel and family travel.
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Old August 30th, 2006, 12:58 AM   #526
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AirAsia planning to fly to more ASEAN cities as skies open

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 29, 2006 (AFP) - Low-cost carrier AirAsia said Tuesday it plans to fly to more Southeast Asian nations in the near future to take advantage of the region's open-skies agreement due to be implemented by 2008.

The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has agreed that by the end of 2008, there will be free passage of capital-to-capital flights among member countries.

"In every country, we've been invited to come and have had no problems having rides to any city except Ho Cin Minh which is slot-constrained as they are building a new terminal," said chief executive Tony Fernandes.

"I think open skies are going to happen, definitely going to happen," he said after announcing the carrier's full-year results which rose 14 percent to 126.94 million ringgit (36.27 million dollars).

Fernandes said the carrier was targeting routes in all Asian capitals including neighbouring Singapore, a major regional aviation hub to which it has been denied access until now.

"I think if we bring in low-fares between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, as the tourism minister of Malaysia just said, there will be a new traffic of Malaysians going to Singapore and new Malaysians coming out," he said.

Fernandes dismissed notions that AirAsia was "cannibalising" national carrier Malaysia Airlines, which along with Singapore Airlines currently has a monopoly on the lucrative Singapore-Kuala Lumpur route.

"We are really here to create a new market... I don't think there has been any cannibalisation of the market," he said.

Fernandes said he will be meeting a delegation from Singapore's transport ministry in early September to discuss opening the route.

Asked whether AirAsia planned to spread its wings to Perth in Australia, the budget carrier said it was concentrating on the ASEAN region before venturing into Australia.

"We just have a lot to do within the ASEAN market and in Indonesia we have plenty of domestic destinations we want to go to, and international destinations within ASEAN, before we hit Australia," Fernandes said.
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Old August 30th, 2006, 06:34 AM   #527
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AirAsia to fly to Hanoi in Oct
28-08-2006
THEEDGEDAILY


AirAsia Bhd will start daily flights to Hanoi in Vietnam starting Oct 4, a move that will strengthen its flight connectivity within the Asean region

It will offer the flights to Hanoi at a special promotional fare of RM49.99 or US$15 (excluding airport taxes, fuel surcharges and fees) one way for travels between Oct 4, 2006 and March 24, 2007.

The booking period for this special fare is only open for four days from Aug 27. Bookings can be done from Aug 29 onwards via www.airasia.com.

In a statement on Aug 28, its executive vice president – commercial, Kathleen Tan, said: “It has always been our vision to fly to Vietnam, particularly Hanoi, which is a quaint, romantic city with warm, friendly locals and delectable Vietnamese cuisine.

“We are thrilled to add Hanoi to our growing flight network in Asean. With AirAsia working closely with Tourism Malaysia in support of Visit Malaysia Year 2007, we are optimistic in boosting tourism economy and drive inbound passenger traffic for both countries.”

AirAsia’s sister company, Thai AirAsia is currently serving Hanoi flights from Bangkok.
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Old August 30th, 2006, 06:36 AM   #528
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MAS, Virgin Blue launch new interline, velocity partnership
By Tamimi Omar, 29 Aug 2006 9:39 PM
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Malaysia Airlines System Bhd (MAS) and Virgin Blue yesterday signed a comprehensive interline agreement to provide travellers with seamless connectivity between 22 Australian cities and centres.

Phase one included MAS’ international flights departing from and arriving at Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, followed by Adelaide and Perth, MAS said in a statement on Aug 29.

The new partnership, effective Sept 1, 2006, was signed in Sydney by Virgin Blue chief executive, Brett Godfrey, and MAS’ managing director Idris Jala.

Idris said: “We are truly delighted with this partnership as it is testimony that full-frill and low-fare airlines can indeed team up for seamless passenger connectivity.”

“It means our passengers can now travel to and from any point on our existing network to many parts of Australia on a single ticket issued by MAS,” he said.

Idris said the partnership was in line with MAS’ hub-and-spoke strategy and a significant development of the ‘Winning Coalitions’ thrust of its business turnaround plan.

“Through this partnership we can now expand our market base without the need to increase point-to-point operations,” he said.

Godfrey said, “Our partner Malaysia Airlines has been progressive and instrumental in this project and has helped achieve an exceptionally complex integration of vastly different reservations systems and processes.”

He said an estimated two million to three million domestic flights within Australia were taken each year by travellers connecting with or arriving on international flights to and from Australia.

“It’s a stand out area of opportunity for Virgin Blue and we are very pleased to be taking this significant step with MAS,” Godfrey said.
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Old August 30th, 2006, 08:10 AM   #529
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It seemed like only yesterday when Fernandes gave up on flying to Singapore, blaming it on the Singapore Government.

Great news. Fares plus taxes etc. would have to really be cheap and be competitive with coach fares though. What's stopping me from going to KL now is the long bus ride and I ain't really a fan of buses.
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Old August 30th, 2006, 09:40 AM   #530
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Air Asia's service is first-class even it's an LCC. But there are a few delays, like my previous flight from Langkawi to KL which was scheduled at 1735 finally depart at 1755
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Old August 30th, 2006, 01:09 PM   #531
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great news!..Hanoi is one of Asian exotic cities...and Vietnam is a must go country...
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Old August 30th, 2006, 02:36 PM   #532
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyprince
Air Asia's service is first-class even it's an LCC. But there are a few delays, like my previous flight from Langkawi to KL which was scheduled at 1735 finally depart at 1755
The service is fine but they are always late. In July I flew KL - Bangkok - Phonm Penh - KL - JB with AirAsia and every flight was late by between one and four hours
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Old August 30th, 2006, 08:10 PM   #533
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyprince
Air Asia's service is first-class even it's an LCC. But there are a few delays, like my previous flight from Langkawi to KL which was scheduled at 1735 finally depart at 1755
You rate merely 20 mins as late?
Consider yourself lucky!
I had taken AirAsia about a dozen times and in more than half of that, my flight had taken off from between 30 mins to 6 hours after the scheduled departure. And that were caused mainly by the late arrival of the incoming flight.
In contrast, my TigerAir flights (about 20 in total) are 80 percent on time, with delays stretching not more than an hour....but their customer service sucks!
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Old August 31st, 2006, 05:03 AM   #534
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oshkoshbgood
great news!..Hanoi is one of Asian exotic cities...and Vietnam is a must go country...
AK is selling the tickets from RM49.99 with RM120.00 tax..very cheep
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Old August 31st, 2006, 05:16 AM   #535
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is this an airline only popular in south east asia?
because I've never heard of this airline as an International one at all
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Old August 31st, 2006, 09:49 AM   #536
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MAS: Zurich, Rome, LA routes to stay
31-08-2006
The Star
By B.K. SIDHU

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) will keep its Zurich, Rome and Los Angeles routes despite an earlier plan to do away with these unprofitable routes.

In fact, the airline plans to increase flights to Los Angeles and even Paris as part of its network rationalisation scheme. But it has yet to decide whether to keep its Kuala Lumpur-Stockholm-New York route that currently suffers from low load factor.

กงWe can improve on the Los Angeles route,กฆกฆ managing director Idris Jala said when releasing MAS' results yesterday.

Network rationalisation is the next big thing on Jalaกฆs plate as he struggles to bring the airline back to profitability. The airlineกฆs losses are narrowing after Jala focused on improving yields, cutting cost, selling assets and reducing the workforce. He had to make some tough decisions in the way the airline should be operated and managed, and even managed to cut a good deal in the domestic air services rationalisation plan.

While Jala said กงthe improvements we put in place at the airline are beginning to bear fruit,กฆกฆ rising jet fuel prices remain a major concern for airlines.

Despite the improvements at MAS, profits are not going to come overnight. On the other hand, if nothing is done, MAS would be reporting a RM1.7bil net loss this year. Now that a RM50mil net profit is predicted for next year, even analysts are betting on Jala being able to beat that.

As part of the network rationalisation plan, MAS has signed code share agreements with several airlines and the issue of low load factor will gradually diminish. The recent deal with Virgin Blue is a major development between a full service carrier and a low-cost carrier and allows for interlining.

The move is a clever one, given that MAS has high load factors for its Australian flights. It also currently carries passengers for KLM into Australia and an interlining arrangement with Virgin Blue bodes well for MAS.

Jala said กงa few more partnerships are in the pipeline.กฆกฆ He is looking at a similar arrangement with Italyกฆs Alitalia to ferry travellers into parts of Italy and vice versa. That is part of the hub and spoke concept that Jala has for the European sector.

Jala also wants to expand the partnership into China, India and South Africa. MAS was likely to partner South African Airways for the African connection and China Southern for the China connectivity, sources said.

As for India, the ideal partner appears to be Jet Airways, a promising airline. But present regulations in India do not permit such an arrangement.

The network rationalisation plan would also see MAS focusing more on the region but with strategic tie-ups with airlines in Africa, India, Middle East, China, American and Europe so that it is able to provide wide connectivity with a code share or partnership.

On domestic operations, Jala said MAS offered one of the lowest fares in the world despite the average 15% rise in domestic airfares.
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Old September 1st, 2006, 11:53 AM   #537
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it's a regional lcc , so it's markets are limited to mostly SEA for the moment.
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Old September 1st, 2006, 02:01 PM   #538
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So we are using MU (yawn) to help promote Malaysia
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Old September 4th, 2006, 07:48 AM   #539
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Malaysia Airlines raises fuel surcharges on international routes

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 3, 2006 (AFP) - Malaysia Airlines, which is trying to revive its fortunes, has announced an increase in fuel surcharges on a number of international routes.

The changes, effective from Monday, will see a rise of between two and 20 US dollars for flights on Malaysia Airlines as well as those operated by its code share partners, the carrier said in a statement received by AFP Sunday.

"Fuel cost continues to remain the single largest expense item for all carriers," it said.

"Malaysia Airlines will continue monitoring and taking measures to mitigate this cost increase by streamlining and matching fuel surcharge rates with other airlines," the statement added.

Surcharges on flights from Malaysia to Southeast Asian destinations including Singapore, Brunei, Cambodia, the Philippines and Thailand will rise by two dollars.

Surcharges on flights from Malaysia to India, Bangladesh and European destinations were set to go up five dollars.

The fuel surcharge was raised by 10 dollars on Middle Eastern routes and by 20 dollars on flights to the United States and Argentina.

One route from Malaysia's northern Penang state to Medan in Indonesia, saw a drop in the surcharge from 21.70 dollars to 18.70 dollars.

Surcharges on flights from Malaysia to Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, the Maldives, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Taiwan were unchanged.

Malaysia Airlines raised ticket prices and fuel surcharges on domestic routes in August as part of its restructuring plans.

The company, which posted a 1.3 billion ringgit (354.51 million dollar) loss for the 2005 financial year, has said it hopes to be back in the black by 2007 and to achieve record profitability the following year.

The airline has axed a number of domestic and international routes, plans to cut its workforce by 6,000 employees over two years and has sold its iconic headquarters building in Kuala Lumpur in efforts to improve the balance sheet.
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Old September 5th, 2006, 06:26 AM   #540
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Singapore-KL air route to be opened up
Tuesday September 5, 2006
By SIM LEOI LEOI
TheStar




VIEWS AIRED: Chan (left) and Lim agree that further liberalisation would be
beneficial to Malaysia and Singapore in terms of increased tourism and trade.



PUTRAJAYA: Budget airlines such as AirAsia and Tiger Airways can look forward to the opening up of the air route between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore soon.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy said although the Government had yet to make a decision on this matter, both he and his Singaporean counterpart Raymond Lim had agreed that further liberalisation would be beneficial.

“We had frank exchanges on the possible liberalisation of the air routes over the past two weeks,” he said after Lim met him at his office here yesterday.

“I have set up a committee to look into the pros and cons of allowing budget airlines to fly the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore route and I understand that the report will be ready in a few days.

“The report will have to be submitted to the Cabinet and given to our Singaporean counterpart. But we both believe that further liberalisation will benefit us in terms of increased tourism and trade.”.

Lim said the Singaporean Government fully supported the idea of opening up the air route.

“We are looking forward to receiving a copy of the report,” he said.

Currently, the route is being operated by Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and Singapore Airlines.

However, Chan said both countries had yet to look into the timeline when the air routes could be fully liberalised.

On the panel established to look into AirAsia's and MAS’ flight delays, which was supposed to submit its report yesterday, Chan said he would bring the matter up for discussion at this week’s Cabinet meeting.

On the reduced fines for traffic offences, Chan said he would leave it to the police to decide on the quantum for the penalties.
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