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Old January 23rd, 2007, 02:11 PM   #641
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyprince View Post
MH has 5-star service and products but not the Enrich programme. They failed to credit my mileage worth 17 000 miles and I had to visit their office in KL to retrieve back my lost mileage
I've had the same problems! I've LONG given up on Enrich, its been too many times that they have not credited my miles, doing things like crediting one sector but not the return segment, I mean its incredibly annoying if you have to actually visit their office, emails to them going unanswered.

I guess MH and Enrich don't need my loyalty or value it, so to hell with them! I've gladly switched to the Lufthansa operated Miles and More FFP, currently on frequent traveler status. Also since its part of the Star Alliance program the opportunities of redeeming upgrades, miles and flights beat MH Enrich hands down! Within South East Asia traveling, I can gain miles with SIA or THAI, both great carriers.
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 02:22 PM   #642
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I would say MH`s product at the same level as SQ but a lil bit higher than Thai. But I prefer to travel by Thai because of the hospitability on board.

Enrich is a real embarrassment for MH ! I traveled from Nagoya to KL then onwards to Cairo , and the ground staff at Chubu Airport already confirmed that my mileage worth 8600 miles for one way NGO-KUL-CAI already been credited. 10 days later, I traveled CAI-KUL and the Egyptian staff at Cairo Airport reassured that there is no problem with my mileage transfer. But then, two months later, when I phoned MH headquarter in KL, they informed me that there were nothing credited for the past 5 months and I have to present my ticket and boarding pass to their headquarter`s address. I went directly to Enrich department in KL. Really annoying.
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 03:25 PM   #643
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyprince View Post
I would say MH`s product at the same level as SQ but a lil bit higher than Thai. But I prefer to travel by Thai because of the hospitability on board.
In terms of the new inflight products, SIA has the advantage over MAS. Their new business class seats is the widest in the world, the business class PTV screens are 15.4inches, this is not only larger than MAS business class at 10.4inches, its larger than MAS first class PTV screens. The catch of it all is that I found the fares are usually cheaper with SIA, sometimes the differences are huge!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyprince View Post
Enrich is a real embarrassment for MH ! I traveled from Nagoya to KL then onwards to Cairo , and the ground staff at Chubu Airport already confirmed that my mileage worth 8600 miles for one way NGO-KUL-CAI already been credited. 10 days later, I traveled CAI-KUL and the Egyptian staff at Cairo Airport reassured that there is no problem with my mileage transfer. But then, two months later, when I phoned MH headquarter in KL, they informed me that there were nothing credited for the past 5 months and I have to present my ticket and boarding pass to their headquarter`s address. I went directly to Enrich department in KL. Really annoying.
That is exactly what happened to me too with Malaysia Airlines on Brisbane to Singapore BNE-KUL-SIN, they all said it will be credited, from check in and even at the airline office in Australia. Checked up on my statement, the miles weren't credited, missing!!! On other sectors one segment is credited, the return segment is not. Luckily now with Lufthansa Miles and More, I don't have to remind and ask the airline, I'm confident they'll credit it. Even when traveling SIA or Austrian, there were no problems at all.
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 04:47 PM   #644
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Someone who frequently travel should complain to the management of MAS regarding this matter so that MAS will be more competitive to other airlines. I guess they overlook this. No point complaining at Enrich department counter.


FYI – Malaysia Airlines Travel Fair (MATF) special maximum discount up 70%. Cheapest air fare only RM59 to any Asean destination. 2 million tickets cheap tickets within Asean. Children under 12 years further 15% discount. Infants only charged for at 10% of discounted adult price.
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 06:23 PM   #645
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Fly to an Asean country for RM59
Tuesday January 23, 2007
TheStar


KUALA LUMPUR: The cheapest airfare at the Malaysia Airlines Travel Fair (MATF) is RM59 to an Asean destination.

“Our promotional fares will be lower than those launched recently or offered at last year's fair,” said Malaysia Airlines commercial director Datuk Rashid Khan.

The maximum discount on offer is 70%.

Rashid also revealed that children, under 12 years, enjoyed a further 15% discount on top of the cheap fares, while infants would only be charged at 10% of the discounted adult price.

The national carrier has allotted two million cheap tickets for Asean destinations.

It was recently announced that the MAS would be offering five million cheap tickets at the travel fair from Jan 31 to Feb 6.

According to Malaysia Airlines senior general manager (Network and Revenue Management) Bernard Francis, the two-million figure was appropriate as Asean destinations were popular with Malaysian travellers.

“Malaysia alone has a population of 25 million and by opening up the offers to the Asean region, we now have approximately 300 million people to service,” he said.

Francis added that even though the two million seats offered was the base figure, it was likely that MAS would increase that figure by the end of the travel fair.

“It all depends on supply and demand. We will increase the number of seats if the demand is strong.”

The number of discounted tickets on the European, Australian, and other routes could also be increased.

The air tickets purchased at the travel fair also have a longer travelling deadline of seven months – valid from Feb 24 to Sept 30.

Last year, the cheap tickets had to be used within four months.

“The longer travelling period will enable people to plan their trips early and also to stimulate travel during off-season.

“Part of the reason was also to encourage local and foreign tourists to visit Malaysia, and experience the multitudes of activities lined up for Visit Malaysia 2007,” said Rashid.

Tickets can be bought at all travel agents registered with MAS.

Bookings and purchases can also be made through the airline's website, www.malaysiaairlines.com, or by contacting the airline's 24-hour call centre at the toll-free number 1-300-88-3000 in Malaysia.
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Old January 24th, 2007, 03:19 AM   #646
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How about MAS crew? I think they are very dedicated crew and give good service too.

Let say you are not an Enrich member, and seldom travel, but you will be to travel with your family, so which airline do you prefer? Does mileage credit is still your concern and necessity?

Last edited by Hailer; January 25th, 2007 at 11:56 AM.
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Old January 25th, 2007, 05:28 AM   #647
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France on AirAsia X's radar screen

By Anna Maria Samsudin
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January 25 2007


LONG-HAUL budget airline AirAsia X plans to include France in its flight service network, apart from the UK.

Fly Asian Xpress (FAX) chairman Datuk Kamarudin Meranun said France is among the European destinations it is eyeing to serve and has already informed the Transport Ministry of its plans.

It intends to operate the proposed Malaysia-France flight out of cheaper secondary airports.

"France is among the European destinations that we are considering right now. We are still talking to the Government about this.

"Despite the various destinations that we would like to fly to in Europe, our main focus would still be the UK," Kamarudin told Business Times in a phone interview yesterday.

The airline is currently working out details of its maiden long-haul flight between Kuala Lumpur and the UK.

AirAsia X is owned by FAX, using the AirAsia brand name.

FAX, which operates the rural air services (RAS) in Sabah and Sarawak, is privately-owned by AirAsia Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes, Kamarudin and AirAsia former chief financial officer Raja Azmi Raja Razali.

Aside from Europe, AirAsia X also plans to fly to China, India and Australia.

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy confirmed that his ministry has been informed of AirAsia X's interest to fly to France.

He also said Malaysia is currently in talks with the French Government on plans to double its present landing rights into France from seven to 14 times per week.

"The French Government appeared to be supportive of this proposal and because of that, we are hoping to be able to realise the talks soon.

"AirAsia X has also expressed its interest to start a budget airline service to France. The Government will decide whether to award the additional landing rights to AirAsia X (in due course)," he told reporters in Toulouse, France, last week.

Chan also gave the assurance that the expansion works on the low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) in Sepang would be completed on time for AirAsia X's maiden Kuala Lumpur-UK flight, scheduled to take off sometime in September.

He said the expansion work to be carried out would enable the terminal to accommodate wide-bodied aircraft to be used in AirAsia X's long-haul operations as well as to cater to the influx in tourist arrivals.

"The LCCT can only cater to 10 million passengers per year. AirAsia is expected to bring in around 10.2 million passengers to the terminal this year.

"Upon completion of the expansion works, the LCCT would be able to accommodate 15 million passengers per year," Chan added.


Last year, about 4.6 million travellers used the LCCT since it began operation on March 23.
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Old January 25th, 2007, 08:11 AM   #648
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January 24, 2007 18:48 PM

AirAsia X All Set To Repeat AirAsia's Phenomenal Success


From Azman Ujang

LONDON, Jan 24 (Bernama) -- AirAsia X, the world's newest long-haul budget airline, is all set to repeat the phenomenal success of AirAsia which within five years has become the region's largest low-cost carrier.

AirAsia X founder Datuk Tony Fernandes, who is also the group chief executive officer of AirAsia, said here Wednesday that the new airline was acquiring 20 planes initially with its first flight to Britain expected in July.

In an interview with Bernama here, the award-winning CEO said after taking AirAsia to such heights, he was now very excited about his new venture which he would market just as aggressively.

Fernandes launched his brainchild in Kuala Lumpur on Jan 5 as a tie-up between AirAsia and Fly Asian Express (FAX), eyeing destinations in Europe, India, China and Australia.

He said over the past few days, he had been looking at all the airports in Britain to fix AirAsia X's first destination and the response from the airport authorities had nothing been short of phenomenal.

"The response to AirAsia X has been huge. Lots of people in Europe now want to come to Malaysia," he said.

The last few days of touring Britain's airports has given Fernandes the idea of which one would give his new airline the best deal so that it can do what it is famous for -- offering the lowest fares to its passengers.

Fares from Britain to Malaysia are expected to be priced at around 100 pounds sterling (RM700).

Stanstead, one hour from here, has a very good infrastructure including being a transport hub. He is also looking at three other airports -- Manchester, Birmingham and Dublin and all have their own strengths.

"Things are progressing well. In the first week of February, we'll commence the purchase of our new planes."

Fernandes said further afield, he had also received proposals from nine other airports across Europe, including Rome, Paris, Frankfurt, Berlin, as we'll as in Spain and Scandinavia.

"All have expressed tremendous interest in having AirAsia X fly to their destinations.

"So we have created a company, we create something here. We are very excited about it and hopefully by the next month or two we can start announcing sales to start selling," he said.

Not only that, a measure of the waves Fernandes has already created within just three weeks of AirAsia X's launch is seen from a deluge of e-mails he has been getting from Europe not from potential passengers but from investors.

"So many people in Europe have e-mailed me wanting to invest in AirAsia X. I think it's a good branding for Malaysia," he said in his customary humble way.

As for Britain, its first destination in Europe, Fernandes said he hoped to mount daily flights to the country with the deal to purchase two planes due to be wrapped up soon.

What is AirAsia X's key selling point?

"Of course the cheap fares but there is also another thing. What people are finding out in relation to (budget airline) Oasis in Hong Kong is that when you arrive in Kuala Lumpur (KL), you have AirAsia, so you can go anywhere in South East Asia.

"So many people said to me that they don't have to go to Spain for a holiday. They can come to KL, they can go to Kota Kinabalu, Bali, Langkawi..all that is available from Kuala Lumpur.

"So that is a big attraction to Europeans arriving in KL but you can get across to all of South East Asia".

Fernandes was also asked if his more established rival Malaysia Airlines (MAS) would mind AirAsia X's impending foray into long-haul flights from Kuala Lumpur where both airlines are based.

His response: "Just like AirAsia, let's make it very clear, since AirAsia has come on, MAS has done better".

And he added: "The Prime Minister's vision was to have two national champions, we've got two national champions and two airlines that are making money. MAS had always said that they couldn't make money on domestic flights but now with AirAsia, they could.

"So I think it's good for Malaysia, good for MAS, both of us being successful. It's good if we are successful in branding, then more people who don't want to fly AirAsia will fly MAS... so money that is being spent here to promote Malaysia won't all go to AirAsia X.

In this way, MAS obviously stands to benefit as well because there are people who want to fly on the premium airline.

Fernandes also has set his sight on destinations in Eastern Europe, describing Prague, Warsaw and Moscow as "that's the new world and very interesting".

AirAsia's "Now Everyone Can Fly" branding is a success story even beyond what Fernandes could have imagined. What is in store for AirAsia X?

"I don't think it would be any different from AirAsia. We started with four destinations, we've 70 now in five years.

"We'll be aggressive, we are very proud of that. Who knows? When we first started with just one plane, who would have said that we would have 200 A320's," he said with a hearty laugh.



-- BERNAMA
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Old January 30th, 2007, 04:57 AM   #649
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MAS offers 250,000 low-fare seats starting at RM9

By Isabelle Francis
Email us your feedback at [email protected]


Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) is offering 250,000 domestic seats with fares as low as RM9 as part of its Visit Malaysia Year 2007 (VMY 2007) promotions, and bookings will be open from Jan 30 to Feb 6.

MAS said on Jan 29 that the fares, which range from RM9 to RM199, were offered exclusively online at www.malaysiaairlines.com for 23 destinations for travel within a seven-month period starting March 1.

MAS senior general manager (network revenue management) Bernard Francis said it expected all 250,000 seats to be taken up within the one-week promotional period.

“It’s not every day that you pay only RM9 to fly and at the same time, enjoy the full-frills services of a five-star airline,” he said in a statement.

“Another reason to fly with us is the seven-month travel period we are offering from March 1 to Sept 30, 2007. Buy now and fly later in the year,” he added.

On other VMY 2007 initiatives, Francis said MAS was working closely with Tourism Malaysia on an ongoing RM17.2 million joint advertising campaign to promote the event overseas.

He said it was marketing packages such as the Discover Malaysia Pass, whereby foreign tourists could visit five Malaysian destinations for US$199 (RM697) .

Its Golden Holidays Medical Package includes a medical check-up, accommodation with daily breakfast and airport transfers from as low as US$300 to US$1,029.

Francis said it was also leveraging on its partnership with appointed travel agents and tour operators on its international network by offering them attractive tour basing fares to promote customised inbound group tours and packages for VMY 2007.

He said it had clinched a deal with the largest Swedish tour operator to bring tourists into Malaysia from the Scandinavian region and was in the process of concluding similar arrangements in other countries.
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Old January 31st, 2007, 02:54 PM   #650
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Tremendous response to Malaysia Airlines Travel Fair 07

Email us your feedback at [email protected]


The week-long Malaysia Airlines Travel Fair 2007 (MATF) got off to a tremendous start on Jan 31 with the airline reporting RM1 million sales via the Internet for the domestic sector within the first hour.

MAS commercial director Datuk Rashid Khan said on Jan 31 this was excluding the international ticket sales and Golden Holidays packages.

“Our call centre received 6,400 calls within the first two hours today and on Tuesday there were 14,500 calls enquiring on MATF. On a normal day, we receive about 8,500 calls,” he said.

He was speaking to reporters after visiting MAS ticketing office at the Kuala Lumpur Sentral Station on Jan 31. Also present to brief the press was MAS senior general manager for network and revenue management, Bernard Francis.


Bernard said MAS was offering a total of five million seats with discounts of up to 70% on its annual fair from Jan 31 to Feb 6 for travel period from Feb 24 until Sept 30, 2007.

Many passengers were seen queuing at MAS ticketing office at Kuala Lumpur Sentral to snap up the bargain fares especially to popular destinations in Europe and Australia.

Rashid said MAS was confident of maintaining or surpassing the RM180 million sales achieved at last year's MATF as the point of sales has been extended to 2,900 agents in Asean apart from the 527 local agents in 2007.

He said MAS recorded an average RM27 million in ticket sales daily on a normal day.

The airline is also offering 250,000 domestic seats with fares as low as RM9 as part of its Visit Malaysia Year 2007 (VMY) promotions with bookings from Jan 30 to Feb 6.

The fares, which range from RM9 to RM199, were offered exclusively online at www.malaysiaairlines.com for 23 destinations for travel within a seven-month period starting March 1.

Rashid also dismissed a suggestion that MAS was resorting to a price war, as he said the airline faces competition from 300 airlines globally everyday.

“After the domestic route rationalisation, Malaysia Airlines can sell at any price depending on the demand and supply as well as the economics of running the airline.

“This is our strategy for Visit Malaysia Year,” he said.

“We can offer such competitive fares following the efficiency we achieved under – Project Omega – by looking at fares available in the market and realigning it with our reservations,” he said.
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Old February 1st, 2007, 08:20 AM   #651
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AirAsia confident of flying 18m passengers in 2007
By Kamarul Yunus
February 1 2007
BusinessTimes


AIRASIA Bhd, Malaysia's low-cost carrier, expects to carry some 18 million passengers this year, banking on its newly-launched Microsoft-backed Vista Gadget online service to shore up customers' interest to fly on its fleet of aircraft.

Yesterday, the airline signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Microsoft Malaysia Sdn Bhd and The Media Shoppe Bhd for the development of its Vista Gadget.

The event was held in conjunction with the launch of Microsoft's Windows Vista, 2007 Office System and Exchange Server 2007 in Malaysia.

AirAsia executive vice president (commercial) Kathleen Tan said that AirAsia, together with its associates Thai AirAsia and Indonesia AirAsia, had carried over 30 million passengers since its establishment five years ago.

"The 18 million expected passengers (figure) is based on the traffic projection. That (figure) will put us ahead of SIA (Singapore Airlines)," she told reporters after the signing of the MOU in Kuala Lumpur.

The airline's network currently includes over 80 domestic and international routes covering Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Macau, China, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

On the AirAsia Vista Gadget, Tan said it will allow customers to instantly manage and access live travel information, such as destination, itineraries and pricing, and Web-based services directly from their Windows Vista desktop computers.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 06:11 AM   #652
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Gadget to track AirAsia deals

By H. AMIR KHALID

KUALA LUMPUR: Low-cost airline AirAsia has launched a program that lets customers keep track of its airfares, promotions and even free seats from their computer without using an Internet browser.

The new program, called AirAsia Gadget, can be downloaded for free from www.airasia.com for those who have Microsoft’s new Windows Vista operating system installed on their computer.


Latest software: AirAsia stewardesses (from left) Ellena Zainal, Rebecca Oh and Ili Diyana showing boxes of the new Windows Vistaoperating system, which will be required to run AirAsia Gadget.

“(Gadget) will enable frequent AirAsia fliers to stay abreast of the airline’s promotions and offers without the bother of having to point their browsers to the airline’s website and monitoring it manually,” said AirAsia vice-president Kathleen Tan.

“It will also help those who are keen to snap up the free seats and promotional offers before they run out,” she said.

“Our frequent travellers (will) know when we announce these offers, often at midnight, and they can then be first in the queue and save themselves a lot of money.”

Gadget will also encourage even more people to visit the airline's website, which is already one of the most successful in Asia, according to Tan.

The website drew some 800,000 unique visitors and had 90 million impressions a month from users in 200 countries, she said.

AirAsia flies to more than 80 destinations in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, China, and the Philippines. It will also begin flights to London this year.

Because Gadget resides on a user’s computer rather than on AirAsia’s website, it can be customised to the user’s preferences.

For instance, it can be set to remember that the user likes to book air travel for certain times of the year or to some favourite destination, said Tyson Dowd, senior director for Malaysian software economy at Microsoft Malaysia.

The information about each customer’s travel preferences would also help AirAsia plan its flights, Tan added.

AirAsia Gadget was unveiled on Wednesday in conjunction with Microsoft Malaysia’s launch of the business version of Windows Vista, Microsoft Corp’s new operating system which was launched in the United States, Japan and several other countries on Tuesday and which will be launched in Malaysia tomorrow.
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 10:55 AM   #653
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brand new A320 for Air Asia..in conjuction with Visit Malaysia 2007
this baby arrived at KLIA from Toulouse at 0830 3/2/2007
managed to snap after work today at the tarmac,



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Old February 4th, 2007, 08:19 AM   #654
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Sepang Aircraft set to bag AirAsia maintenance job
By Anna Maria Samsudin
February 1 2007
BusinessTimes


AIRASIA Bhd is likely to award its airframe maintenance job, valued at RM50 million annually, to local independent maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company Sepang Aircraft Engineering Sdn Bhd (SAE), sources said.

The move reflects AirAsia's commitment to gradually bring its MRO operations, currently handled by Singapore Technologies Aerospace Ltd, back to Malaysian shores.

Sources said the company, which is controlled by entrepreneur Syed Budriz Putra, will carry out airframe maintenance for AirAsia's A320 and the B737 fleet.

With an estimated investment sum of RM70 million, the facility at the nearby Malaysia Airlines A380 hangar at the KL International Airport is expected to begin operations in October.

Both parties are in the final stage of negotiations and are expected to seal the deal in the first quarter of this year.

Syed Budriz, 34, is the nephew of Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah and Sultan of Perlis Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Putra Jamalullail. He could not be reached for comment.

AirAsia recently awarded Singapore Technologies a US$130 million (RM455 million) aircraft component maintenance-by-the-hour contract for its new fleet of A320s.

The contract involves component maintenance support for over 10 years for the 130 units of its A320 aircraft.

Plans of bringing back AirAsia's MRO operation to Malaysia will not only benefit the airline in terms of significant cost savings, but will also contribute positively to the nation, a source said.

As the single largest operator of the A320 in the region, the move will enable Malaysia to position itself as the regional service centre of the aircraft.

AirAsia has placed 150 firm orders for the A320 aircraft, valued at US$10.05 billion (RM35.18 billion).

The budget airline will take full delivery of its entire aircraft orders by 2013, making it the world's second largest operator of A320s, after Jet Blue, by then.

To date, it has already taken delivery of 16 units of the A320 aircraft.
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Old February 9th, 2007, 11:22 AM   #655
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AirAsia founder to set up budget hotels in region
Straits Times Interactive, Febuary 8, 2007


KUALA LUMPUR - THE founder of Malaysian no-frills carrier AirAsia unveiled plans yesterday to set up a chain of budget hotels in the region, saying the move would offer travellers a comprehensive package.

AirAsia chief executive Tony Fernandes told national news agency Bernama that Tune Hotels, which he partly owns, would open five hotels in Malaysia next month.

Three will be located in the country's biggest city, Kuala Lumpur, one in the northern resort island of Penang and another in Kota Kinabalu, the capital of the Sabah state on Borneo island, Tune Hotels director Dennis Melka told Bernama.

'We will start selling rooms online from March 1 onwards. Official launching will be on March 28,' Mr Melka was quoted as saying, adding that the average room rate would be RM55 (S$24) a night.

Tune Hotels is also targeting another launch on the Indonesian resort island of Bali early next year, Mr Melka said without elaborating.

All these cities are serviced by AirAsia.

Mr Fernandes was quoted as saying: 'I think Tune Hotels is moving very, very well. It complements AirAsia very well.'

He and other AirAsia officials could not be reached for comment.

According to Tune Hotels' website, the company is 72.2 per cent owned by Tune Ventures, a private investment company 40 per cent owned by Mr Fernandes, 25 per cent by Mr Melka and the rest by other shareholders.

Meanwhile, Mr Fernandes dismissed concerns that AirAsia needs to raise additional funds for the expansion of its fleet, saying the five-year-old firm has strong cash flow and enough capital to last till 2009, Bernama reported.

AirAsia last month said it may buy another 100 Airbus A-320s to support its rapid growth on top of the 100 A-320s it has already committed to buying.

Set up in 2001, AirAsia is the region's only publicly- traded budget carrier and has more than 40 planes now. It is rapidly growing its regional network, with ambitious plans for India and China.

Mr Fernandes said AirAsia expects to carry about 62 million passengers by 2013. It flew some 15 million passengers last year and expects this to rise to 18 million this year.
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Old February 9th, 2007, 11:33 AM   #656
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9M-AFC Air Asia A320
by airpaul of pbase.com





by Rob Finlayson of pbase.com



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Old February 10th, 2007, 09:29 AM   #657
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Tune Hotels.Com's five-star hotel experience from RM9.99++
By Surin Murugiah, 09 Feb 2007 7:10 PM
THEEDGEDAILY




Tune Hotels Sdn Bhd COO Andy Song with Tune Hotels Sdn Bhd founder and
director Datuk Tony Fernandes (right) at the media launch of the Tune Hotels
mock-up room in Petaling Jaya


Tune Hotels.Com, Asia’s first no-frills hotel company, targets to open a hotel in each city in the country, as it expects to ride on the success of its first such hotel in Kuala Lumpur which will open its doors on March 28.

The flagship hotel is next to Maju Junction in Kuala Lumpur and offers travellers a five-star sleeping experience for as low as RM9.99++, said Tune Hotels Sdn Bhd founder and director Datuk Tony Fernandes.

Tune Hotels.Com was also in talks with Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) to explore the possibility of opening up no-frills hotels at airports in the country.

The refurbishment of each hotel could cost up to RM20 million, he said on Feb 9 at the media briefing in Petaling Jaya on Tune Hotels.Com’s plans.

Hotel room rates would be from as low as RM9.99++ to RM59.99++ per night, operating on similar basis as online booking for low-cost carrier AirAsia Bhd. Basic amenities include a deluxe five-star bed by King Koil, 250-thread count white duvets, an ensuite "Power Shower" and a ceiling fan, but guests will have to purchase items like towels and air-conditioning cards for that extra comfort.

Speaking to reporters at a media briefing in Petaling Jaya on Feb 9, Fernandes said Tune Hotels.Com would be opening its hotels in Penang, Johor Bahru, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu in the near future.

“We will also be looking at opening up in neighbouring countries, but for now we want to operate fully in Malaysia first,” adding that a primary consideration in setting up no-frills hotels was transportation linkage between the hotels and airports.

Fernandes said it cost about RM20 million to refurbish each hotel but the cost varied based on the location and buildings, adding that funding for the hotels was through borrowings.

“Much like no-frills air travel has revolutionised Asia’s skies, Tune Hotels.Com is poised to radically change the economy, limited service hotel industry in Asia.”

“We intend to provide guests a five-star sleeping experience at a one star price, and we are investing heavily to ensure our guests have a superb stay with us,” he said.

Tune Hotels.Com director and co-founder Dennis Melka said the economy, limited service segment in Asia had often been characterised by messy rooms, stained sheets and carpeting, and bad service.

“Safety in these hotels is also a major issue for travellers. Tune Hotels.Com will deliver safe, clean and high quality rooms at an incredible price to the travelling public,” he said.

Melka said that of the 2,224 registered hotels in Malaysia, only 292 had four and five-star rating.

“Southeast Asian travellers tend to want to spend less on hotels and more on shopping and other travel-related matters. The idea for low-cost hotels came from the experience of AirAsia travellers who found hotel rooms expensive,” said Melka.

He said Tune Hotels.Com would also leverage on smart partnerships to carry out advertising on the hotel room floors and stairways, adding that it would sell online Tune Beds made by KingKoil Corporation Sdn Bhd.

Its other commercial partners are Pensonic Holdings Bhd, Nippon Paint (M) Sdn Bhd, Johnson Suisse (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd and Dignified Square (M) Sdn Bhd.

Tune Hotels.Com will have Uncle John Kopitiam and MyNews.Com as its retail partners operating at the hotels.

MAHB managing director Datuk Seri Bashir Ahmad, who was present at the event, confirmed that it was in talks Tune Hotels on the possibility of opening up no-frills hotels at airports but declined to elaborate.
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Old February 13th, 2007, 03:57 AM   #658
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Malaysia's AirAsia X to announce aircraft purchase in March

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 11, 2007 (AFP) - Malaysia's long-haul budget carrier AirAsia X will announce its choice of 20 aircraft worth some four billion dollars next month for its service to Britain and China, a senior official said Sunday.

"An evaluation to pick either Airbus 330-300 or Boeing 777-200 for the new long-haul carrier AirAsia X has been completed and an announcement will be made in March," Raja Mohamad Azmi, chief executive officer of Fly Asian Express (FAX) told AFP.

"Both are great aircraft," he added. He did not elaborate.

AirAsia X, a new long-haul, low-cost carrier was unveiled in early January and is expected to carry half a million passengers in its first year of operation.

The airline will be operated by FAX, which currently operates rural air services on Borneo island.

Airline officials familiar with the purchase plan said price and availability of aircraft are among the major factors in deciding the winner.

Raja Azmi said the new service will take off in August with inaugural flights to Britain and China being launched simultaneously.

"We will initially lease three aircraft -- either the Boeing 777-200 or the Airbus 330-300 to begin the service," he said.

It also has plans to fly to India and Australia.

Raja Azmi, who is also a shareholder of leading low-cost carrier AirAsia, said the new aircraft would come into service in the third quarter of next year.

AirAsia was launched as a budget carrier in December 2001 with just two aircraft but now offers more than 100 domestic and international flights to Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines.
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Old February 18th, 2007, 12:31 AM   #659
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Air Asia in America?

Do any of you guys know if AirAsia has any plans to offer service from the United States in the future? We could really use a low cost long haul carrier in this country.
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 11:28 AM   #660
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Union fears open-skies pact will bring down Malaysia Airlines

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22, 2007 (AFP) - Malaysia's national carrier, Malaysia Airlines, will be destroyed by the competition faced from other airlines if a regional open-skies agreement is finalised, a union official warned Thursday.

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, due to be implemented by 2008.

The Malaysian Airlines Employees Union said in a letter to Transport Minister Chan Kong Choy that freedom to use airspace and landing rights for other airlines would see Malaysia Airlines stripped of its protection.

"The open-skies agreement will not provide any protection for national carrier Malaysia Airlines (MAS). It could also destroy MAS by opening too wide a door to competition from other airlines," union general secretary Abdul Malek Ariff said.

"The union opposes the move to sign open-skies agreements and any move to abolish protection for Malaysia Airlines as a national carrier," Abdul Malek said.

He said under the agreement there would be no limit on landing rights within the countries concerned.

"As such, the airports would become busy and congested simply for the sake of competition, and would also create problems for MAS workers," he said.

Abdul Malek's comments comes after Transport Minister Chan Kong Choy had met with his Singaporean counterpart to discuss opening the lucrative Kuala Lumpur-Singapore route to budget airlines.

Low-cost carrier AirAsia has lauded the agreement, saying it would allow the airline to fly to more Southeast Asian nations in the near future, including neighbouring Singapore, a major regional aviation hub.

National carrier Malaysia Airlines, along with Singapore Airlines, currently has a monopoly on the lucrative Singapore-Kuala Lumpur route.
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