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Old March 5th, 2007, 11:21 AM   #681
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Malaysia's AirAsia eyes Philippine operations

KUALA LUMPUR, March 1, 2007 (AFP) - Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia said Thursday it was considering new operations in the Philippines as the airline posted a record half-year profit.

The airline, which dominates the crowded Southeast Asian low-cost carrier market, currently has joint venture operations in Indonesia and Thailand.

"I have always been interested in the Philippines as another possibility in the region besides Thailand and Indonesia, as it also has high traffic and a sizeable population," said AirAsia's chief executive Tony Fernandes.

"If another (operation) were to happen in the future, then it will be in the Philippines," Fernandes told AFP.

His comments came after AirAsia's net profit for the first half of its financial year in the six months to December soared to a record 226.546 million ringgit (64.7 million dollars) from 59.907 million ringgit last year.

Fernandes said the bulk of AirAsia's profits were still coming from Malaysia's AirAsia, but that its Thai and Indonesian operations are "consistently profitable."

He said the company's half-year profit had soared on the back of higher traffic and what he said was a "level playing field" in Malaysia.

"I am very pleased with the results and it finally reflects what we've always been fighting for, which is a level playing field ... where no more subsidies were given to Malaysia Airlines," he said.

Under a new aviation policy to rationalise domestic routes from August 1 last year, AirAsia took over 99 of Malaysia Airlines' domestic routes, many unprofitable.

The government also stopped subsidising the national carrier's domestic routes.

"I have never enjoyed running AirAsia more, now that I have everything I have ever wanted. I no longer have to worry about subsidies, or fair competition," Fernandes said.

AirAsia was launched as a budget carrier in December 2001 with just two aircraft.

It now offers more than 100 domestic and international flights to Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Cambodia, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 04:29 AM   #682
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AirAsia plans more new routes

By CHAN CHING THUT

SEPANG: AirAsia Bhd plans this year to introduce between four and six new routes, including to Ho Chi Minh City, Vientiane and Myanmar.

At the group level, this would mean a total nine new routes.

On the launch date for the new routes from Malaysia, chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes said the company was currently working hard to secure the rights for those destinations.

“For our Indonesian unit, we plan to reintroduce the Jakarta-Johor Baru sector and launch a new route between Jakarta and Kuching. I see a lot of connectivity happening,” he said after AirAsia received its 17th Airbus A320 at the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) yesterday.

The latest aircraft depicts Malaysia's rich cultural tapestry against a backdrop of white and sky blue in line with the Visit Malaysia Year 2007 campaign.

Fernandes said there had not been much progress on talks for AirAsia to operate the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore route but he “remained hopeful”.

“Competition is good and we are pushing hard to open the route. Ultimately, Malaysia will benefit and I welcome other low-cost carriers to operate here as well,” he said, adding that better connectivity meant an improved travel experience for tourists.

For the next five years, Fernandes would like to develop a positive image for AirAsia, now seen as unreliable due to frequent flight delays. He also aims to increase frequency and improve connectivity.

“I want to provide high quality services and give people many options,” he said.

Meanwhile, brokerages contacted by StarBiz said AirAsia's second quarter financial results were above expectation.

A research report by Merrill Lynch said AirAsia's results exceeded its forecasts with the key pre-tax profit 13% ahead of expectation and 73% higher than the previous corresponding period.

“The result was driven by revenue, with the airline posting both higher fares and a better load factor than we were expecting as domestic competition eased,” it said in the report.

TA Securities senior analyst Rosnani Rasul said AirAsia's cumulative pre-tax profit of RM105mil came within expectation but above consensus.

“First half pre-tax profit accounted for 57% of our full year forecast,” she said.

It revised the financial year 2007 (FY07) and FY08 earnings higher by 25% and 16% after lowering ancillary income as a percentage of revenue and factoring in a marginal tax rate of 5% beginning FY07 in line with the adoption of different accounting practices.

A local brokerage said first half results were above expectations due to better yields, lower-than-expected cost and recognition of investment allowance as deferred tax assets. It also revised upwards its net profit forecast by 102% for FY07 and 23% for FY08 to factor in improvement in yields, lower cost and the impact of deferred taxation in FY07.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 07:16 AM   #683
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Latest AirAsia promotion to salute airline’s 30 million customers
Wednesday March 7, 2007
TheStar


SEPANG: Pack your bags folks, AirAsia is rewarding travellers with a ticket for a mere 30 sen.

In its latest promotion to salute the 30 million guests who have flown the AirAsia Group in the past five years, tickets start from loose change – 30 sen to Jakarta and Bandung.

Fares to international destinations like Bali, Bangkok, Macau, Hanoi, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Siem Reap, and Phnom Penh take off from RM30, AirAsia announced in a statement yesterday.

The AirAsia Group comprises AirAsia Bhd, Thai AirAsia and Indonesia AirAsia.

The booking period started from midnight yesterday and ends on March 18 for a three-month travel period spanning July 1 to Sept 30.

AirAsia said that all fares quoted exclude airport taxes, fuel surcharges and fees, and were applicable for one-way travel only.

Commercial Air Asia executive vice-president Kathleen Tan said that “The Grand Sale” was expected to stimulate travel with an allocation of half a million seats during the promotion.

“AirAsia guests have continuously exhibited high demand for low fares,” said Tan, adding that achieving the 30 million passenger mark proved that “low fares” ruled.

“We believe there are still many people out there who have never flown before and with our low fares, we can encourage people to fly and open up new first time flyer markets,” she said.

AirAsia is set to be an all-Airbus fleet by June. It currently operates more than 300 flights daily traversing 10 countries.
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Old March 8th, 2007, 11:05 AM   #684
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AirAsia Will Buy More Planes on Southeast Asia Demand
Updated : 08-03-2007
Media : Bloomberg
Story By : Haslinda Amin and Chan Tien Hin


March 8 (Bloomberg) -- AirAsia Bhd., Southeast Asia's largest discount airline with total firm orders of 150 aircraft from Airbus SAS, will need to buy more planes to meet rising travel demand, its chief executive officer said.

``Definitely we'll need more planes going forward,'' Tony Fernandes said in an interview in Singapore today. ``We're just scratching the surface.''

The airline expects a 50 percent increase in passenger traffic this year, driven by demand in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. The carrier aims to add as many as five daily flights between Singapore and Malaysia to help meet a goal of 60 million passengers a year by 2013.

``The capacity growth is just crazy, it's very strong,'' said Keith Wee, an analyst at HLG Research Sdn. ``Demand for budget travel'' will continue to grow, he said.

The company, based in Sepang, outside Kuala Lumpur, in March 2005 placed an order for 60 single-aisle A320s and in July last year ordered 40 more A320s. In January this year, it ordered 50 more from Airbus and took options for another 50 to meet higher capacity demand.

Shares of AirAsia gained 2 sen, or 1.3 percent, to 1.61 ringgit, at 10:46 a.m. local time on Malaysia's stock exchange. The shares have risen for the past three days.

Passenger traffic is expected to grow 46 percent to 8.4 million in the year ending June and expand 32 percent to 10.9 million in the year to June 2008, said Wee.

New Routes

AirAsia plans to increase the number of routes to 83 from 75, as it adds destinations including cities in Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar, Fernandes said on March 1. The airline also plans to start flights in Shenzhen.

Net income at the Malaysian airline almost tripled to 150.1 million ringgit ($42.7 million) in the three months ended Dec. 31, from 51.3 million ringgit a year ago. Sales rose 61 percent to 401 million ringgit.

The carrier expects to hedge 100 percent of its fuel needs this year and has hedged 80 percent of its requirement this quarter, Fernandes said today.

AirAsia carried 2.27 million passengers in the quarter, 69 percent more than a year earlier. The carrier took over 90 domestic routes from Malaysian Airline System Bhd. last year and added new aircraft.

The company is ``firmly'' focused on short-haul flights, Fernandes said, adding the company planned to grow by increasing passengers and the number of routes instead of through acquisitions.
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Old March 9th, 2007, 11:25 AM   #685
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MAS committed to promoting business in South Asia

KUCHING: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) will remain committed to promoting its business in South Asia despite having cut two routes last year.

Its commercial director Datuk Rashid Khan said the airline would focus on increasing its presence in the region, considered a high-growth market.

“Our foray into the region was slightly hampered due to the financial crisis and it was with much difficulty that we undertook the withdrawal from Kolkata and Ahmedabab under the first phase of our network rationalisation last year,” he said during the MAS South Asia Top Travel Agent Awards presentation here on Thursday night.

He added that for now, MAS would continue to operate 43 weekly flights through nine gateways out of South Asia.

These include New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Dhaka with daily connections and Bangalore, Hyderabad, Colombo, Male and Karachi which are served three times a week.

Rashid also said MAS had launched a plan to enhance its products and services to customers.

He also said most of the enhancement initiatives, such as in food and beverages, were carried out in the last few months.

Meanwhile state Urban Development and Tourism Minister Datuk Wong Soon Koh, who was guest of honour, said Sarawak had only recently realised the huge market potential in South Asia.

“Traditionally Sarawak has focused more on Europe and our neighbouring countries, but it’s never too late to work together with you in tourism,” he told the travel agents.

Some 62 travel agents from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives were present to receive awards at the event
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Old March 14th, 2007, 07:21 AM   #686
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Thai AirAsia expects to fly 4.2m passengers this year
March 14 2007


BANGKOK: Thai AirAsia Co expects to carry 4.2 million passengers this year, up 40 per cent from 3 million in 2006, as it adds to its fleet and fills more flights, chief executive officer Tassapon Bijleveld said yesterday.

The Bangkok-based company plans to add four destinations this year and will take delivery of the first three Airbus aircraft from an order of 40 scheduled to arrive over five years, Tassapon said.

"We are confident we can achieve our load factor target of 80 per cent this year," Tassapon said in a phone interview. "But we will need to work hard due to signs of economic slowdown."

The Airbus planes will replace its fleet of 12 Boeing aircraft and bring the airline's capacity to 10 million passengers a year, he said.

Thai AirAsia will add flights to Shenzhen and Kunming in China, and Jakarta and Bali in Indonesia this year, he said.

The company will spend 100 million baht (RM9.98 million) in 2007 on marketing promotions to boost demand, Tassapon said, adding it would probably take longer to fill seats than it did last year amid economic and political turmoil.

Thai AirAsia is a joint venture between Thailand's Shin Corp and Malaysia's AirAsia Bhd.

Shin Corp was acquired by investors led by Singapore's state-owned Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd last year.

The deal prompted a tightening of foreign ownership laws and exacerbated political protests that ultimately culminated in a coup, ousting Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who founded Shin Corp.

The Thai Government said last week it wanted local management buy a stake in Thai AirAsia Co from Temasek-controlled Shin to remove concerns over the use of nominees for overseas investors. - Bloomberg
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Old March 14th, 2007, 09:08 AM   #687
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Start of AirAsia X long-haul budget airline delayed, CEO confirms

KUALA LUMPUR, March 14, 2007 (AFP) - The take-off of Malaysia's long-haul budget carrier AirAsia X has been delayed, possibly until September next year, a top executive confirmed Wednesday.

At its launch in January, the carrier promised budget flights to Britain beginning this July but Raja Mohamad Azmi, CEO of the company which will run the long-haul carrier, said the service has been delayed because aircraft leasing costs were higher than projected.

"We remain committed to begin the long-haul service. The new take-off date is by September 2008 when we begin to receive delivery of our new aircraft," said Azmi, chief executive officer of Fly Asian Express (FAX).

He said the carrier will shortly sign a deal for 20 aircraft worth about four billion dollars.

AirAsia X was unveiled in early January by low-cost aviation pioneer Tony Fernandes, who launched AirAsia as a regional budget carrier more than five years ago.
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Old March 14th, 2007, 03:07 PM   #688
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MAS to launch new airline from Penang

KUALA LUMPUR: National carrier Malaysia Airlines System Bhd. said Wednesday it would launch a new, small airline based in the northern resort island of Penang that would begin service to two Thai resort destinations from April.

To be named Firefly, the airline will use two Fokker 50 planes to fly daily from Penang to Phuket and Koh Samui in Thailand, and to the Malaysian destinations of Kota Baru, Langkawi, Kuantan and Kuala Terengganu, the airline said.

The Department of Civil Aviation has already granted Malaysia Airlines, or MAS, permission to fly twice daily to its local destinations, it said.

Firefly would be managed separately from MAS, which is in the middle of a restructuring plan to return to profitability.

Most of its Malaysian routes have been taken over by home-grown budget carrier AirAsia. - AP
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Old March 14th, 2007, 10:38 PM   #689
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MAS to launch Firefly

Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) is launching a no-frills low cost carrier next month to be branded as "Firefly", with fares starting from as low as RM9.

The new service will use Penang as its operations base and hub, initially serving mainly destinations in northern Peninsular Malaysia and southern Thailand.

Firefly will link Penang to Phuket and Koh Samui seven times a week as well as Kuantan, Kuala Terengganu, Kota Baru and Langkawi 14 times weekly.

The airline will be operated by MAS' unit FlyFirefly Sdn Bhd, formerly Kelas Services Sdn Bhd.

MAS managing director Idris Jala described the new carrier, which will initially operate two Fokker 50 that seats 50 passengers each, as a "community airline with a low cost structure."

“We felt we would not be able to do this with MAS with its current business model.

"Firefly is a profitable venture and win-win for the government and community serving routes not served by MAS,” he told reporters after Transport Minister Datuk Chan Kong Choy announced the impending launch of the new carrier in Putrajaya on March 14.

Chan also presented the Air Services Licence and Air Operator's Certificate issued by the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia to Idris.

Idris said the budget carrier would not cannibalise MAS’ current services as they served two different markets. “We are able to segregate the two markets,” Idris added.

He dismissed suggestions that the budget airline scene in the region was crowded saying that there was still room for new players.

Idris added that Firefly would be able to increase MAS' connectivity and play a complementary role to its parent company.

Asked how soon the budget airline would be able to make money, he said: “We expect between now and one year, it would be on a break even keel and the following year we should be able to make money. There is no subsidy from the government.”

Idris said he would not be distracted from his current task of turning around MAS, as a new managing director would be appointed to manage Firefly.

He said for a start, some staff from MAS would be seconded to the new outfit but Firefly would later have its own staff and a different structure.

“It is important that we develop this new model differently and we may even introduce some of the experience in operating the new budget airline into MAS later,” he added.

Idris said more details would be announced at a launch event in Penang on March 17.

He said the idea of the new airline came about during MAS' discussions with the government on improving the tourism sector in Malaysia.

Chan said the new service was expected to enhance Malaysia’s air services.

“Apart from the Penang-Langkawi route, the other routes given to Firefly are not served by any other carriers at the moment,” he said.

“I hope that in the long term, the new service will be able to contribute to the growth of the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMG-GT),” he added.

Meanwhile, analysts believe the new service would help the national carrier's profitability due to its low capitalisation and fast aircraft turnaround model.

MIMB research analyst Pong Teng Siew said: “The average utilisation is five times daily per aircraft. That is even higher than AirAsia’s, which is four times daily.

“Firefly’s model has a fast aircraft turnaround. Average load factor would likely be above 70%. Firefly could even offer full-services using a low cost structure (versus less-frills services offered by budget airlines),” he added.

Additionally, Pong said Firefly could leverage on shared ground services and equipment with MAS. “If it goes well, Firefly can make money and could even break even in its first year.”

However Pong said in the foreseeable future, with Fokker 50 planes, Firefly could only extend its services and fly to limited destinations, naming Medan as a possible destination.

On the rivalry between budget carrier AirAsia Bhd and Firefly, analysts said competition would be “marginal” as AirAsia currently flew to only six destinations from Penang.

The six destinations are Bangkok, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Medan, while FireFly will fly to Kota Bahru, Kuantan, Kuala Terengganu and Langkawi as well as Phuket and Koh Samui.

“Most of AirAsia flights are from Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.

“If perhaps Penang is going to be AirAsia’s fourth hub, it would still be small. Also with Fokker 50, MAS cannot fly to the destinations (that AirAsia is flying to now),” said an analyst.
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Old March 15th, 2007, 03:47 AM   #690
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Firefly, a fully owned subsidiary of MAS to fly six routes
TheStar March 15 2007



PUTRAJAYA: Another low-cost carrier called Firefly will take to the skies from April 2. It will be based at the Penang International Airport.

FlyFirefly Sdn Bhd, a 100% subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines, will initially fly six routes.

The routes are from Penang to Langkawi, Kota Baru, Kuala Terengganu and Kuantan for the domestic destinations and from Penang to Koh Samui and Phuket for the regional destinations.

For a start, the airline will use two 50-seater Fokker planes to fly to Phuket and Koh Samui seven times a week, while it will fly 14 times weekly to Kota Baru, Kuala Terengganu, Kuantan and Langkawi.

As for the airfare, MAS managing director Idris Jala said: “It will start from as low as RM9, slightly more than the price of a plate of nasi kandar.”

In presenting the operating licence to Idris at his office here yesterday, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy said the new airline would promote Penang as the country’s hub for low-cost carriers in the northern region.

“Except for the Penang-Langkawi routes, the domestic destinations are currently not being serviced by any other airline, so Firefly will fill the niche and boost connectivity in the north.

“This connectivity will further boost tourist arrivals, particularly to achieve our 20 million target during Visit Malaysia 2007, as well as enhance economic development within the Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand growth area in the long term.

“MAS’ decision to set up this carrier is the result of earlier discussions between the airline and the ministry on how they can improve their network for the Visit Malaysia Year,” he told reporters after the weekly Cabinet meeting.

With Firefly joining the stable, the country will now have six airlines. The others are Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, Berjaya Air, Transmile and Fly Asian Xpress.

Idris said Firefly – tagged the community airline – was aimed at serving people staying in places previously not served by any airline.

But MAS cannot do it because of the higher operating costs for us. So we have to set up this new airline.

“It will be a win-win situation for everybody. However, this airline will have an entirely new managing team and business model, all of which will be announced on March 17 in Penang,” he said, adding that MAS expects to achieve profit from the Firefly's operations from next year.

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Old March 15th, 2007, 03:55 AM   #691
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THAT PLANE LOOKS AMAZING ON THOSE COLORS, REALLY COOL FOR MALAYSIAN AIRLINES.
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Old March 17th, 2007, 01:30 PM   #692
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AirAsia flies into Formula One

17 Mar 2007
Tony Emmanuel


KUALA LUMPUR: From the English Premier League to Formula One.
Malaysia’s much talked-about budget airline, AirAsia, has once again taken international branding by storm.

After pulling off a coup of sorts with the Manchester United partnership for the 2006/2007 English Premier League season, the low-cost carrier has now concluded a multi-million ringgit sponsorship deal with one of the world’s leading Formula One teams — AT&T Williams F1.

The deal was inked in England, barely hours before the 2007 F1 season revved off, with the Australian Grand Prix to be held this weekend.

Sources said the deal, signed by AirAsia chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes and Sir Frank Williams on Thursday, was swiftly concluded to coincide with the government’s Visit Malaysia Year/Malaysia Grand Prix campaign.

Yesterday, the 2007 F1 season got underway with the Australian Grand Prix free practice sessions at Melbourne’s Albert Park.

The AT&T Williams F1 team’s recently launched Williams-Toyota FW29 race cars were taken round the track by Kakuzi Nakajima and Alex Wurz in the morning sessions, with the young Japanese driver clocking a credible sixth fastest time on his debut.

The bright red AirAsia logo was affixed on the nose of the car and just above the driver’s helmet visor.

The advertising partnership campaign will continue as the F1 travels through 17 countries this year until the curtains come down in Brazil on Oct 21.

The second leg of the season will be the Malaysian GP on April 8.

A source said AirAsia’s Formula One partnership, reportedly costing more than RM10 million, could continue for the next three years.



"Taking a cue from their EPL tie-up, this AirAsia partnership with William F1 will once again earn them global visibility," said a source.
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 10:49 AM   #693
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Malaysia Airlines says no decision on superjumbo A380s, despite report it may cancel order
19 March 2007

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - National carrier Malaysia Airlines said Monday its order for six superjumbo A380s is still valid despite a report that said it could cancel the purchase as the jets no longer fit into its plans.

Malaysia Airline System Bhd., or MAS, said it was "still in discussions with Airbus on the various options available" on the delivery of the double-decker jet, which are running up to two years behind production schedule due to wiring problems.

The planes were initially scheduled to be delivered to MAS later this year. No specific date has been set for delivery to the airline, but the Business Times newspaper said the jets may now only be delivered in 2009.

The Business Times newspaper, citing unnamed sources, said that canceling the jets was one of its options on the table.

"These planes are really expensive. So there is no point wasting taxpayers' money if it no longer fits into MAS's overall plans," the MAS source said, according to the paper.
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 12:48 PM   #694
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Thai AirAsia To Stay At Suvarnabhumi Airport


BANGKOK, March 22 (Bernama) -- Thai AirAsia will be the only low-cost airline operating both domestic and international flights from the Suvarnabhumi International Airport when Bangkok's Don Muang reopens for operation on Sunday.

Thai AirAsia chief executive officer, Tassapon Bijleveld, said staying at the new airport would offer travel convenience to thousands of its passengers.

"By making Suvarnabhumi our hub for all flights, we will make air travel easier for our guests. We offer them access to the AirAsia network, and convenience in connecting to domestic and international flights," he said here today.

From Suvarnabhumi, which was opened last September, Thai AirAsia operates about 80 flights daily to nine domestic and 10 international destinations.

Thai AirAsia, a subsidiary of AirAsia Bhd, was the first airline to propose reopening the old airport, citing higher operating costs at Suvarnabhumi which has been plagued by problems since its opening day.

Last month, the Thai Cabinet made a surprise decision to reopen the old airport for both domestic and international flights due to congestion at Suvarnabhumi and to allow for repair works but later agreed to start with domestic flights first.

Thai Airways International and the two other Thai low-cost operators, Nok Air and One-To-Go, will operate their non-transit domestic flights at Don Muang which is expected to handle 140 flights per day.

Thai AirAsia's domestic destinations include Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Hat Yai, Krabi, Narathiwat, Phuket, Surat Thani, Ubon Ratchathani and Udon Thani while international destinations are Xiamen, Macau, Phnom Penh, Yangon, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi, Kota Kinabalu, Penang and Singapore.

It will also start daily Bangkok-Xiamen flights from Sunday.

The increase in flight frequencies from four a week comes less than two years after Thai AirAsia began flying to Xiamen with an average load factor of 85 percent in 2006.

-- BERNAMA
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 04:28 PM   #695
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most probably A320..definitely huge discounts for their A380 compensations...

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MAS Wants New Planes For New Routes To Be Profitable

March 22, 2007 20:29 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, March 22 (Bernama) -- Malaysia Airlines is looking at acquiring long range narrow body aircraft which will allow it to operate profitably on new routes where its A330 is too large and the B737-400 lacks the range, managing director Idris Jala said Thursday.

He said part of the proceeds of the airline's RM1.5 billion rights issue and redeemable convertible preference shares (RCPS) will go towards acquiring new aircraft and replacing some of the existing ones.

"We would like to own some of the aircraft and we lease some. The ones we intend to own are to serve our core network. So, when the time is right to replace the aircraft, we can sell and purchase a new one," he told reporters on the sidelines of the Invest Malaysia 2007 conference here.

MAS, he said, wants to have the best aircraft for its core routes so that it will have the flexibility to dispose and change in a competitive environment.

The leased aircraft, meanwhile, will serve the non-core routes. He said "options are open" either to lease from Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd or others.

He said MAS is talking to both European consortium Airbus and American plane manufacturer Boeing on this but has yet to decide on the type of aircraft to be bought. He also did not reveal the number of aircraft MAS plans to have.

However, Jala said that the narrow body aircraft will mainly serve Asia.

Going forward, he said MAS will want to operate only two types of aircraft, from the current four.

"(To operate) a good and profitable airline (one should) not have too many different types of aircraft in its fleet. Because if you have less aircraft variety you significantly reduce your maintenance and training costs."

However, this cannot be done overnight, he noted. "Of course you cannot straight away flip into two different types of aircraft from Day One. You have to work out the transition on how to get there."

On other developments, Jala said the 2007-2011 network plan will see the national carrier expanding its core network in the Asia-Pacific while strengthening its hub and spoke connectivity in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. "The Asia-Pacific region is where the growth is. We expect to see vibrant growth as the economies remain strong at some six percent (annual growth) until 2015, ramping up the demand for air travel. These are exciting times especially as we are expand into China and India," said Jala.

In the next five years, he said, MAS will increase its flight frequencies and offer new destinations. The national airline will also sign code-share agreements that will give access to many southern European points.

"More agreements are in the pipeline," said Jala.

As for the new network, he said routes in the Middle East will be restructured, while flight frequencies to non-trunk markets such as North America, South America and South Africa will remain unchanged.

-- BERNAMA

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Old March 23rd, 2007, 11:29 AM   #696
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F1 cars and equipment arrive in KL via MASkargo’s B747-400F

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Malaysia Airlines Cargo Sdn Bhd (MASkargo) began flying in F1 cars and equipment for the Formula One testing session, which will take place from March 27-29.

The high performance racing cars and equipment were flown in using MASkargo’s advanced B747-400F aircraft, with its ability to offload cargo through its front nose section, the cargo carrier said in a statement on March 23.

The first batch of the F1 shipment arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on MH6404 from Melbourne on Thursday morning, while the second flight arrived on MH 6406 earlier yesterday.

MASkargo, the wholly owned subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines Bhd, is a key carrier for the Formula One not only for the upcoming Malaysian F1 Grand Prix, but for several other legs in the current season including Bahrain, Avalon in Melbourne and Stansted in United Kingdom.

“Our long term partnership with F1 shows that we are a reliable and trusted air cargo carrier among the F1 fraternity. Formula One is the ultimate in motor racing and being associated with a world-renowned race proves that we definitely are the preferred air cargo partner," senior general manager (Cargo) Datuk JJ Ong said.
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Old March 26th, 2007, 11:34 AM   #697
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Thai AirAsia fast-tracks IPO

By Isabelle Francis
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Airasia Bhd’s associate Thai AirAsia, which will be launching up to three new routes to Malaysia by June, has fast-forwarded its proposed initial public offering to within the next two years instead of its earlier five-year time frame.

Chief executive officer Tassapon Bijleveld (pic) also told The Edge FinancialDaily that the intention to go public is on the drawing board, in line with its regional expansion plans, but declined to elaborate.

Tassapon had been quoted by a local English business newspaper on Dec 20, 2006 that Thai AirAsia would go public in five years’ time.

Thai AirAsia is 49% held by AirAsia, 50% by Shin Corp group — which is owned by Singapore’s Temasek Holdings — while 1% is held by Tassapon himself.

When asked whether the IPO could be held back by the prevailing controversy in Thai politics that has raised doubts over the ownership equation at Thai AirAsia, Tassapon said, “Nothing to do with it.”

Thai foreign investment rules prohibit foreigners from owning more than 50% in a locally incorporated airline. With AirAsia holding 49%, Temasek’s entry calls into question the conformity of Thai AirAsia’s ownership.

When asked on the plans of the local management to buy the 51% stake from Shin, Tassapon said, “A lot are interested. I am interested.” He added that changes in the shareholding could come up “very soon”.

He said with the three new routes to be introduced to Malaysia, Thai AirAsia would be serving five to six destinations in the country by year-end.

“Two out of the three will be in East Malaysia,” he told reporters during a familiarisation trip in Bangkok, Thailand.

Thai AirAsia now flies to Kuala Lumpur, and Penang in Malaysia as well as to Singapore, Hanoi, Phnom Penh and Yangon. Starting March 25, AirAsia has taken over its Bangkok-Kota Kinabalu route.

Tassapon said Thai AirAsia also planned to introduce more international flights, with a strong focus on destinations to China. He expects its new Bangkok-Shenzhen route to be launched in July and is looking at flying to Kunming in the fourth quarter.

He added that it would also introduce new routes like Bangkok-Bali and Phuket-Bali in the fourth quarter.

On a separate matter, Tassapon said that starting March 25, Thai AirAsia would be the only Thai low-fare airline operating both international and domestic flights at Suvarnabhumi International Airport.

He said the airline also expected to receive delivery of three Airbus 320s — one each in the months of October, November and December, and two Boeings by July. With its existing 12 Boeings, Thai AirAsia would have 17 aircraft by year-end.
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Old March 26th, 2007, 05:54 PM   #698
fairul
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pedang View Post
Thai AirAsia fast-tracks IPO

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


Airasia Bhd’s associate Thai AirAsia, which will be launching up to three new routes to Malaysia by June, has fast-forwarded its proposed initial public offering to within the next two years instead of its earlier five-year time frame.

Chief executive officer Tassapon Bijleveld (pic) also told The Edge FinancialDaily that the intention to go public is on the drawing board, in line with its regional expansion plans, but declined to elaborate.

Tassapon had been quoted by a local English business newspaper on Dec 20, 2006 that Thai AirAsia would go public in five years’ time.

Thai AirAsia is 49% held by AirAsia, 50% by Shin Corp group — which is owned by Singapore’s Temasek Holdings — while 1% is held by Tassapon himself.

When asked whether the IPO could be held back by the prevailing controversy in Thai politics that has raised doubts over the ownership equation at Thai AirAsia, Tassapon said, “Nothing to do with it.”

Thai foreign investment rules prohibit foreigners from owning more than 50% in a locally incorporated airline. With AirAsia holding 49%, Temasek’s entry calls into question the conformity of Thai AirAsia’s ownership.

When asked on the plans of the local management to buy the 51% stake from Shin, Tassapon said, “A lot are interested. I am interested.” He added that changes in the shareholding could come up “very soon”.

He said with the three new routes to be introduced to Malaysia, Thai AirAsia would be serving five to six destinations in the country by year-end.

“Two out of the three will be in East Malaysia,” he told reporters during a familiarisation trip in Bangkok, Thailand.

Thai AirAsia now flies to Kuala Lumpur, and Penang in Malaysia as well as to Singapore, Hanoi, Phnom Penh and Yangon. Starting March 25, AirAsia has taken over its Bangkok-Kota Kinabalu route.

Tassapon said Thai AirAsia also planned to introduce more international flights, with a strong focus on destinations to China. He expects its new Bangkok-Shenzhen route to be launched in July and is looking at flying to Kunming in the fourth quarter.

He added that it would also introduce new routes like Bangkok-Bali and Phuket-Bali in the fourth quarter.

On a separate matter, Tassapon said that starting March 25, Thai AirAsia would be the only Thai low-fare airline operating both international and domestic flights at Suvarnabhumi International Airport.

He said the airline also expected to receive delivery of three Airbus 320s — one each in the months of October, November and December, and two Boeings by July. With its existing 12 Boeings, Thai AirAsia would have 17 aircraft by year-end.
it must be BKK-KCH for sure...
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Old March 26th, 2007, 08:13 PM   #699
AhChuan
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Maybe SDK or TWU....or MYY??
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Old March 30th, 2007, 01:42 PM   #700
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MAS: Joburg to be gateway to Africa
By Anna Maria Samsudin in Johannesburg
March 30 2007


MALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) yesterday signed a code share agreement with South African Airways (SAA) and said it paves the way for the Malaysian carrier to use Johannesburg as a gateway to the African continent.

MAS managing director Idris Jala said the partnership with SAA would boost its hub-and-spoke network and enable the airline to leverage on the booming travel market in South Africa, as well as other countries within the African continent.

In turn, SAA, via MAS' domestic and Asean network, would use Kuala Lumpur as its gateway to destinations in Malaysia as well as in the region.

Idris said the massive development taking place in South Africa has contributed towards the growing affluence among its society and played a part in the increase in travel demand.

"We are certainly excited with this code share. The opportunity here is huge and there is certainly a lot of money in South Africa.

"Customers of our two airlines will benefit from this partnership as they will be able to connect to more destinations in Africa, Malaysia and Asean. This is very timely as we are very focused on bringing more travellers to Malaysia, in conjunction with Visit Malaysia 2007," he said during the signing ceremony of MAS-SAA code-share agreement in Johannesburg yesterday.

The code-share agreement will be carried out in two phases, where the first phase will take effect on June 1, followed by the second phase in October this year.

Under the first phase, MAS' passengers, via Johannesburg, can have access to three domestic African points - Durban, Port Elizabeth and East London while SAA, via KLIA, could connect its passengers to three Malaysian domestic points, which are Penang, Kota Kinabalu and Langkawi.

The second phase of the agreement would see MAS expanding its code-share network to seven regional African destinations - Victoria Falls and Harare in Zimbabwe, Maputo in Mozambique, Masery in Lesotho, Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, Windhoek in Namibia and Gaborone in Botswana.

At the same time, SAA would also gain access to regional Asean points such as Jakarta, Denpasar, Bangkok, Manila and Phuket.

TA Security aviation analyst Rosnani Rasul said the partnership with SAA would certainly benefit MAS as they are able to expand their network without having to spend so much.

Looking at the growing number of South African tourists coming to Malaysia, she said the code share is certainly a right move by MAS to further tap the growing South African travel market.

"More and more Africans are coming to Malaysia. Last year, there is a 22 per cent growth in the number of arrivals to 163,000 from 133,000 in 2005.

Meanwhile, SAA chief executive officer Khaya Ngqula said the partnership with MAS will not only enable the airline to beef up its network but also assist them in their turnaround plan.

MAS now has a total of 28 code share and partnerships and some major partners include KLM, Gulf Air as well as Virgin Blue. The national carrier is talking to several more potential partners in Europe, India and China.
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