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Old July 12th, 2007, 12:57 PM   #781
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Five years is enough, says Fernandes

by Surin Murugiah
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Low-cost carrier AirAsia is claiming the right to fly to Singapore as well as some of the other routes serviced by national carrier Malaysian Airline System (MAS).

AirAsia CEO Datuk Tony Fernandes said MAS, which had turned around, did not need protection anymore, and furthermore, both airlines offered different value propositions to passengers.

Fernandes said the two airlines should not be stopped from flying to each other's destinations because the market needed segmentation and choice.

He said it was time aviation here was opened up as it was good for the country, and that it did not make sense spending millions of ringgit on the Malaysia Truly Asia campaign when AirAsia could not fly to Singapore.

"(It) doesn't make sense, the country is net losing out. I think five years of not allowing us on some routes is enough. We want two flights a day to Singapore, how can that possibly affect MAS?

"Our consumers have been paying way too much, and I want to bring some Singaporeans up to KL and use AirAsia X. It's time we did the reverse of what they have been doing to us for many years."

"How can you ask us to be global leaders and go out there when we are not given the full chance to be it? AirAsia never had a business turnaround plan. We never had protection.

"When we took over, we had two planes with very little money, but we built it to something very big," he told reporters yesterday after launching the Citibank AirAsia credit card.

"Really what we are trying to build is that for Malaysia to be the centre of low-cost travel, and I hope we will get the necessary regulatory approvals. I hope once and for all, the MAS thing is buried," he said.

On a Bloomberg report that AirAsia was firming up orders for 25 aircraft, he said: "Yeah, sure I am denying it. Let's be clearer on this. We need more planes, we need more jets, and we are certainly looking into it, but nothing is confirmed."

Meanwhile, Fernandes said AirAsia was keen to have a Citibank co-branded credit card for its Thailand and Indonesian markets as it would have a big impact on bringing people to Malaysia and to market tourism here.

"We can do so many things with one partner and they have had a lot of experience in credit card co-branding with American Airlines and Cathay Pacific and we can learn from that as well," he said.

AirAsia is targeting one million co-branded cards to be in circulation as soon as possible, he said. The Citibank AirAsia credit card will enable cardholders to earn free AirAsia tickets when they use their card for daily purchases.
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Old July 12th, 2007, 01:00 PM   #782
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Citibank AirAsia card launched

One million cardholders targeted

KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia Bhd hopes to sign up one million cardholders for its newly launched Citibank AirAsia credit card.

The target for the co-branded credit card with Citibank Bhd was “achievable” but no time frame was set, said AirAsia group chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes.

“The target is there, we should go as fast as we can to get there. Ultimately, the market wants it and we can promote it. We may also consider Indonesia and Thailand,” he told a media conference after the launch of the credit card yesterday.

Also present was Citibank country officer and chief executive officer Piyush Gupta.

Fernandes said AirAsia needed a regional player to grow the co-branded credit card in other countries. In Indonesia, AirAsia has not launched a co-branded credit card yet.

“My personal choice is to have Citibank (as partner) in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, then we can do so many things,” he added.

The low-cost carrier had previously tied up with RHB Bank for a co-branded credit card but the contract expired last month.

Fernandes dubbed the current co-brand with Citibank as a “five-year marriage” and, it would have “an option to renew” if the union proved successful.

Citibank cards business director Vipin Agrawal said existing customers could choose to convert to the new card.

“We are looking at 150,000 cards in the first year and many of those will be new customers. Currently, the primary redemption for this card is for free travel but, over time, we will provide more options,” he said.

The credit card will enable members to earn one AirAsia point for every RM1 spent on their card for daily purchases. Points collected are evergreen.

These points can be converted into AirAsia vouchers, which can be used to redeem free flights, airport taxes, fuel surcharges, administrative fees and purchase of Xpress Boarding. Cardholders will also be entitled to special privileges and access to low-fare seats during sales.

Meanwhile, on news that Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson would acquire a 20% stake in Fly Asian Xpress Sdn Bhd (FAX), Fernandes said: “Wait and see. I think AirAsia has always surprised everyone. So just wait and see.”

FAX is scheduled to launch long-haul budget airline AirAsia X in September. There would be two or three announcements before that, Fernandes said, but declined to elaborate.

While Fernandes denied a recent report that AirAsia planned to order 25 single-aisle planes from Airbus SAS, he reiterated that it “needs more planes” and was “looking into it but nothing was confirmed.”
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Old July 12th, 2007, 01:05 PM   #783
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AirAsia: Need to open up KL-Singapore air route
By Anna Maria Samsudin
[email protected]

July 12 2007

BUDGET airline AirAsia Bhd has called on the authorities to speed up the liberalisation of Malaysia-Singapore skies to facilitate plans to make Malaysia the low-cost travel hub.

Chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes said airlines should be allowed to fly to any destinations without restrictions from policymakers in order for the industry to grow.




He said looking at favourable progress made by Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under its business turnaround plan, there is no longer a need for the country to subscribe to a "protected" aviation policy.

"I am thrilled that MAS is doing well. It is good for us (AirAsia) as it means that there are less reasons to protect (Malaysia's skies).

"So don't hold us back any more. I think we've done Malaysia proud. We need Singapore. We can't be a hub without Singapore," Fernandes said.

"Let's do what is right for Malaysia and open up (the skies). I have no problems at all having other airlines coming here. The market is a free market and it should benefit consumers," he said after the launch of Citibank-AirAsia credit card in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

On another issue, Fernandes remained tight-lipped on speculation that British billionaire Richard Branson of Virgin Group may take up a 20 per cent stake in AirAsia X.

"Just wait and see. AirAsia X always has surprises for everyone. Just keep coming to our press conferences," he said.

On its partnership with Citibank, AirAsia hopes to see one million of the Citibank-AirAsia credit cards in circulation soon.

Fernandes said AirAsia is keen to introduce the co-branded credit card in its Thailand and Indonesian markets.

"We believe there are so many things that we can do with a partner like Citibank, which has a strong global brand and is one of the largest credit card issuers in the world," he said.
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Old July 12th, 2007, 01:07 PM   #784
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Breaking News..

AirAsia says no interest in Virgin

July 12 2007

REUTERS reports: AirAsia Bhd, Southeast Asia’s biggest low-cost airline, has no interest in seeking a stake in Virgin Atlantic, founder Tony Fernandes said today.

The comment follows news this week that Singapore Airlines, the world’s biggest airline by market value, was considering selling a stake of 49 per cent in Virgin Atlantic that it bought in 1999 for £600 million (US$1.2 billion).

“No, not our scene,” Fernandes said in an e-mailed response to Reuters when asked if AirAsia would consider taking a stake in Virgin Atlantic.

Market speculation frequently links Fernandes, a former Virgin executive who worked at the company as a financial controller for two years, with group founder Richard Branson.

Last month, Fernandes was reported to be in talks with Virgin to sell a stake of 20 per cent in his long-haul budget airline, AirAsia X, but he has declined to comment on the situation, although not ruling it out completely.
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Old July 14th, 2007, 05:17 AM   #785
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Citibank AirAsia card launched
Updated : 12-07-2007
Media : The Star


KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia Bhd hopes to sign up one million cardholders for its newly launched Citibank AirAsia credit card.

The target for the co-branded credit card with Citibank Bhd was achievable but no time frame was set, said AirAsia group chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes.

The target is there, we should go as fast as we can to get there. Ultimately, the market wants it and we can promote it. We may also consider Indonesia and Thailand, he told a media conference after the launch of the credit card yesterday.

Also present was Citibank country officer and chief executive officer Piyush Gupta.

Fernandes said AirAsia needed a regional player to grow the co-branded credit card in other countries. In Indonesia, AirAsia has not launched a co-branded credit card yet.

My personal choice is to have Citibank (as partner) in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, then we can do so many things, he added.

The low-cost carrier had previously tied up with RHB Bank for a co-branded credit card but the contract expired last month.

Fernandes dubbed the current co-brand with Citibank as a ¡§five-year marriage and, it would have ¡§an option to renew if the union proved successful.

Citibank cards business director Vipin Agrawal said existing customers could choose to convert to the new card.

We are looking at 150,000 cards in the first year and many of those will be new customers. Currently, the primary redemption for this card is for free travel but, over time, we will provide more options, he said.

The credit card will enable members to earn one AirAsia point for every RM1 spent on their card for daily purchases. Points collected are evergreen.

These points can be converted into AirAsia vouchers, which can be used to redeem free flights, airport taxes, fuel surcharges, administrative fees and purchase of Xpress Boarding. Cardholders will also be entitled to special privileges and access to low-fare seats during sales.

Meanwhile, on news that Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson would acquire a 20% stake in Fly Asian Xpress Sdn Bhd (FAX), Fernandes said: Wait and see. I think AirAsia has always surprised everyone. So just wait and see.

FAX is scheduled to launch long-haul budget airline AirAsia X in September. There would be two or three announcements before that, Fernandes said, but declined to elaborate.

While Fernandes denied a recent report that AirAsia planned to order 25 single-aisle planes from Airbus SAS, he reiterated that it ¡§needs more planes and was ¡§looking into it but nothing was confirmed.
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Old July 16th, 2007, 01:27 PM   #786
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by jeanloupe

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Old July 17th, 2007, 04:35 AM   #787
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AirAsia plans second daily flight to Shenzhen

By SHARIDAN M.ALI

SEPANG: AirAsia Bhd plans to offer a second daily flight from Kuala Lumpur to Shenzhen in China in the last quarter, given the good response to the route.

Group chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes said AirAsia had applied to the China Aviation Authority for a second landing slot and was waiting for the approval.

“We should know the outcome by September and will provide a second daily flight to Shenzhen soon after,” he told a press conference after the official launch of the Kuala Lumpur-Shenzhen flight yesterday.

The flight to Shenzhen, which is AirAsia's first foray into mainland China, started June 14 and has received good demand.

Fernandes said more than 5,000 seats were filled in the first week after the service started, and that the route had been recording a load factor of close to 90% to date, the highest among its newly-launched routes.

“To date, we have sold more than 30,000 seats for Shenzhen. It presents a tremendous potential for us to tap the vast China market,” he said, adding that plans were under way for AirAsia to secure a second frequency to cater to the high demand for this route.

Yesterday, AirAsia's brand new airbus A320 departed for Shenzhen at 4.25pm on a full load.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy, who officiated at the launch, said the Kuala Lumpur- Shenzhen direct flight would further enhance investment and trade between Malaysia and southern China.

“I was informed that AirAsia is also going to increase its four daily flights to Macau to five times a day.

“This is another clear indication of the strong demand for travel to and from southern China,” he said.

On AirAsia's request for access to fly to Singapore, Chan said that he was aware of the matter but it would take some time as it involved bilateral consensus of Malaysia and Singapore as well as other stakeholders.

“There has been a strong demand with AirAsia and Singapore asking for limited access to operate the specific route.

“However, although the open air policy will be implemented on Jan 1, 2009, we are prepared to discuss limited flights before the deadline,'' he said.

Meanwhile, Fernandes told reporters that AirAsia was only asking for two daily flights to Singapore.
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Old July 17th, 2007, 09:29 AM   #788
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India, Malaysia agree to operate more bilateral flights
17 Jul, 2007, 0242 hrs IST, TNN

Write to Editor
NEW DELHI: Flight connectivity between India and Malaysia is all set to improve with both countries agreeing to enhance bilateral landing rights and allow designation of any number of airlines to utilise these rights. An Indian delegation led by civil aviation secretary Ashok Chawla signed an MoU with Malaysia recently, said a statement on Monday.

The agreement is significant since Malaysia was on collision course with India on bilateral landing rights. Recently, Malaysia had threatened to bar Indian carriers from using its airspace and India was ready to retaliate. However, the flash-off was defused at the eleventh hour and the two countries have liberalised their bilateral pact now.

According to the pact, both the nations have agreed to designate any number of airlines as they wish to operate on the India-Malaysia route. The capacity entitlement, as per the agreement, for the designated airlines of both sides has also been liberalised. The current move would facilitate increase in traffic rights over the next two years.

The revised agreement allows designated airlines of Malaysia to operate any number of services to 18 destinations in India such as Patna, Lucknow, Guwahati, Gaya, Varanasi, Bhubaneswar, Khajuraho, Aurangabad, Goa, Jaipur, Port Blair, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Amritsar, Visakhapatnam, Ahmedabad and Tiruchirapalli.
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Old July 17th, 2007, 01:26 PM   #789
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MAS investing RM200m in system to simplify air travel
By Presenna Nambiar
July 17 2007
BusinessTimes




Quote:
The system, called the Passenger Services System, will allow customers to complete booking, ticketing and check-in transactions from their homes or offices


MALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) is investing RM200 million within the next three years in its Passenger Services System (PSS) to simplify air travel.

The system will allow customers to complete booking, ticketing and check-in transactions from their homes or offices.

The PSS will involve, among others, the introduction of a new check-in system, a new website for online booking and purchase, and service check-in kiosks.

Around 70 per cent of the RM200 million will be used in the first year of the implementation of the system.

MAS will implement the programme with partner Society International Transportation Aviation (Sita).

The national carrier introduced the new check-in system, called Sita Departure Control System (DCS), in Kuala Lumpur International Airport two weeks ago.

MAS' move towards electronic ticketing (e-Ticketing) is on track with the successful system cut over to the new Sita DCS for its 16 domestic stations including KLIA.

The airline has already introduced the new check-in system at Heathrow airport in London and Changi Airport in Singapore. The rest of the international stations are expected to adopt the system by September this year.

The DCS is expected to be more user-friendly and automated, enabling MAS to further enhance its passenger check-in and boarding process.

Passengers will have two check-in options by September this year via the self service check-in kiosks located at the airport or the normal check-in counters.

Online check-ins through the airline's website is expected to be up and running by March 2008.

MAS transition management senior geenral manager Dr Amin Khan said PSS will work as a programme which will have five components and not only e-Ticketing.

"We want something that is part of the business turnaround as well," Amin told reporters at a media briefing in Sepang yesterday..

Sita is providing the technology and application services to MAS, apart from bringing its understanding of best practices for these sort of systems to MAS and blending it together with how MAS wants its product offering to be.
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Old July 18th, 2007, 05:39 AM   #790
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AirAsia in talks for moredirect flights into China
by Gan Yen Kuan
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AirAsia Bhd, which made its foray into China with the launch of the Kuala Lumpur-Shenzhen route yesterday, is in talks with the Ministry of Transport for more direct flights into China.

Its group chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes said the China market presented huge potential, as there were increasing numbers of travellers, particularly from the middle class.

"We are now beginning to develop China (market). We are discussing with the ministry. I think we will look at anywhere within four hours (of flight)," he told reporters at the launch of KL-Shenzhen's maiden flight here yesterday.

AirAsia's KL-Shenzhen flight departs from Kuala Lumpur to Shenzhen at 16:25 daily, while departing from Shenzhen to Kuala Lumpur at 20:45 daily.

The government has also given AirAsia the rights to fly to Shenzhen from Kota Kinabalu and the carrier is waiting for the clearance from the Chinese authorities.

Shenzhen is a fast-growing economic zone in Southern China with 15 million population. Fernandes said the KL-Shenzhen route would facilitate more travellers from the Pearl Delta region to tap into AirAsia's extensive network in Southeast Asia and vice-versa.

He said the KL-Shenzhen route was the "best route ever" since the airline began operations about six years ago, as more than 5,000 seats were snapped up in the first week after the tickets were open for sale on June 14.

He added that 90% of the total seats available in July had been sold, while the take-up of seats in September was approaching 75%.

"This is our fastest selling route. To date, we have sold more than 30,000 seats for Shenzhen and we are even convinced that our first foray entry to China presents tremendous potential for us to tap into this exciting vast market," he said.

Fernandes said AirAsia was also applying for a second daily flight to Shenzhen from Kuala Lumpur and expected to get the second frequency as early as September.
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Old July 18th, 2007, 06:38 AM   #791
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new destinies towards Latin America or the United States ?
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Old July 18th, 2007, 08:51 AM   #792
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MAS migrating to new RM200m e-ticketing system
17-07-2007
Media : The Edge


Come September, Malaysia Airlines (MAS) will migrate to a fully electronic ticketing system for all its flights, a move that will cost the national carrier RM200 million over the next three years.

The shift towards a full e-ticketing system will see the airline doing away with conventional paper tickets, translating into a cost reduction of up to RM70 million per year for MAS.

"We have already been trying out e-ticketing on our domestic routes as well as flights to Singapore. From tomorrow, passengers to Hong Kong will be able to use our e-tickets and later this month to Taipei," said MAS senior general manager for Transition Management Amin Khan at a media briefing in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) here yesterday.

Amin said the airline's new check-in system has also been introduced at Heathrow Airport in London, with the rest of the international destinations to be fully compliant with the airline's e-ticketing system by September.

The new system, called Departure Control System (DCS), replaces MAS' previous check-in system that has been in use for 20 years. The DCS was developed in collaboration with Société Internationale de Télécommunication Aéronautique (SITA).

Amin said 70% of the RM200 million overall investment will be utilised in the first year to upgrade check-in facilities to comply with the new system. "By September this year, passengers will have two check-in options."

The migration to e-ticketing is in line with new rules set by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which requires airlines around the world to scrap the use of paper tickets by the end of 2007.

The new ticketing system will also involve a revamp of Malaysia Airlines website to enable travelers to search for the cheapest fare in any given month, reserve seats, indicate meal preferences and make itinerary changes, among others.

Check-in kiosks located at the KLIA are currently being used for Dutch airline KLM. MAS expects to have its own check-in kiosks in place by the third quarter of the year.
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Old July 18th, 2007, 10:23 AM   #793
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Yea I hope Air Asia will launch daily nonstop Kuala Lumpur- Caracas or Kuala Lumpur - Bogota soon hehehe

Last edited by Skyprince; July 20th, 2007 at 12:12 PM.
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Old July 18th, 2007, 10:26 PM   #794
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyprince View Post
Yea I hope Air Asia will launch daily nonstop Kuala Lumpur- Caracas or Kuala Lumpur - Bogota soon : :
fUNNY
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Old July 19th, 2007, 09:31 PM   #795
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ah! Monterrey View Post
fUNNY
or... double daily Kuala Lumpur- Monterrey flights
then Kuala Lumpur - Cancun nonstop

Last edited by Skyprince; July 20th, 2007 at 12:07 PM.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 10:28 PM   #796
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skyprince, dont act stupid because we all know you're smart enough to be sent by the government to Japan for tertiary education. Be more courteous to him. Not everyone get your very funny jokes...

it's annoying

Last edited by Arkdriver; July 19th, 2007 at 10:33 PM.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 06:09 AM   #797
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MAS Systemwide On-time Performance Improves To 80.78 Per Cent
July 20, 2007 01:30 AM

KUALA LUMPUR, July 20 (Bernama) -- Malaysia Airlines' systemwide on-time performance improved to 80.78 per cent as at 5pm Thursday, its managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Idris Jala said.

Referring to flight delays earlier this month especially to Australia, he said the significant improvement was achieved as all aircraft were now flying apart from the extra flight to Melbourne last Monday.

He said improved weather conditions this week also contributed to the national carrier's on-time performance.

"Our staff at KLIA are now more familiar with the new SITA Departure Control System for airport operations since its introduction on July 2 this year, and this also expedited the check-in and departure formalities of our customers," he said in a statement here Thursday.

Wednesday, Idris dismissed speculation that the recent flight delays were due to sabotage by its staff, but were due to technical issues, bad weather and the introduction of the passenger service system (PSS).

Idris was responding to queries from Bernama over increasing complaints by passengers on flight delays.

Among the notable flight disruptions due to bad weather conditions were the Kuala Lumpur/Melbourne flight on July 10 that was diverted to Adelaide, and a Kuala Lumpur/Penang flight on the same day that was diverted to Langkawi.

Idris said despite the earlier flight retiming and missed connections that had now been addressed, Malaysia Airlines' flights to Australia and New Zealand were much in demand among passengers in this region.

Idris said passengers without confirmed reservations and those with open air tickets to Australian cities served by the national carrier still turned up at KLIA to register themselves on standby for travel to Australia and New Zealand.

"Malaysia Airlines is rendering all possible assistance to these passengers by accepting their standby status and offering them seats once they become available when passengers with confirmed bookings do not show up for their flights," he said.

-- BERNAMA
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Old July 20th, 2007, 11:54 AM   #798
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I am just trying to be friendly to Ah Monterrey by citing some Mexican cities that I know

I hope Air Asia X will make a revolution and be able to launch flights from Malaysia to many interesting and bizarre places without stopover , especially now many aircrafts can travel more than 15,000 km non-stop

Last edited by Skyprince; July 20th, 2007 at 12:00 PM.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 09:57 PM   #799
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but not their a330. a330 has limits. but abang tony stated that they might be interested in the new a350 xwb. launch customer will only get it in 2013 the earliest. we wont see X with other type of sky bus until at least 2013....
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Old July 20th, 2007, 10:06 PM   #800
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But no problem lah.. Air Asia already plan some " bizarre routes" like KL- Tianjin, KL- Hangzhou etc. you might be surprised to see the proposed route map , AMAZING , as for Central America I think AK can make like short transit in Sharjah or any points in Europe-- why not ? Kan MALAYSIA BOLEH !
Malaysian like Tony can do everything !
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