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Old August 22nd, 2007, 05:53 AM   #841
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AirAsia bags Human Capital Development award
by Lim Siew May, 21 Aug 2007 2:31 PM


KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia Academy was awarded the "Airline Human Capital Development Strategy Award" at the 2007 Frost & Sullivan Industrial Technologies Awards in Singapore last Friday.

The award was presented to the low-cost carrier in recognition of its achievement in improving its human capital development and training quality in the airline industry. The academy started operations in April 2005.

"The airline has consistently shown innovation in competitive strategies to stay ahead in this challenging market to emerge as the leading contender for this award," it said in a statement.

Airlines in the competing category were analysed in terms of their strategy innovation on how they responded to the market dynamics. Market penetration of the airlines was tracked along with their market share growth, while their investment strategies were also analysed to determine their growth rates in the market.

"Over the years, AirAsia has grown from strength to strength and has reshaped the airline industry in Asia," said Frost & Sullivan’s consultant for aerospace and defence practice Mohamed Haris Izmee.

"The airline has shown remarkable achievements through its people by providing excellent human capital, developments that led to the company’s innovative strategies in becoming one of the world’s renowned airlines," he added.

AirAsia group chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes said it was an honour to be recognised for its efforts and dedication to raise the standards of training and development of its pilots and also validated its aggressive pursuance in competitive strategies.

"Looking back, the AirAsia Academy was built when AirAsia had a humble fleet of seven aircraft and yet through foresight, we are able to envisage the growth of the company despite the challenging market dynamics and competition posed by full-service carriers," he said.

Fernandes said going into its sixth year, the company had 57 aircraft currently and soon it would be increased to 150.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 03:09 PM   #842
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AirAsia launches three new Hong Kong routes

HONG KONG, Aug 23, 2007 (AFP) - Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia will launch new services to Hong Kong later this year, a spokesman said Thursday, the latest sign that the city's luring of cheaper airlines was paying dividends.

AirAsia is planning to start daily flights from Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok to Hong Kong in December in response to demand and as part of their Asian expansion plans, spokeswoman Janet Leow told AFP.

AirAsia's chief executive Tony Fernandes added the carrier would also launch new daily routes from the Malaysian city Kota Kinabalu, according to a report in the South China Morning Post, but the spokeswoman was unable to confirm the route.

Fernandes added that the move was a long-held ambition for the airline, which entered the greater Chinese market with flights to Macau and Shenzhen, but had previously resisted because of Hong Kong's high landing prices.

He said improved incentives from the airport had tipped the balance in favour of offering the new service, and hinted their may be more routes in the future.

"It is a good start in response to the good gesture from the Hong Kong government," Fernandes said.

A Hong Kong airport authority spokesman told AFP the move followed a new package announced last year to target small carriers, which sees a 75 percent rebate in landing charges during the first six months to new destinations and lower parking rates.

Fernandes praised the discount and said one-way tickets to Bangkok would start at 300 Hong Kong dollars (38 US dollars) not including taxes, and 400 dollars to Kuala Lumpur.

Fernandes also told the Wall Street Journal that AirAsia was in talks with Airbus to buy a further 25 A320 jetliners, in a deal which could be worth 1.63 billion US dollars, to meet its expanding network's demands.

AirAsia earlier this month unveiled a new deal with Richard Branson's Virgin Airlines to develop AirAsia X, the long-haul budget carrier which hopes to build a network of long-haul flights across Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
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Old August 29th, 2007, 06:59 AM   #843
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Malaysia Airlines posts Q2 net profit of RM113 million

27 Aug, 2007
Malaysia Airlines posts Q2 net profit of RM113 million

Subang (27 August 2007): Malaysia Airlines reported a net profit of RM113 million for the second quarter ended 30 June 2007, improving its performance by RM290 million from RM177 million in losses a year earlier.

This marks the airline’s 4th successive quarter of net profit since the launch of its Business Turnaround Plan (BTP) in February 2006, and tracks well for Malaysia Airlines to achieve its stretch profit target of RM300 to RM700 million this year.

Malaysia Airlines made a huge improvement with sales increasing 17% to RM3.55 billion from RM3.03 billion a year ago. Revenues rose RM519 million, with passenger revenue increasing 20% to RM2.5 billion. Yield, the average fare per passenger per kilometer flown grew 13%, while seats filled or seat factor rose 1.2 percentage points to 70%.

This enabled Malaysia Airlines to post an operating profit of RM48 million (before finance costs and exceptional items) from losses of RM163 million previously.

Both yield and seat factor grew as the airline reaped the benefits of its revenue and sales enhancement initiatives which were implemented in January this year.

International routes turned a profit of RM7 million (before finance costs and exceptional items) compared to losses of RM163 million a year ago while domestic operations made RM41 million (before finance costs and exceptional items).

Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Idris Jala said, “We made good progress, turning an operating profit of RM48 million in quarter 2 which traditionally has been the airlines’ worst financial period. But to sustain the airline’s profitability, we need to make radical changes. Malaysia Airlines must transform into a 5-star airline with LCC cost.

“To achieve this goal, we must change – totally. Our services have to be top-class. Customer experience at all touch-points must be excellent. What we offer our customers must be different and compelling. Today, we have 312 initiatives to improve customer experience under our customer value proposition program and we have recently regained the World’s Best Cabin Staff Award. In addition, under our Malaysian Hospitality or MH program, we aim to treat passengers as guests in our homes.

“We must be relentless in cutting costs, and the necessary structural changes will take place in due time. We must grow new businesses. There is strong potential in our Engineering & Maintenance (E&M) division, and Firefly. Prospects for E&M are bright as the robust demand in regional air travel, and the limited expertise available, will spur the demand for our services. Firefly has obtained Government approvals to fly from Johor Baru and Kota Kinabalu, in addition to Penang and Subang. We have also submitted requests to fly to more local and regional routes.”

The E&M division is currently doing more than 30% third party maintenance, repair and overhaul work. By 2010, 50% of the business is expected to be third party work.

For the first-half ended 30 June 2007, Malaysia Airlines reported a net profit of RM246 million, a substantial improvement over its RM480 million in losses previously. Sales rose 19% to RM7.19 billion from RM6.05 billion, with passenger revenue increasing 21%. Yield increased 14%, while seat factor rose 2 percentage points to 70.5%. In recognition of the excellent performance in the first-half of the year, Malaysia Airlines recently rewarded all staff with an interim half month bonus.

Looking forward, Jala said, "I am upbeat about the second half of the year. It has been traditionally better as air travel peaks during this period. In addition, the Omega and Alpha projects (revenue and sales enhancement initiatives) will bear more fruit from July onwards. I am asking my team to go for record profits this year. We want 2007 to be the year where we make the highest profits in our corporate history. I have confidence in the MAS people, we are seeing the results and above all, we know what it takes to win.”


Issued by:
Media Relations, Communications Division
Malaysia Airlines, Subang
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Old August 29th, 2007, 12:14 PM   #844
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AirAsia launches JB-Macau, JB-Palembang flights

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JOHOR BAHRU: AirAsia Bhd sets the pace for greater connectivity for the Iskandar Development Region (IDR) by launching direct flights to Macau and Palembang from the Senai International Airport via its first Airbus 320 here yesterday.

“Macau today is one of the hottest and most desired destinations where we have recorded significant growth, and consistently enjoyed high loads,” said its group chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes in a statement yesterday.

“In view of the growing demand for accessibility, we were encouraged to introduce direct flights from Johor to Macau to attract local visitors from Macau and those entering Macau to see the many facets of Malaysia or even cross over to Singapore,” he said.

He added that with Macau’s strategic position as a gaming and entertainment centre in Asia, the airline was confident that its new routes would perform well.

Fernandes said AirAsia also saw an untapped opportunity for low-fare travel to Palembang. “This route is able to serve the huge labour workforce working in Malaysia and Singapore.”

Meanwhile, AirAsia commemorated the launching of its new routes with an official ceremony to welcome the 150 passengers onboard its AK611 from Macau witnessed by Johor Chief Minister Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman.

AirAsia commenced daily flights from Johor Bahru to Macau with fares starting from RM69.90, while its three flights per week to Palembang are priced from RM9.90.

With the new routes, its Johor hub serves a total of 84 weekly flights to Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Miri, Sibu, Tawau, Sandakan, Macau and Palembang.

The airline is scheduled to fly daily to Jakarta in September from the Johor hub.
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Old August 30th, 2007, 08:22 AM   #845
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^ gud news.. airasia shud introduce more destinations from JB such as Bali, Phuket, Hong Kong, and Bangkok.. to Kuala Trengganu and Kota Bharu domestically as well.
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Old August 30th, 2007, 03:16 PM   #846
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AirAsia to make Senai airport its key hub

August 29 2007

MALAYSIA'S low cost carrier AirAsia will turn Senai International Airport, which is within the Iskandar Development Region (IDR), into its key hub servicing regional and China destinations.

AirAsia group chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes said yesterday that as the company grows its business in Senai and adds more routes to the airport, Johor and its tourism industry could expect more tourists.

“The company is planning to add more routes in Senai, for example Johor Baru-Jakarta, Johor Baru-Bangkok and Johor Baru-Hong Kong. We have also received proposals to start Johor Baru-Manado and Johor Baru-Medan.

“We (AirAsia) see huge potential in Senai. I see plans for IDR, big business in IDR, (and) we are very excited,” he said after receiving AirAsia passengers arriving on the inaugural Johor Baru-Macau and Johor Baru-Palembang flights at Senai.

Pointing out that last year AirAsia brought 700,000 passengers into Senai, he expects this number to touch one million this year.

Also present were Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, state executive councillor for tourism Freddie Long and AirAsia deputy group chief executive officer Datuk Kamaruddin Meranun.

Fernandes said AirAsia’s move to make Senai its key hub shows the company’s commitment in being an active player in the IDR.

“We are not waiting for IDR to become a success. We have full confidence in the project and we are planting the seeds now,” he added.

On the Johor Baru-Macau route, he said the flight has a “phenomenal"

85 per cent load factor, as airlines need about 18 months to develop routes.

“We saw a lot of Chinese tourists on the flight, so the Johor Baru-Macau route could also be a gateway for people from Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou,” he added.

He disclosed that both routes, to Macau and Palembang, will be serviced by AirAsia’s newly-acquired Airbus A320. — Bernama
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Old August 31st, 2007, 02:42 PM   #847
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August 31, 2007 15:12 PM

AirAsia Inks Pact To Set Up Low-cost Airline In Vietnam


KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 31 (Bernama) -- Malaysian low- cost airline AirAsia today signed a deal with Vietnam's state-owned corporation, Shipbuilding Industry Group (Vinashin), to establish a new frills-free carrier to be known as Vina AirAsia in Vietnam expected to be operational in July next year.

The letter of intent for the joint venture with the initial investment of US$30 million was signed by AirAsia group chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Tony Fernandes and Vinashin's group chairman and CEO Pham Thanh Binh.

The signing was witnessed by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung who is here to join in Malaysia's 50th independence celebrations.

"With 84 million people in Vietnam and the fact that the country is close to China which has a population of more than a billion, the potential is huge," Fernandes told reporters later.

He said AirAsia, which is Southeast Asia's largest budget airline, would have a 30 per cent stake in the joint venture against Vinashin's 70 per cent.

Fernandes said AirAsia had to settle for the 30 per cent amount as Vietnamese regulations only allowed single foreign ownership of not more that 30 per cent.

He said Vina AirAsia, which will be the third affiliate airlines of AirAsia in the region after Thai AirAsia and AirAsia Indonesia, would have a fleet of nine aircraft over the next two years.

Vina AirAsia was still in the process of securing governmental and regulatory approvals to facilitate its operations, he said.

Fernandes further said that the new carrier would have a blue logo instead of the more familiar red.

"It's the Vinashin group's corporate colour. It'll be the first time that we'll be having a blue logo," he said.

Vinashin is the largest shipbuilding company in Vietnam with more than 200 subsidiaries and 10 joint venture companies. Besides ship building, shipping, heavy industries and construction, it has been expanding its operations into other areas such as investment, financing and property development.

-- BERNAMA
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Old September 1st, 2007, 05:49 AM   #848
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Vina AirAsia to start flying July 2008
By Zaidi Isham Ismail
September 1 2007


Quote:
The budget airline will be headquartered in Hanoi and will initially operate nine aircraft over the next two years, says AirAsia group chief executive officer
VINA AirAsia, a newly set-up joint-venture budget airline between AirAsia Bhd and state-owned Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group (Vinashin), will start operations by July 2008 to help spur tourism activities in the region as well as the Asian continent.

Vina AirAsia has a capital of US$30 million (RM105 million), of which AirAsia owns 30 per cent and Vinashin, the remaining 70 per cent. Vina AirAsia is also AirAsia's third affiliate low-cost-carrier in the region after Thai AirAsia and Indonesia AirAsia.

AirAsia group chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes said Vietnam's third airline will be headquartered in Hanoi and will initially operate a fleet of nine aircraft over the next two years after getting the regulatory approvals from the Vietnamese authorities next month.

"We are creating a new market in Vietnam where the business potential is enormous due to its 84 million population and location near to China's over one billion people.

"Furthermore, Vietnam's tourism industry is growing, ... visitors travel to see the beautiful country which has beautiful people, culture, food and music, and the common man in Vietnam who has never flown can now fly outside the country," Fernandes said in Kuala Lumpur yesterday after inking the deal with Vinashin's group chairman and chief executive officer Pham Thanh Binh.

Under the joint venture, AirAsia will help secure the licence to operate Vina AirAsia, which will serve both domestic, regional and international routes as well as provide technical, marketing, pilot and crew training, franchising and branding skills, management and information technology.

Fernandes said under Vietnamese laws, AirAsia cannot increase its 30 per cent stake because a foreign shareholder can only own up to 49 per cent, of which a single company can only own a maximum of 30 per cent.

Meanwhile, Vina AirAsia will break from tradition to don the colour blue instead of AirAsia's striking red corporate colour to reflect Vinashin's seafaring activities.

Fernandes said AirAsia is also planning two more joint ventures in other countries in the region.

He also dismissed talks that Thai AirAsia is making losses due to problems in the country's south and the turbulent political situation but expects the volatile situation to return to normal after the general elections on September 23.

"We have only been there (Thailand) for two years and an airline has to operate at least seven years before it can make a profit. We are there for the long run," said Fernandes.

Vinashin is Vietnam's largest shipbuilder and the world's 14th largest with over 200 subsidiaries, employing 70,00 workers, and 10 other joint venture companies and representative offices in seven countries.
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Old September 1st, 2007, 06:27 AM   #849
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Malaysia's AirAsia looks to set up Vietnam airline
Updated : 31-08-2007
Media : Reuters
via www.biznewsdb.com

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Malaysian budget airline AirAsia Bhd (AIRA.KL: Quote, Profile , Research) plans to set up a joint venture in Vietnam in the hope of running domestic operations there and using the country as a regional hub, the carrier said on Friday.

AirAsia signed a letter of intent with state-run Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group to look at forming at a new Vietnamese airline, with AirAsia to take a minority stake.

AirAsia currently flies to only one Vietnamese destination, Hanoi. An AirAsia spokesman said the airline would look to fly to many more destinations inside the country of 84 million people if the two partners decided to go ahead with the proposed venture.

Airasia already has joint-venture operations flying domestic routes in Thailand and Indonesia.

Under the letter of intent, which expires at end-2007, the new airline would be called Vina Airasia and the Vietnamese partner would help secure government approvals and licences.
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Old September 1st, 2007, 09:40 AM   #850
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssangyongs View Post
... i often read in the news about rig workers especially Filipinos often kidnapped by the rebels.
just tell the kidnappers that u rn't from the phillipines
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Old September 1st, 2007, 08:16 PM   #851
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Why they give up their identity color? I'm not in favor with this move. Air Asia supposedly maintain their identity and should forgo Vinashin if they want the color to be blue. In airline industry, Air Asia has better brand awareness than Vinashin.
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 02:40 PM   #852
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my air asisa flight from KL LCCT to Siem Reap (Cambodia) ... i guess its one of the best locations for a Low Cost Carrier, all destinations are so close together ... =)
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Old September 3rd, 2007, 11:29 AM   #853
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Schwerdner, was your KL-Siem Reap flight full ?

The problem with KL's LCCt is the distance from downtown KL ( 90 km ) !!
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Old September 3rd, 2007, 11:46 AM   #854
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AirAsia sees continued growth in the horizon

By C. S. Tan

AirAsia Bhd, which has reported record earnings, expects growth in its performance to continue as it adds new routes, increases frequencies on existing routes and rolls out fuel-efficient new planes.

“We now have the youngest fleet in Asia,” said CEO Datuk Tony Fernandes, referring to the airline's all-Airbus fleet.

In earlier years, the airline had leased older aircraft that consumed more fuel and required more maintenance. Its all-new Airbus fleet has reduced operating costs and is generating a lot of cash flow for the group, he told StarBiz on Saturday.

Fernandes pointed out the company has about RM1bil in cash and deposits for aircraft purchases, and that's equivalent to eight months with zero revenue.

AirAsia had a strong balance sheet and the cash position would continue to strengthen, he added.

“When we announced our fleet purchase of Airbus, people were bewildered, whether we could fill the planes. But now, we're short of planes,” he said. AirAsia had placed an order for 150 planes with options for 50 more.

“We're going to exercise the options for 25, and increase the options back to 50,” he said.

He pointed as an example the “huge success” of the route to China, which is going to be expanded. “Our new KL-Shenzhen route has a 95% load factor, and we're going to put in a second flight (each day),” he added. AirAsia will also introduce flights to Shenzhen from Kota Kinabalu and Johor Baru, in addition to planning new routes to other southern Chinese cities like Guangzhou, Guilin and Kunming.

The company announced on Thursday a record operating profit of RM185mil for its fourth quarter ended June 30, 2007, which is 206% higher than previous corresponding period. Fernandes attributed three factors for this surge in performance namely, capacity growth, a younger fleet and maturity in its routes.

“We invested a fortune in developing new routes over the last five years. Now, we are reaping the benefits,” he said.

AirAsia operated with an average of 28.6 planes in its 2007 financial year (FY) compared with an average of 21.8 in FY06. It would deploy an average of 41 planes in FY08.

As routes mature and new planes join its fleet, AirAsia increased the frequencies of its flights, offering customers more choice.

“Three years ago, we flew to Kota Kinabalu four times a day, we fly 10 times a day there now. We had one flight a day to Bangkok three years ago, now, we fly six times a day,” he said.
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Old September 3rd, 2007, 07:19 PM   #855
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyprince View Post
Schwerdner, was your KL-Siem Reap flight full ?

The problem with KL's LCCt is the distance from downtown KL ( 90 km ) !!
Nope ... the flights wasnt full, maybe 75% ... aslong the aircraft isnt full u can njoy it to choose ur favorite seat hehe ... And yes, the distance is really long ... how is the transportition to LCCT from KL? I know a train from KL to KUL, but the train just ride u to the International Airport, i think there are shuttle bus from KUL to LCCT, there are also shuttle bus from KL to KUL nad LCCT? But maybe the KUL-guys extend the train from Terminal 1 to the Sattelite-terminal 2 of KUL until to LCCT ... is it planed or maybe is it there?
I´d used a Taxi from Subang Jaya to LCCT, so it was easy to get there. And from LCCT to city i was picked up by a friend.

But unfortunately has Air Asia no Destinations to Asia from Singapore Airport, only to BKK from Singapore. ... so i need to ride to KL on december if i wanna fly to vietnam ... aaaeewwwwww

Last edited by M.Schwerdtner; September 3rd, 2007 at 07:31 PM.
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Old September 4th, 2007, 08:18 AM   #856
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MAS Is Top 7th Brand In Malaysia
September 03, 2007 21:13 PM


KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 3 (Bernama) -- Malaysia Airlines (MAS) was recently named the country's top seventh brand in Asia's Top 1000 Brands Survey 2007 for Malaysia.

The annual survey was conducted by media, advertising and marketing publication Media magazine, regional brand consultancy Asia Integrated Media Limited and global market research company, Synovate, MAS said in a statement today.

The survey covered nine markets including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, India and Indonesia.

-- BERNAMA
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Old September 5th, 2007, 07:54 PM   #857
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M.Schwerdtner View Post
Nope ... the flights wasnt full, maybe 75% ... aslong the aircraft isnt full u can njoy it to choose ur favorite seat hehe ... And yes, the distance is really long ... how is the transportition to LCCT from KL? I know a train from KL to KUL, but the train just ride u to the International Airport, i think there are shuttle bus from KUL to LCCT, there are also shuttle bus from KL to KUL nad LCCT? But maybe the KUL-guys extend the train from Terminal 1 to the Sattelite-terminal 2 of KUL until to LCCT ... is it planed or maybe is it there?
I´d used a Taxi from Subang Jaya to LCCT, so it was easy to get there. And from LCCT to city i was picked up by a friend.

But unfortunately has Air Asia no Destinations to Asia from Singapore Airport, only to BKK from Singapore. ... so i need to ride to KL on december if i wanna fly to vietnam ... aaaeewwwwww
Wow 75% thats cool. MH also operates KUL--Siem Reap ( but I think not on daily basis ). So I have always thought it's around 50%

Actually there is a bus service ( operated by Skybus ) from KL Sentral to LCCT. It takes 1 hr 15 minutes and costs only 9 ringgit. Sometimes it seems interesting that you're travelling 90 km south to Sepang LCCT and then catching a 250 km-flight north to Penang

Do you know what's one of the main aims of Air Asia ? That's to make KL as the No.1 hub in Southeast Asia !
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Old September 6th, 2007, 07:00 AM   #858
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MASkargo to set up freight hub in Tashkent
September 6 2007


Quote:
The air freight firm is finalising talks with Air Uzbekistan, which will act as MASkargo's ground handler there as well as help to tap the fast-growing cargo business in the Commonwealth of Independent States
MALAYSIA Airlines' (MAS) air freight unit, Malaysia Airlines Cargo Sdn Bhd (MASkargo), is establishing a freight hub in Tashkent, Uzbekistan's capital, this month to tap the fast-growing cargo business in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

It is understood that the hub will take over functions of its existing Dubai hub. However, it will maintain its other hubs in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Melbourne and Shanghai.

MASkargo has already started a twice-weekly freighter service to Tashkent from July 1 this year.

"We are finalising talks with Air Uzbekistan, which will act as our ground handler there. Air Uzbekistan will assist us in developing the market in the CIS," MASkargo newly-appointed managing director Shahari Sulaiman said on the sidelines of Air Freight Asia 2007 in Hong Kong on Tuesday.

Dubbed "The Silk Road", MASkargo will fly from Shanghai to Tashkent and onwards to Amsterdam.
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Old September 6th, 2007, 07:01 AM   #859
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Boeing recommends 777Fs
From Kang Siew Li
September 6 2007
BusinessTimes




Quote:
Though suggesting that the new 777 freighters would be ideal replacement for 747-200s and MD-11s, the aircraft maker says it is not in talks with MASkargo or Transmile
HONG KONG: Aircraft maker Boeing Co said the new 777 freighters (777F) would be an ideal replacement for both Malaysia Airlines Cargo Sdn Bhd's (MASkargo) 747-200 freighters and Transmile Group Bhd's MD-11 freighters.

Launched in May 2005, the 777F has a revenue payload capability of 104 tonnes and is capable of flying 9,045km, or nine flight hours. It has a catalogue price of US$280 million (RM982.8 million).

"We would suggest that MASkargo replace its 747-200 classic freighters with the 777Fs, which will complement its existing 747-400 freighter fleet," Boeing regional director of marketing (commercial airplanes) James R. Edgar told a news conference on the sidelines of the Asian Aerospace International Expo and Congress 2007 here on Tuesday.

MASkargo currently wet-leased four 747-200Fs from Air Atlanta and dry-leased two 747-400Fs from Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd. However, the lease on the 747-200Fs is due to expire in the second half of next year.

Edgar said the 777Fs would also be a good replacement for the MD-11 freighters, which have ceased production but remain popular with express carriers.

Transmile has been looking to buy used MD-11s to add to its existing four since last year, but cannot find any available for sale. Boeing closed the MD-11 production line in 2001.

"However, we are not currently in talks with MASkargo or Transmile over the 777Fs," said Edgar.

In his first media briefing since he became MASkargo managing director on September 1, Shahari Sulaiman said the company has no plans to expand its fleet, but will concentrate on its bottom line.

"For the next two to three years, there is not much capacity available at the right price if you talk about new aircraft purchase. Once we can develop capacity at the right cost, then we will go for expansion," he said at a separate press conference.

"(For now,) we will focus more on (maximising) profits than on expansion or market share," he added.

MASkargo warned in July this year that its revenue and profit for 2007 would be lower than last year due to an overall slowing in the world air cargo market and the network consolidation of parent Malaysia Airlines' (MAS) services.

Last year, it posted a record net profit of RM179.6 million on revenue of RM2.8 billion.

"The environment for air freight is changing drastically. There are a lot of challenges. In the next two to five years, we see an influx of capacity into the world air cargo.

"There is also the issue of the market which is not growing at a balance pace," said Shahari.

"In addition, you have integrators (express carriers) that are adding a lot of capacity into the market. This will certainly have an impact on the traditional air cargo operators on how they do business," he added.

He said the liberalisation of air cargo services in Asean would also take place soon.

"We see that as an opportunity to enter into markets which we are not strong in. We are conducting a study, still preliminary, on what's the best fleet to serve these markets - either narrow-body or mid-range freighters.

"We are trying to tie up this study with the aspirations of the Government to develop Penang as the northern corridor logistics hub. If anything is going to happen, it will be sometime next year," said Shahari.

Meanwhile, Boeing's Edgar said the world air cargo traffic is predicted to grow at between 4 and 5 per cent this year, from 3.8 per cent in 2006.

"For the long term, the market is expected to grow at 6 per cent. However, not all of the major air cargo operators will experience that growth.

"Part of the reason is that a number of new airlines have entered the market particularly China and they are in the fastest growing market," he added.

Today, Boeing freighters of all models comprise 93 per cent of the total worldwide freighter lift.
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Old September 8th, 2007, 05:12 AM   #860
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MAS to increase cargo flights to HK
From Kang Siew Li
September 8 2007


HONG KONG: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) plans to increase the frequency of its dedicated freighter service between Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong from once a week to as many as thrice weekly from January next year.

"The frequency of flights to be operated will depend on the demand of the market. If the demand is good, then we will inject more capacity into the market," Malaysia Airlines Cargo Sdn Bhd (MASkargo) senior manager of corporate affairs, Rosli Md Yasin, told Malaysian reporters attending the Asian Aerospace International Expo and Congress 2007 here yesterday.

MAS operates 21 passenger flights per week using a fleet of 747-400, 777 and A330 and one freighter service per week using a 747-200 freighter between Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong.

Rosli said Asia including Hong Kong is a major contributor to MASkargo's annual revenue.

"Our operations in Hong Kong are well-established and will remain as one of our important points," he added.

MAS cargo manager for Hong Kong, Pip Tse Chung Chiu, said no investment is needed as the airline's existing infrastructure and manpower in Hong Kong will be able to support the additional freighter services.

MAS expects its air cargo unit to handle three to five per cent more cargo in Hong Kong this year. The traditional peak traffic volume starts this month and continues through mid-December, with the pre-Christmas season.

"We handle an average of 1,100 tonnes of cargo per month, using both dedicated freighter aircraft and the belly-holds in passenger aircraft. Our load factor is 95 per cent from Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur, thus the call for additional freighter services," said Tse.

He said 85 per cent of the cargo handled is transshipment cargo coming from China and destined for points other than Hong Kong and the remaining 15 per cent is local cargo.

On China's threat to Hong Kong's air cargo hub status, Tse said they would become real in four years.

"The threat is there, especially from international airports in southern China like Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Macau. But why not the next four years is because the Chinese market need some time to mature," said Tse.

"For now the Hong Kong International Airport has an advantage over the Chinese airports because its management and infrastructure are more mature than the newly-developed airports in China. About 87 airlines fly into Hong Kong airport, thus offering more connectivity.

"Hong Kong's custom regulations for international trade are also simpler and clear unlike in Shenzhen and Guangzhou. For example, custom declaration in Hong Kong for export shipments takes one to two hours to be completed prior to departure as opposed to 24 hours in China," he added.
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