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Old November 1st, 2007, 06:52 AM   #921
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AirAsia wins Airline of the Year award
From Anna Maria Samsudin
Published: 2007/10/31


The award exemplifies the airline's endeavour in rising up against the big incumbent players, says AirAsia's chief executive officer

SINGAPORE: Malaysian budget airline AirAsia was named the winner of the prestigious Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (Capa) Airline of the Year Award for 2007 here last night.

AirAsia was chosen based on its outstanding performance and robust growth, making it one of the leading and largest carriers in the region.

Chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Tony Fernandes, who received the award before 300 distinguished members of the aviation community, said the award serves as a testament to AirAsia's resilience, commitment and discipline to deliver what it knows best - "for everyone to fly".

He said the award also exemplifies the airline's endeavour in rising up against the big incumbent players.

"We never underestimate the strength of our passion and spirit, and our 5,000 staff's concerted and relentless efforts in delivering their best and will continue to do so.

"Who would have known a small airline from Malaysia, which started out with RM40 million debt, would have such an impact on the aviation landscape today.

"However, we are more sentient than ever that there is much work to do from now onwards. We know where we are heading and with AirAsia X, our enterprising venture ever, it is time to spread our wings from Asia to beyond," he said.

Capa executive chairman Peter Harbison said AirAsia is poised to become the biggest airline in the region in the next decade, commanding a highly influential position in the regional aviation.

On the course of this advance, he said the airline has managed to change the shape of Asian aviation and strongly influence the government's attitude towards regulatory reform.

AirAsia serves over 80 routes in the region and has carried 40 million passengers.

Other Capa awards it has won in the past are Joint-Winner for Airline of the Year Award 2003, Asia Pacific Low-Cost Airline of the Year 2004 and Asia-Pacific Aviation Executive of the Year 2005, which was awarded to Fernandes.

The gala awards ceremony was held as part of this year's fourth annual Aviation Outlook Summit, showcasing airline and airport chief executive officers from around Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions.

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Old November 1st, 2007, 07:31 AM   #922
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AirAsia X gets flight clearance
Thursday November 1, 2007
By B.K. SIDHU


Quote:
It will fly to Gold Coast tomorrow after getting nod from Australia
PETALING JAYA: It is all systems go for AirAsia X’s inaugural flight to Gold Coast tomorrow now that the airline has obtained the much awaited final approval.

The nod to fly Down Under, including an international licence, came from the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) early yesterday, two days ahead of the maiden flight.

Getting the clearance from Australia had not been easy for AirAsia X as the country has very high safety and operational standards for airlines.

“We are ready to fly on Nov 2 as we have managed to get the international licence from CASA in record time, even though the processes were tedious,” said Azran Osman Rani, chief executive officer of AirAsia X.

“The load factor for our first flight is 96%, of which 90% are paying passengers,” he told StarBiz.

This is a major coup for AsiaAsia X since, in recent times, several airlines, including Viva Macau, did not get their licences on time.

AirAsia X is Malaysia’s only low-cost long-haul carrier that received the Air Operator’s Certification from the Department of Civil Aviation in early October.

While waiting for the approvals, AirAsia X had begun selling seats to Gold Coast and, thus far, had over 20,000 confirmed bookings worth RM15mil, Azran said.

AirAsia’s maiden flight to the Gold Coast will take off at 9.40pm from the low-cost carrier terminal and arrive at its destination at 7.45am on Saturday.

This, in itself, is a major milestone in Malaysia’s aviation as for the first time a low-cost carrier is going long haul. The landscape will surely change and passengers can only hope to pay cheaper fares as competition drives prices down, at least on the KL-Gold Coast sector for now.

AirAsia X will ply the route four times weekly using its newly-refurbished Airbus A330-300 aircraft. The aircraft can seat 315 passengers – 279 in the economy class and 36 in the business or “premium XL’’ class.
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 04:36 AM   #923
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MAS to launch new business transformation plan
Published: 2007/10/29


Quote:
The plan will provide a pathway for the national carrier to transform itself into a five-star airline at low-cost carrier cost, says its managing director
MALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) aims to shift gear next year to become more nimble to deal with competition going forward.

Managing director Datuk Seri Idris Jala said MAS would introduce a new busines transformation plan early next year which would provide a pathway for it to transform itself in the next five years.

“We were talking a lot about business turnaround plan before. Now we plan to transform from what we are today into a five-star airline at low-cost carrier cost,” he told reporters after welcoming the inaugural arrival of Firefly flight at Terminal 3 Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport from Penang today.

Idris, who is also chairman of Firefly, said MAS would make sure that its services were superior and attractive and at the same time lower the cost.

He said it was possible to do it and companies like Toyota had successfully maintained the quality and at the same time reduced the cost.

“We will not behave like a low-cost carrier. We will always provide superior products and services to customers but we will drive down our cost so that we will then be able to offer highly-competitive rates to passengers,” he said.

Firefly, operated by FlyFirefly Sdn Bhd, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of MAS.

It started operations from its home base in Penang in April. It now flies twice daily to Subang, Kuantan, Kota Baru and Kuala Terengganu and to Phuket and Koh Samui in Thailand.

Meanwhile, Idris said MAS is still in discussions with the parties involved concerning its purchase of six Airbus A380 aircraft.

He said MAS was waiting for progress to be made in the talks.

“MAS ordered six of the A380 and unfortunately this has been delayed.
We are still in discussions,” Idris said when asked about the impact of the Airbus A380, the world’s largest aircraft, which made its first commercial flight from Singapore to Sydney on October 25.

“We expect a lot more competition and I don’t think the competition will end with the A380. We are continuously innovating, looking for ways with new routes and aircraft in the competitive arena,” he said. — Bernama
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 03:12 PM   #924
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AirAsiaX set to launch its maiden long-haul flight


KUALA LUMPUR, Fri.:

Long-haul budget carrier AirAsia X, an affiliate of AirAsia and Virgin Blue, will launch its maiden service to the Queensland Gold Coast of Australia tonight, marking the first direct flight from Kuala Lumpur to the Gold Coast by any airline.

The airline will fly four direct flights a week between the Kuala Lumpur International Airport’s Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) and Gold Coast Airport, with 279 economy seats and 36 premium XL seats available, said AirAsia spokesperson Janet Leow.

“From Kuala Lumpur, AirAsia X’s D7 2702 flight will fly every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9.40pm, plus Sundays at 7.20pm.

“Meanwhile from Gold Coast, the flight is on every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 8.55am plus Sundays at 6.35pm,” said Leow.

Launched in January this year, AirAsia X, whose slogan is `Now Everyone Can Fly Xtra Long’, is 60 per cent owned by Aero Ventures, a venture by AirAsia’s chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes and his business associates, 20 percent owned by Virgin Group and 20 percent owned by AirAsia.

Leow said during the special inaugural offer when the route was announced, fares started from as low as RM50 excluding taxes for a one-way from Kuala Lumpur, while from Gold Coast the promotional offer was A$99 nett.

The eight-hour flight is being serviced by the airline’s Airbus A330-300 aircraft, which arrived in September.

AirAsia X chief executive officer Azran Osman-Rani when announcing the route had said that after the launch offer, fares will be 50 percent cheaper than for full-fare international flights.

He said it will bring an extra 120,000 people to the Gold Coast, 80km south of Brisbane.
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 07:56 PM   #925
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Originally Posted by szehoong View Post
HISTORY of Malaysia Airlines



Taken from Malaysia Airline website: www.malaysiaairlines.com



The beginning






Malaysia Airlines' humble origins began in the golden age of travel. A joint initiative of the Ocean Steamship Company of Liverpool, the Straits Steamship Company of Singapore and Imperial Airways led to a proposal to the government of the Colonial Straits Settlement to run an air service between Penang and Singapore. The result was the incorporation of Malayan Airways Limited (MAL) on October 12, 1937.

On April 2, 1947, the first fare paying passengers boarded an MAL Airspeed Consul plane in Singapore that was bound for Kuala Lumpur. By the end of 1947, Malayan Airways had engaged in an expansion exercise to cater to the growing needs of a growing nation. Within three months, MAL broke the borders of domestic service to offer flights to Jakarta, Medan, Palembang and Saigon. A dynamic team of visionaries saw the need for expansion for such a young airline. The era of international travel was coming to Asia and MAL was to be a pioneer in providing regional flight services.

Then, British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC - now British Airways), a technology pioneer and a majority shareholder of MAL, provided technical services such as repairs, spares and training, even initiating training for local crew members in the United Kingdom. The presence of BOAC also facilitated MAL's entry as a member of IATA.

Meeting the needs of regional travel also meant expanding the fleet and providing for passenger comfort. Services on the five-seater Airspeed Consul were further enhanced by the acquisition of a 21-seater DC3. The DC3 also heralded the advent of in-flight service in MAL.

A year after the Independence of Malaya in 1957, MAL took the next step in becoming part of the new corporate scene in Malaysia. The participation of BOAC, QANTAS, the government of the Federation of Malaya, Singapore and the Territory of North Borneo launched MAL as a public limited company.

By 1958, the resources that were accumulated from being a public corporation allowed MAL to acquire five more Beaver aircraft and a new Douglas DC4 Skymaster, which went on to pioneer a route to Hong Kong. This was MAL's first flight beyond Southeast Asia.

The process of fleet expansion followed in 1959 when MAL entered the jet age with the purchase of the Vickers Viscount aircraft. The jet age brought about speed and new levels of comfort for travellers. By 1960, MAL had taken possession of a Lockheed Super Constellation, which propelled MAL into other far-flung regions of Asia.

The acquisition of an 82-seater Briston Britania in 1960 made mass transport by air a reality. This led to the first international non-stop service for MAL, which operated directly between Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong.
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Evolution






The sixties was a period of change for the world and for MAL. The formation of Malaysia in 1963 was the catalyst for our company to change its name to Malaysian Airlines Limited (MAL). The formation of a new nation also saw the need for MAL as a national carrier to integrate and connect the far corners of Malaysia.

The governments of Borneo and the Peninsular saw a need for more integration of the nation's transport system. This led to the amalgamation of Borneo Airways with MAL that same year. This resulted in closer ties being forged, and also further fleet expansion with the acquisition of five F27 aircraft.

In 1966, following Singapore's independence, the Governments of Malaysia and Singapore became the majority shareholders in the national carrier. Within 20 years, MAL had grown from a single aircraft operator into a company with 2,400 employees and a fleet operator using the latest Comet IV jet aircraft, six F27s, eight DCs and two Twin Pioneers. In 1967, a new branding exercise saw MAL changing its name to Malaysia-Singapore Airlines (MSA). That proved to be a watershed year -- apart from expanding its international routes to Manila, Perth, Sydney and Taipei, MSA also took delivery of three pioneering Boeing 707s and two F27s to service these new routes and finally set up its new corporate headquarters in Robinson Road, Singapore.

In the late 1960s, MSA strove to keep expanding its reach to even more destinations. MSA made its first flight to Tokyo in 1968 and started serving the route to Bali in 1969. Within a year, Madras and Colombo were also added to the list of international destinations catered to by MSA.

In 1971, the partnership between Malaysia and Singapore was dissolved and Malaysia Airlines Berhad was incorporated in April that same year. With an authorised capital of RM100 million, the company made a final revision to its name in November 1971 and Malaysian Airline System Berhad (MAS) was born.
Quote:
Originally Posted by szehoong View Post
Modernisation







By 1972, Malaysian Airline System was already servicing 34 domestic routes and six international destinations. In November 1972, Malaysian Airline System became a member of the Orient Airlines Association (OAA) after the 13th Presidential Assembly of the OAA in Sydney, Australia.

By May 1973, the company's rapid growth saw it carrying its one millionth passenger and, bolstered by development in air travel, Malaysian Airline System carried its two millionth passenger by the end of that year. Due to the early forces of globalisation, Malaysian Airline System started to service even more international routes. Popular business destinations including Tokyo, London, Madras, Manila and Sydney were soon introduced while services were added to Amman, Hat Yai, Jeddah, Perth and Taipei. In 1975, the in-flight magazine, Wings of Gold, made its debut on all Malaysian Airline System services.

In 1976, Malaysian Airline System entered the information age with the computerisation of its whole operation. The delivery of its first wide-bodied DC10 aircraft allowed Malaysian Airline System to offer new and exciting international destinations. The expansion of the European sector opened a corridor for Malaysian Airline System -- with new services to Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Paris, the passage to the East offered travellers and tourists a new dimension in travel.

In the 1980s, Malaysian Airline System became the first major government agency to be privatised. In 1985, Malaysian Airline System entered the corporate sector by offering 70 million shares for sale. This exercise raised Malaysian Airline System's paid-up capital to RM350 million and brought reserves up to RM227 million.

Previously a government agency, Malaysian Airline System embarked on a system of corporate governance that would ensure the fulfilment of its role not only as a national carrier but also as a corporate citizen centred on being responsible to its shareholders. However, this change in business practice did not change the company's focus on being customer-driven.

As part of its modernisation and expansion drive, Malaysian Airline System also invested in a new maintenance hangar facility and the extension of its catering facilities in Subang. The final stage of the restructuring exercise saw Malaysian Airline System move into its new corporate headquarters on Jalan Sultan Ismail, located right in the heart of the central business district of Kuala Lumpur. The 36-storey building, which cost RM88 million to build, would become the hub of the company's future activities.
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Originally Posted by szehoong View Post
Global reach








In 1986, Malaysian Airline System offered its first flight service to the United States. The service, which ran twice a week to Los Angeles via Tokyo, also saw its first deployment of the brand new Boeing 747-300 Combi aircraft with stretched upper deck. By the end of 1987, Malaysian Airline System had established itself as an international carrier of choice, offering 34 domestic routes and 27 international destinations.

Malaysian Airline System has always been a customer-driven organisation. The introduction of its Esteemed Traveller loyalty programme in September 1987 demonstrated Malaysian Airline System's commitment to customer relationship management. A month later, Malaysian Airline System (MAS) changed its corporate identity and became known as Malaysia Airlines. This reflected its new objectives to create greater awareness of Malaysia and went in line with the government's efforts to make Malaysia an internationally acclaimed travel destination and trading nation.

By 1990, Malaysia Airlines extended its global reach to include more destinations including Guangzhou, Ho Chih Min City, Fukuoka and Pontianak. Flights were added to its London and Tokyo routes to cater to the increased passenger traffic.

In 1991, as part of its fleet modernisation programme, Malaysia Airlines invested RM9.6 billion to expand its fleet of aircraft.

On January 9, 1996, as part of its rationalisation programme, Malaysia Airlines announced the purchase of ten B777-200s, five B777-300s and ten B747-400s from Boeing Aircraft Company at an estimated RM10 billion. The B777s were powered by Roll Royce engines and the B747s by Pratt & Whitney engines.

On April 2, 1997, a new flight was launched to mark the 50th Anniversary of Malaysia Airlines. The newly acquired B777-200 broke two world records; one for the longest non-stop flight from Seattle to Kuala Lumpur, and another for the speed recorded for the journey. This aircraft was named 'Super Ranger'. On April 27, 1997, this aircraft was ferry flighted to Kuala Lumpur.

As of July 30, 2004, Malaysia Airlines has a fleet of 100 aircraft in its network. Currently, with its extensive list of over 100 destinations, passengers can be assured that their travel needs will be catered for when they are abroad. East or West, Malaysia Airlines is there for you.
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Moving Forward










Breaking the barriers of the new millennium, our fleet of nearly 100 aircraft serves more than 100 destinations around the world. As a pioneer in the industry in more ways than one, we are able to demonstrate our commitment to our customers and partners.

In April 2001, Malaysia Airlines became the first airline in the world to pilot a twin-engine commercial jet through the newly opened polar routes, passing through the inhospitable regions of Russia and North Alaska. Malaysia Airlines' Managing Director, Dato' Mohd Nor Yusof, together with a team of representatives from Boeing and Rolls Royce, two Russian Air Traffic Control management staff and senior officials from the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation, journeyed on this historic flight.

These newly chartered routes provide a significant time-saving advantage for passengers who no longer have to travel east to west. Malaysia Airlines takes pride in being the first Asian airline to accomplish such a feat.

As part of our expansion, we have recently allied ourselves with Cathay Pacific to provide a code-sharing agreement to enable more weekly flights to Hong Kong.

In a time when collaboration and partnership prevail, Malaysia Airlines has forged many agreements with regional and international airlines to provide various services including catering, maintenance and inter-airline passenger transfers. Malaysia Airlines' efforts have also received awards from various institutions including the Asian Institute of Management and the Boeing Aircraft Company.

Malaysia's former Deputy Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Ismail once echoed the need for Malaysia Airlines to become the foremost airline in the region at the official launch of the first Malaysia Airlines flight in 1972. Today, Malaysia Airlines has clearly established itself as a carrier of international standing. Its Managing Director, Dato' Ahmad Fuaad bin Mohd Dahalan, now leads the Moving Forward initiative and with the theme Going Beyond Expectations being Malaysia Airlines' way of life.

In this new age of technology, Malaysia Airlines is committed to being a carrier as well as a responsible corporate citizen in the global economy. Apart from being a carrier, Malaysia Airlines has diversified its operations into human resource development, training, catering, property consultancy and technical ground support for aircrafts. Sharing its limelight with the ultra modern Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), Malaysia Airlines also provides world-class cargo management facilities to meet the needs of our partners.

With more than 50 years of experience behind us, we seek to cater to the ever growing needs of travellers. As our passengers, you are also our customers, and we seek to bring to you the best service that air travel has to offer. From sophisticated in-flight entertainment to the simple things in life like our world-class cuisine, we redefine the standards in passenger comfort and services. At Malaysia Airlines, we've got your ticket to travel.
Quote:
Originally Posted by szehoong View Post







Quote:
Originally Posted by szehoong View Post








Quote:
Originally Posted by szehoong View Post








Quote:
Originally Posted by szehoong View Post










Malaysia Airlines: Corporate Video (English)

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Old November 3rd, 2007, 06:14 PM   #926
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Malaysia Airlines to Discontinue KL-Zurich Route

ZURICH, Nov 2 Asia Pulse - National carrier, Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) (KLSE:3786), will discontinue its Kuala Lumpur-Zurich route next year.

The plan was reported in the travel- and aviation-based websites here which said that MAS would end the KL-Zurich services, which it has been operating as code-share flights with Swiss International Air Lines Ltd, on Jan 24.

The matter was also discussed at the meeting between Switzerland Federal Councillor, Doris Leuthard, and International Trade and Industry Minister Rafidah Aziz here.

Rafidah is leading a 30-member trade delegation to Paris, Frankfurt and Zurich.

She said Leuthard had conveyed the hope of the Swiss private sector and business community to her that MAS would not pursue the plan.

Rafidah said according to Leuthard, Swiss businessmen find it convenient to use MAS' KL-Zurich services.

"They hope that MAS will not discontinue the flight because this is a useful route for them," she said.

Rafidah said though she understood MAS' decision would be based on profit/loss basis, she nevertheless, would convey the Swiss request to the airline.
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Old November 3rd, 2007, 07:33 PM   #927
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Malaysia Airlines launches 5 new flights on Dhaka-KL route
Published On: 2007-11-01
Star Business Report

Malaysia Airlines (MA) yesterday formally launched five new flights between Dhaka and Kuala Lumpur to meet the growing demands from passengers.

"Now many people go from Bangladesh to Malaysia for various purposes including doing job, visiting and attending seminars and training courses that prompted us to increase the number of flights from seven to 12," an official of the airline said at a media briefing in Dhaka.

He said in 2006 around 29,000 Bangladeshis went to Malaysia and the number is increasing day by day.

An official of MA said the airline's all Airbus 330 flights from Dhaka can carry 250 passengers in each flight. "We can sell almost all the tickets of the flights," he added.

The country's aviation sector is showing considerable growth in recent times, sources in the sector said. The growth rate now stands at around 10 percent while the rate is around 6-7 percent in neighboring countries.

There is a huge demand for passenger aircraft on Dhaka-Kuala Lumpur route as around 1200 workers go to Malaysia from Bangladesh everyday.

In recent times Bangladesh witnessed an acute passenger flight crisis that prompted the government to announce an open sky policy for three months beginning from October 1.

But, still there is a dearth of passenger aircraft despite announcing the policy.

According to Association of Travel Agencies of Bangladesh (ATAB), around 3500 people from Bangladesh want to visit different destinations around the world daily, but the flights operating from the country can carry only around 2,500.
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Old November 3rd, 2007, 07:49 PM   #928
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^ Good news. Considering Biman Bangladesh hasn't been doing well at all lately, with a shrinking international network and lack of punctuality, passengers can now transit in KL to get to the outside world.
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Old November 3rd, 2007, 10:30 PM   #929
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Malaysia's AirAsia eyes 25 more new A320 planes for Singapore expansion
Published: November 1, 2007
Herald Tribune


SINGAPORE: Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia is in talks with Airbus to buy 25 more A320 planes after winning rights to operate flights to Singapore, the company's chief executive said Thursday.

AirAsia, Southeast Asia's biggest no-frills airline, already has 150 orders of the 150-seat single-aisle jet, and plans to exercise an option for a further 25, Tony Fernandes told reporters on the sidelines of an aviation conference. The plane's catalog price is about US$60 million.

More planes are needed because AirAsia hopes to begin twice daily flights from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore in December, and to eventually operate 20 daily flights on the lucrative route, the fourth busiest in Asia, he said.

"We definitely need to buy more planes," Fernandes said. "We are in discussions with Airbus to buy another 25 (A320s). I think an announcement will be out soon."

The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore route is currently a virtual duopoly held by Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airline. But the Malaysian government last week gave the nod for AirAsia to operate two daily flights ahead of liberalization of air travel between the two nations in January 2009.

Singapore Airlines' unit, Tiger Airways, is also expected to be allowed to operate the lucrative route as part of a reciprocal arrangement.

Fernandes said AirAsia's fares are expected to be around 150 ringgit (US$45; €30), inclusive of taxes, for a one-way ticket, around 60 percent cheaper than that charged by the national carriers.

The airline hopes to get more routes to Singapore serving other Malaysian cities such as northern Penang state, and Kota Kinabalu and Kuching on Borneo island, he said.

"No one can stop the ball rolling now. It's started," he said. "People want this and ultimately, governments give what the people want."

Separately, Malaysian long haul budget carrier AirAsia X said it plans to buy a fleet of either 50 Airbus A350 wide-body planes or 50 Boeing 787-10s for its international routes.

Billionaire Richard Branson's Virgin Group and AirAsia own a 20 percent stake each in AirAsia X, which is preparing to launch operations Firday by flying to Australia's Gold Coast.

"We are talking to both companies and we will go for a total of 50 planes." AirAsia X Chief Executive Azran Osman-Rani told Dow Jones Newswires in Singapore.

"The final choice will be based on capacity, fuel efficiency, but above all, delivery time," he said. "If the choice is between a six and a nine-year delivery time, we will choose the one that can be done in six."
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Old November 6th, 2007, 10:17 AM   #930
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Malaysia Airlines to resume KL-Macau route
Published: 2007/11/06


Quote:
The route will be relaunched from November 10 with a frequency of four flights weekly
MALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) will relaunch flights to Macau after a nine-year hiatus to take advantage of the country’s economic growth and strong demand from air travellers.

The airline’s senior general manager of network revenue management, Bernard Francis, said the route would be relaunched from November 10 with a frequency of four flights weekly.

The national carrier started flying to Macau on November 9, 1995, but suspended the route on March 21, 1998, due to low demand and non-profitability.

“Macau is now growing with a lot of hotels coming up, and there is strong demand from businessmen and tourists,” Francis told a media briefing on the route in Subang today.

He said the airline will service the Kuala Lumpur-Macau route using the Boeing 737-400 aircraft.

Fares per passenger will range between RM199 and RM699 for economy class and between RM1,899 and RM2,219 for business class.

Francis said Macau will be the first new route to be relaunched by MAS since the company’s business turnaround.

“We want to increase our strong market presence in China ... increase our flight utilisation,” he said, adding that the airline plans to have daily flights to Macau by next year.

He also said that the airline has an interline agreement with China Southern Airlines which enabled customers to fly to several destinations in China.

From November 10, with the addition of Macau, Malaysia Airlines will offer 98 flights weekly between Malaysia and China.

Besides Macau, the airline operates services to six cities in China, covering Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Kunming and Xiamen.

Francis said members of the airline’s Enrich frequent flyer programme travelling this season could now enjoy Macau and earn triple privilege points.

Under its Golden Holiday programme, the airline offers customers two packages — four-day three-night trip to Macau from RM798 per person and five-day four-night trip to Macau-Hong Kong from RM1,498 per person, both for departure in January 2008. — Bernama
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Old November 9th, 2007, 11:38 AM   #931
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MAS to buy 10 ATR aircraft
Friday November 9, 2007
ByFINTAN NG


PETALING JAYA:Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with ATR in Toulouse, France, for the purchase of 10 ATR 72 500s and an option for five more worth a total of US$285mil.

The purchase was in response to the Government’s request that MASWings, a subsidiary of MAS set up to service the air routes of Sabah and Sarawak, expand its services to the two states.

MAS executive director and chief financial officer Tengku Azmil Zahruddin and ATR chief executive officer Stephane Mayer signed the MoU.

MASWings is expected to take delivery of the first five aircraft in 2009 and the next batch in 2010. ATR is a joint venture between EADS and Alenia Aeronautica. The ATR 72 500 is a turboprop six-blade propeller aircraft.

“The new aircraft will enable MASWings to expand its capacity by 150%.

“This will allow MASWings to meet the future demand in air travel within Sabah and Sarawak and connect more customers worldwide to the two states, which are ideal destinations for business and vacation,” Tengku Azmil said in a joint media release with ATR.

He added that with the fleet expansion, MASWings would progressively add new frequencies in addition to expanding its services to more destinations in Sabah and Sarawak.

MASWings, which started operating in both states on Oct 1 this year, currently has four Fokker F50 and four Twin Otter aircraft.

Meanwhile, OSK Investment Bank senior analyst Chris Eng said the acquisition of the aircraft for MASWings would not impact the country’s flagship airline negatively, as the Government footed the bill.

“It just shows that it is keen on maintaining a good level of service,” he said.

Eng added that the MoU signed between MAS and ATR in July for the purchase of 10 ATR 72 500s with an option to purchase another 10 for MAS’ low-cost carrier, Firefly, was another step in showing that it was serious in expanding the Firefly fleet.

Firefly was launched in April this year in Penang and recently started operations in Subang. It currently has a fleet of two Fokker F50 aircraft.
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Old November 12th, 2007, 05:46 AM   #932
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AirAsia X confident long-haul routes will thrive

AVIATION LOW-COST CARRIERS & TRAVEL INDUSTRY

AirAsia X confident long-haul routes will thrive
Well-funded venture has big-budget plans

BOONSONG KOSITCHOTETHANA

AirAsia X of Malaysia is taking a gamble on a barely tested business model by buying 25 brand new wide-bodied airplanes worth US$3.5 billion.


The carrier placed the bet on Nov 2 when it took off for its maiden flight from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to Gold Coast, Australia, that marked the beginning of Southeast Asia's first long-distance budget carrier service.


AirAsia X took to the skies just 15 months after the idea of setting a long-haul no-frills service was first floated.


Industry critics are now watching to see whether long-haul no-frills flights will succeed in the market, as perceived by AirAsia X's investors, including Virgin Group and AirAsia, the region's largest low-cost carrier (LCC). Senior executives of AirAsia acknowledge that AirAsia X is indeed a gamble, albeit a calculated one with potential to win.


''Life is a gamble. We live one life, we maximise that life,'' said Tony Fernandes, chief executive of AirAsia, which has revolutionised Asian aviation since pioneering the LCC model in Southeast Asia five years ago. But he quipped: ''There's no such thing as 'if not'. We have not made anything not work.''


Azran Osman-Rani, AirAsia X's CEO, said: ''We are here to challenge industry norms and pioneer new models to enable everyone to fly _ extra long.


''We believe that air travellers should not have to shoulder the burden of legacy airlines that are based on complex multiple aircraft type fleets with costly technology systems and inefficient organisation structure and process.


''We believe that up to 50% of these legacy costs can be extracted by applying the same proven focused and disciplined LCC business model.''


AirAsia X is among a handful of airlines attempting to adapt the LCC model to long-distance routes. LCCs normally keep costs low by flying as frequently as possible over short distances, a maximum of four hours, and with a minimum turnaround time. AirAsia X's Gold Coast flight takes more than eight hours.


As long-haul flights cross many time zones, an airline can have trouble scheduling flights to make the most efficient use of each plane, industry critics say.


But the two other long-haul budget operators, Qantas's Jetstar and Oasis Hong Kong Airlines, made relatively good starts a year ago with the former flying from Australia to Asia and the latter from Hong Kong to London and Vancouver.


AirAsia X recently received a vote of confidence when two new investors _ the Japanese financial services group Orix and Bahrain's Perigon Capital _ each acquired a 10% stake in the airline for a total of $75 million. As a result, AirAsia Bhd has a 20% share, while Virgin holds 20%, with founder Tony Fernandes and AirAsia X chairman Kamarudin Meranun holding the rest.


AirAsia X does not seem to have funding problems. The airline is valued at $375 million, which is sufficient for a few years, industry analysts say. It also aims to raise $300 million in an IPO planned by 2010.


''The amount that's going to be invested is way more than what is sufficient operationally. But having additional cash gives strong creditability with the banks,'' Mr Azran said.


AirAsia X aims to break even within its first year. ''Maybe [the target] is ambitious. But we always challenge ourselves,'' the jeans-wearing executive told the Bangkok Post.


The airline started with a single leased Airbus A330-300 that can carry 315 passengers, flying one route, KL-Gold Coast, four return flights per week.


It is looking to lease a few more Airbus A340s, which have greater range, before taking delivery of the first of 15 new A330-300s it has ordered in the last quarter of next year.


In addition, AirAsia X has an option with Airbus for 10 more A330-300s, which would bring its fleet of wide-bodied jets to more than 25 over five years.


As its fleet grows, AirAsia X looks to build a global route network to cover China, India, Korea, Japan, the Middle East, and Europe.


Australia and China would be the airline's core markets. ''We plan to go to three cities in each country, aside from flying to London, and emerging Eastern European cities such as Prague and Warsaw,'' says Mr Azran.


Over the next five years, AirAsia X aims to carry 7.5 million passengers. It claims a good start with an average load factor of 70% this month for the Gold Coast route.


It has so far sold more than 20,000 seats, 70% of them on its website, for its first route, valued around RM15 million (153 million baht).


AirAsia X is the first international airline to operate through the small Gold Coast Airport in Queensland. The average one-way all-inclusive fare is in the range of A$200-250 (6,280 to 7,860 baht).


Mr Azran says the airline is not worried so much about competition as soaring fuel prices. ''That's the biggest competitive threat.''


Both Mr Fernandes and Mr Azran believe others will adopt the model. ''In any industry, the moment you have a winning model, others will follow,'' says Mr Azran.
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Old November 13th, 2007, 10:26 AM   #933
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MAS named Asia’s Leading Business Class Airline

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SUBANG: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) was recently named Asia’s Leading Business Class Airline by the London-based World Travel Awards.

In a statement, MAS said it beat a field of very strong contenders in Asia such as Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and Korean Air.

MAS was chosen by travel professionals from some 170,000 travel agencies, tour and transport companies, and tourism organisations in over 160 countries across the globe.

MAS managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Idris Jala said: “We are thankful to our customers for their support. Our employees have worked very hard to improve service delivery as part of our Malaysian Hospitality, and we believe this award will motivate them to provide even higher standards of customer service.”

The recognition follows the recent announcement where MAS’ cabin crew was voted “World’s Best Cabin Staff” in the World Airline Survey conducted by airline auditor, Skytrax. In addition, MAS is one of only five airlines with a five-star Airline ranking, also by Skytrax.
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Old November 13th, 2007, 10:02 PM   #934
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CAPA: AirAsia’s success will benefit Malaysia’s economy
by Ellina Badri, 13 Nov 2007 11:35 AM


KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia was awarded the Airline of The Year Award for 2007 by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) because of the positive impact it had made to the development of the region’s airline industry.

But beyond winning an award for itself, said CAPA executive chairman Peter Harbison, a successful airline will bring a lot of economic benefits to its home country. In AirAsia’s case, its leadership in the low-cost carrier sector will help make Kuala Lumpur the regional hub for budget airlines.

This, Harbison said, would lead to job creations and growth of related and support industries like tourism and services.

Within Malaysia, by promoting air travel and flying to more places, AirAsia had created economic spin offs. Similarly, it was doing the same across the region.

CAPA awarded AirAsia the title last week in Singapore.

The budget carrier, the first of its kind to win CAPA’s award, had also played a key role in influencing governments in the region to reform and liberalise regulations, Harbison said, adding that this brought a lot of good to everyone in the industry.

He said the title of Airline of the Year was awarded to the airline that has had the greatest impact on the development of the regional airline industry and established itself as a leader and the benchmark for others to follow, criteria which AirAsia had proven it possessed.

The emergence of low-cost carriers such as AirAsia had also caused “flag carriers such as Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines to make themselves more competitive,” Harbison, who is based in Sydney, told The Edge Financial Daily in a telephone interview.

He added that while the aviation industry had in recent years seen “the best period ever” in profitability, the improvements made from greater competition will help buffer the industry against a downturn.

For example, he said, when flights to Kuala Lumpur International Airport contracted during the 1997/98 Asian financial crisis, AirAsia’s “good array of services” had made KLIA “generally better” by increasing its attractiveness as an airline stop.

On the outlook for Malaysia’s aviation industry, he said the country was “looking good” and “well-positioned” for the future.

He added while Malaysia had become and was expected to remain the largest low-cost hub in Asia, it should continue to build good airports with plenty of capacity and have a liberal aviation climate to cement its position.

Harbison also said a trend in passenger movement in the Asia-Pacific was an increasing demand for short-haul, low-fare travel which AirAsia was expected to further benefit from in the years to come.

Quote:
CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence winners announced

AirAsia was named the winner of the prestigious Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) Airline of the Year Award for 2007 at a gala reception in Singapore. Click here to view our photo gallery.
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Old November 13th, 2007, 10:08 PM   #935
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Malaysia Airlines: (2004) New Business Class Presentation

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Old November 14th, 2007, 10:01 AM   #936
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Qatar Airways plans more Malaysian destinations via code sharing with MAS
by Sharon Tan
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KUALA LUMPUR: Qatar Airways plans to fly into other Malaysian cities via a code sharing deal with Malaysia Airlines, said its new area manager for Malaysia Ravi Goonetilleke.

“We are talking to Malaysia Airlines on the probability of code sharing to other stations such as Penang, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching in Malaysia,” he said.

The airline had also upgraded its aircraft on the popular Doha-Kuala Lumpur-Bali route to an Airbus A330 from Airbus A300.

“Since its debut in 2001, this route has become one of the most popular routes in the Far East region,” he said, adding that the number of business travellers on this route has been growing steadily over the last few years fuelled by strong trade ties between Malaysia and Middle East countries.

Goonetilleke, who was speaking to reporters at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport yesterday, said more flights were added during the summer months to cater to the high demand.

He added that the airline’s average aircraft age was three years, making it one of the youngest and most modern fleet in the world.

Asked on how the airline stays ahead of its Middle Easter competitors, Goonetilleke attributed it to personalised service.

“You can have the aircraft but it’s the people and training. You can have the best cabin crew but they need to serve. At the moment, ours is doing a great job. That’s why we are winning all the awards,” he said.

On the impending open skies between Malaysia and Singapore and also in the Asean region, Goonetilleke said that it would be good to open up.

“You can’t keep protectionism anymore. It is fair and free competition. In the end, it’s the consumer who is the winner,” he said.

On competition from low-cost carriers, he said: “There is enough rooms for everyone. The low-cost airlines have stimulated more travels. It has enabled more people to travel.”
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Old November 15th, 2007, 03:17 PM   #937
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Thai AirAsia looks abroad to expand
15 November 2007
Bangkok Post

No-frills carrier Thai AirAsia (TAA) is running out of new domestic destinations to serve, prompting it to re-look its network-expansion strategy.

The strategy calls for the airline to fly to more overseas destinations and to launch inter-provincial routes in the country, rather than through its Bangkok hub, as well as to raise frequencies on existing routes to absorb its rising capacity and support its growth plan.

Ranong, the southwestern coastal province, will be the last domestic destination TAA will embark upon from Nov 23, three times a week.

"We don't have any more additional domestic cities that our jetliners can serve or cities which have sufficient traffic to justify the economics of flying to," TAA chief executive Tassapon Bijleveld told the Bangkok Post.

Provinces with airports that can handle Airbus 320 or B737 aircraft such as Trang, Phitsanulok and Nakhon Ratchasima have proved not to provide enough traffic demand to support scheduled flights, he explained.

The airline recently terminated its Bangkok-Khon Kaen and Bangkok-Nakhon Si Thammarat flights, in addition to Bangkok-Langkawi (Malaysia) where it could not fill enough seats.

TAA now covers eight cities in Thailand and 10 destinations in neighbouring countries, with total weekly flights reaching 683.

The airline earlier this week put its second brand new A320, capable of seating 180 passengers, into operation, thus increasing the number of aircraft in its fleet to 14, including 12 B737-300s.

It is due to take delivery of the third A320 next month, and three more in February, July and August next year.

The rest of the 40 A320s TAA has ordered from the European plane maker Airbus would be shipped over three years at a rate of six units a year.

The limitation in expanding domestic services forces the airline to aggressively expand regionally. Next year overseas operations will account for about 60% of TAA's services, said Mr Tassapon.

Plans are in the pipeline for it to launch a daily Bangkok-Jakarta flight next month and fly to five other Chinese cities, including Kuilin, Chengdu, Chongqing, as well as Hong Kong. The company already has routes to Macau, Xiamen and Shenzhen. TAA is also planning to start offering regular service to Kathmandu in the next 12-18 months.
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Old November 16th, 2007, 01:20 PM   #938
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Airline of The Year Award for 2007

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Originally Posted by ^tamago^ View Post

[img]http://i2.************/8gjbxbq.jpg[/img]
[img]http://i16.************/87a5o9y.jpg[/img]
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Old November 16th, 2007, 06:02 PM   #939
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AirAsia calls for better facilities at terminal
16 November 2007
New Straits Times

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Tony Fernandes does not want marble floors, travellators or aero-bridges at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT).

The chief executive officer of AirAsia Bhd will settle for more seating, less passenger congestion, better flight information and more retail outlets.

He just wants LCCT operator, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), to improve facilities and services at the terminal.

Fernandes' comments come in the wake of a New Straits Times report yesterday that the LCCT was bursting at the seams with passengers generally unhappy with the situation.

"AirAsia passenger volume has grown from 200,000 five years ago to 18 million currently, and we are looking to hitting 30 million in five years.

"We are not small anymore and MAHB needs to keep pace with our growth and expansion," he added.

Fernandes said the recent accolade of being named Airline of the Year 2007 by the Centre of Asia Pacific Aviation was testimony to its rapid progress.

A MAHB spokesman had earlier indicated that budget airlines should not compare the LCCT to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), given its budget travel concept.

Fernandes said that while he did not expect the same standards at KLIA, the LCCT needed to offer an adequate number of seats, a flight information display system and more retail offerings.

"The MAHB must get the little details right. We are trying to get more retail outlets into the LCCT in terms of food and beverage and merchandising, but approvals are slow.

"With more retail offering, travellers would be able to walk around and shop as opposed to looking for places to sit."

Fernandes added that AirAsia fully subscribed to the logic of lower expectations.

But MAHB needed to lower its fees, both for airlines and passengers, he said.

"Using the same argument that we should not expect the services and facilities in KLIA, why then are the same charges levied on other airlines that use KLIA placed on us," he asked.

Fernandes is also concerned about the potential delay in MAHB's expansion plans for the terminal building, adding that AirAsia had made the request a year ago.

"We understand that the job (for the extension) has not been tendered out. What's more, the planned new and bigger LCCT will only be ready in 2014. By then, we would have lost our competitive advantage," he said.

Fernandes said the aviation industry the world over was making rapid progress and that competition was getting tougher.

"We are also creating spin-offs for other sectors in the economy. For instance, more businessmen are using our services now. This means that foreign companies would be prompted to set up regional offices here due to the ease and affordability of travel."

MAHB, when contacted, indicated that it would be coming up with a statement soon on issues raised.
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Old November 17th, 2007, 02:46 PM   #940
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http://www.newsabahtimes.com.my/nstweb/fullstory/13371

Airbus ready to deliver A380 to MAS by 2009

17th November, 2007

BANGKOK: Airbus said yesterday it is ready to deliver the A380 superjumbo aircraft by 2009 to Malaysia Airlines, a two-year delay from the original delivery date.

Its chief operating officer for customers, John Leahy, said MAS has indicated it will continue with its purchase of the aircraft but no time frame has been set yet for the new delivery date.

“We are discussing with them on the compensation and the new delivery date, which was initially thought to be by 2011 or 2012. We can actually deliver to them with just two years’ delay from the original date,” he said after briefing the media on Airbus’ business plan on the sidelines of the 51st Assembly of Presidents of the Asia Pacific Airlines Association here.

“It’s up to them when they want the aircraft,” he added. MAS had ordered six Airbus A380 valued at US$1.8 billion at list price with the first delivery to have been in early 2007. Asked if MAS has indicated ordering more A380s, Leahy said there is a possibility but nothing has been finalised so far.

MAS managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Idris Jala, when met at the meeting, said nothing has been finalised yet but indicated that MAS will continue with the purchase despite reports that the order will be cancelled due to the long delay. He said the actual date of delivery will be clear by the middle of next year.

If the purchase goes through, Jala said, MAS will probably use the aircraft for long haul and to serve congested airports like Heathrow in London.

Singapore Airlines became the first commercial user of the airline recently, with flights to Australia. Leahy said the European manufacturer, which suffered two years of delay in building and delivering the A380, has firm orders for 193 A380 aircraft from 17 customers worldwide, including 21 firm orders and 16 commitments this year.

“A380 is the magnet to attract passengers. Singapore Airlines is pulling passengers from other airlines and getting cost effiency,” he said. Asked about the huge orders from Middle East airlines, including 58from Emirates, Leahy said there is big potential in that region due to the connections to 2.5 billion people within five hours flying time and five billion people within nine hours.
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