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Old March 27th, 2008, 08:22 PM   #1121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lena5538 View Post
i flew with them last year; i have to tell u that; they should improve their drink service!
i think their service is fine as a LCC. i don't think there's such a thing as a 'drink service' on board Air Asia because they're not a full service airline. correct me if i'm wrong.
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Old March 28th, 2008, 04:19 PM   #1122
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AirAsia X in US$2b deal with Airbus
By Anna Maria Samsuddin Published: 2008/03/28
BusinessTimes

Quote:
Meanwhile, Airbus chief operating officer has expressed confidence that Malaysia Airlines will not cancel its order of six A380s

BUDGET long-haul carrier AirAsia X has firmed up orders for 10 additional units of the A330-300, with a list value of US$2 billion (RM6.4 billion), bringing the airline's total order for the aircraft to 25 units.

Under an agreement signed with European-based airframe maker Airbus, the aircraft will be delivered progressively over the next five years.

Chief executive officer Azran Osman-Rani said the additional orders are in line with the airline's aggressive network expansion plans.

It aims to introduce more new medium-haul routes in Australia, China as well as India - targeting cities such as Amritsar, Poona, Jaipur, Calcutta and Ahmedabad.


The airline also plans to start flights to Japan by late 2009 or mid-2010.

To serve its long-haul networks, he said the carrier may buy 25 new generation widebody planes, either the A350s or the Boeing B787s.

"We now have more planes in our arsenal to ramp up our global route network. We will have real scale to dominate Asia Pacific over the next five years," he said at the agreement signing ceremony, witnessed by Transport Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Meanwhile, Azran said AirAsia X is also looking at buying or leasing two long-range A340s for its long-haul flights to London's Stansted Airport, scheduled to take off by the fourth quarter of this year.

"We've got UK and Malaysian government approvals and airport support. Everybody is ready to receive us ... but this depends on aircraft availability," he said.

AirAsia X, which commenced flights in November last year and had carried some 120,000 passengers, has already placed orders for 15 A330s, two of which will be delivered later this year and another two in 2009.

It now flies from Kuala Lumpur to Australia's Gold Coast and to Hangzhou in China using one leased plane.

Airbus chief operating officer John Leahy said the AirAsia group is reshaping the future of the Asia Pacific air transport industry.

"The long term confidence of AirAsia X in the long haul, low-cost model is inspirational and we are delighted to see this further endorsed by the A330."

Meanwhile, on the latest development on Malaysia Airline's six A380s order, Leahy expressed confidence that the national carrier will not cancel its order.

"No, we are not discussing a cancellation at this point. We don't want to comment on ongoing discussions and negotiations but I'll be hopeful that we'll have something to announce in the not-too-distant future," he added.
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Old March 28th, 2008, 04:24 PM   #1123
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AirAsia X orders another ten A330 aircraft
by Gan Yen Kuan, 28 Mar 2008 2:20 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: Low-cost long-haul airline AirAsia X Sdn Bhd has exercised its option for an additional ten A330-300 aircraft, bringing its total order with Airbus to 25 aircraft, after it placed an order for 15 A330s in June 2007.

The ten newly ordered aircraft were valued at about US$2 billion (RM6.4 billion) at list prices, and would be delivered to AirAsia X in stages over the next five years, AirAsia X said in a statement yesterday.

Currently, AirAsia X operates with a leased A330 aircraft. All the aircraft it ordered from Airbus will have a 392-seat configuration. The first aircraft will be delivered in October this year.

AirAsia X chief executive Azran Osman-Rani said the A330 was uniquely configured to be an efficient aircraft that would be critical to it offering long-haul air travel with unbeatable lowest fares.

“Additionally, it will feature various innovative features to provide comfort and entertainment to our guests, and will make our wide-body fleet among the youngest and most modern in the region,” he said.

Meanwhile, Airbus chief operating officer (customers) John Leahy said: “The long-term confidence of AirAsia X in the long-haul, low-cost model is inspirational and we are delighted to see this further endorsed by the A330. Once again, we applaud the AirAsia group’s pioneering spirit as it rapidly progresses in reshaping the future of the air transport industry in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Since the first delivery in 1993, total orders for the A330 family have exceeded 900 aircraft, with over 520 currently in service around the world. In the Asia-Pacific region, there are more than 210 A330s currently in service with 22 airlines.

AirAsia X is 48%-owned by Aero Ventures Sdn Bhd, a company in which AirAsia Bhd CEO Datuk Tony Fernandes has interest. The other shareholders of AirAsia X are AirAsia (16%), Virgin group (16%), Bahrain-based Manara Consortium (10%) and Japan-based Orix Corp (10%).

AirAsia X launched its maiden flight in November last year, flying to Gold Coast, Australia, four times a week. Last month, it started flying to Hangzhou, China, five times a week.
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Old March 31st, 2008, 10:56 AM   #1124
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MAS to buy 55 Boeing planes for S$4.2b

The planes will help the airline bolster profits under its recovery plan. -AFP

Mon, Mar 31, 2008
AFP

KUALA LUMPUR - NATIONAL carrier MALAYSIA Airlines has agreed to purchase 55 narrow-body aircrafts from the US-based Boeing for RM9.6 billion (S$4.2 billion) a news report said on Monday.

The Boeing 737-800 series costs about US$70 million each but Malaysia Airlines, being a bulk buyer, could receive a discount on the price, The Edge Financial Daily said, citing sources from the industry.

It said the national carrier would probably seal the deal for the Boeing planes, ending months of speculation on which plane manufacturer it would choose for its aircraft acquisition program to replace its existing fleet.

The airline opted for Boeing due to technical reasons, the report said.

It said the planes would also help Malaysia Airlines achieve record profits under its recovery plan. It broke back into the black last year.

The French-based Airbus last Thursday had also submitted an updated proposal to supply the airline with about 50 narrow-body aircrafts - A320s and A321s - for a list price of about US$70 to US$80 million each.

Malaysia Airlines is expected to make an announcement on the deal soon, an official said. -- AFP

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Old April 1st, 2008, 03:42 PM   #1125
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MAS goes ahead with A380 planes
by Doreen Leong, 01 Apr 2008 10:36 AM

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) is buying up to 55 Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which is valued at US$4.2 billion (RM13.44 billion), and is taking delivery of the delayed A380-800 in 2011, after it concluded talks with both the manufacturers.

In a statement to Bursa yesterday, the national carrier said it expected to take delivery of the 737-800 planes starting from September 2010 onwards. It also said that it would take delivery of all the six A380-800 that was supposed to be delivered starting from January 2007.

MAS managing director cum chief executive officer, Datuk Seri Idris Jala said it had placed a firm order for 35 B737-800 with an option for another 20 aircraft. It confirms an article by The Edge yesterday that MAS is purchasing 55 narrow-body planes from US-based Boeing.

“The total cost of the 55 aircraft is US$4.2 billion at list prices. We expect to take delivery of the first aircraft from Sept 2010 onwards, which will be used to replace our existing B737-400 fleet and to allow us to expand to points which were not previously economically viable,” he added.

MAS also have the option to swap the B737-800 to the larger B737-900.

In terms of financing, MAS said, “We will likely partially purchase the B737-800s on our own and partially lease them as that would give us the flexibility to manage our balance sheet and financing commitments, and to sell some of them when the timing is right.”

MAS had previously stated that it was mulling various financing options that included Islamic loans and loans from export credit agencies. Another option included talking to Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd (PMB) with the view of the latter financing the acquisition with a back-to-back leasing arrangement with MAS.

An analyst said that MAS should not face problems financing its plane purchase given its strong net cash position that gave it room to gear up. “Overall, it is a good move for MAS to order the planes now to cater for its expansion plans after two years. Furthermore, the market is still tight in terms of availability of planes in the Asian region.”

Despite the massive capacity coming into the industry from 2009 onwards, the analyst expected demand for travel to remain strong especially from China.

According to the national carrier, the B737-800s would be used to ply the Asean region, China and India.

On the A380-800, MAS is also taking delivery of all the six A380-800 by 2011 following delays. The first A380-800 aircraft is now targeted for delivery in January and the sixth in August.

MAS will be getting compensation from Airbus for the delay but the amount to be received was not made available.

“After extensive discussions with Airbus and PMB, we have agreed on the terms for the delayed delivery. The terms include an agreed amount of compensation for the delay,” Idris said.

Originally, the six A380-800 aircraft was scheduled for delivery from January 2007 to December this year. It was ordered by PMB in 2003.

“We kept the A380 on terms that are win-win for us and Airbus. We placed narrow-body jet orders with Boeing. We are happy to work with both aircraft manufacturers. We are now looking at the widebody aircraft replacement and will intensify our discussions with the manufacturers ,” Idris said.
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Old April 5th, 2008, 12:18 PM   #1126
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Branding:
AirAsia among world's most innovative firms

Published: 2008/04/03

AIRASIA Bhd has been recognised as one of the world's most innovative companies by Fast Company magazine, the only Asean brand and the only airline to make it to the "Fast 50" list.

Other notable companies include Google, Nike, Facebook, Apple, Disney, GE, BMW and IBM.

AirAsia ranked number 43 this year on the "Fast 50" list, announced in the March 2008 issue of Fast Company.

From green consumer-products phenomenon Method to 100-year-old Corning, which spends US$2 million (RM6.38 million) each workday on R&D, the list celebrates companies that are redefining the rules of business through new ideas.

Twelve of the 50 firms are based outside the US. Fifteen of them are based in and around the Silicon Valley.

"This is a feat we are very proud of, considering we are placed in the same platform as some of the most recognised brands in the world. We are humbled by this news as we've evolved from a Malaysian brand to an Asean brand within a short span of six years and to be recognised on the global front by the coveted Fast Company magazine, is indeed very rewarding," AirAsia group chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes said in a statement.

Fast Company editors described AirAsia as "innovative down to its corporate bones".

"Most passengers think of it as one carrier, but it's actually a co-branded collection of several, a unique structure Tony Fernandes devised to allow AirAsia to set up hubs in three countries (Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia)," it said.

It also credited AirAsia for operating costs that are the lowest of any airline in the world, and so are its fares.

Previous awards won by AirAsia include "Airline of the Year 2007" by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) and the "Best Low Cost Airline in Asia" by Skytrax Research of London.

Fast Company's final 50 were selected from a list of 300 finalist companies. The magazine placed a high premium on companies that had demonstrated significant innovation over the past year. Actual rankings were determined by vote by a panel of editors and writers.

Fast Company is a monthly business magazine that reports on innovation, digital media, technology, change management, leadership, design and social responsibility. It was launched in November 1995 by Alan Webber and Bill Taylor, two former Harvard Business Review editors.
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Old April 7th, 2008, 01:04 PM   #1127
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AirAsia to have check-in baggage fee (updated)
Monday April 7, 2008
By ROYCE CHEAH

SEPANG: AirAsia will be charging all its passengers a fee for check-in baggage from April 21 in a bid to defray rising fuel costs, its group chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes said.

The fee would be RM3 per piece of baggage through online check-in and RM5 per piece of baggage when checking in at the airport.

Checked-in baggage will be charged on a per piece basis up to a maximum combined weight of 15kg. Anything over 15kg will be charged as excess in addition to the checked-in baggage fee.

According to Fernandes, charging the fee for check-in baggage made more sense than charging everyone an additional fuel surcharge, which was what other airlines were doing.

“With the rising fuel costs, we have to find new and innovative ways to keep our fares low.

“When it comes to bags, we notice that many passengers bring a lot of bags making our planes heavier which in the end makes the plane consume more fuel,” he said.

Fernandes said he did not think that there would be a negative reaction to the move as the fee was not high.

“It will help to defray up to 10% of the fuel cost. It is not much, but it adds up with all the other things we are doing such as priority boarding, selling merchandise and food on the flights.”

According to AirAsia’s statement, the airline believed that passengers should be given the option to choose the services they require and pay for those services.

“This approach has enabled AirAsia to provide continuous low fares, which is a priority for us,” it said.

The statement added that AirAsia was looking to change travellers’ behaviour by encouraging people to travel lighter.

“Lighter baggage weight on board the aircraft means burning less fuel, hence, less pollution and a better environment. Fewer checked-in baggage improves airport efficiency and will eventually lead to shorter check-in queues.”
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Old April 7th, 2008, 01:06 PM   #1128
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World's Best Cabin Staff 2007
We Fly (Malaysia Airlines Theme - Original Version)









Malaysia Airlines: (TVC) Beyond Expectations



MAS still a favourite choice among air travellers
Monday April 7, 2008

ALOR STAR: Malaysia Airline (MAS) is still a favourite choice among air travellers despite stiff competition from other airline companies especially the low-cost airlines.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) senior general manager (operations) Datuk Azmi Murad said the national carrier controlled 65% of the international flights and 35% of the domestic flights in the country.

“This shows that MAS is still a choice among travellers despite facing stiff competitions,” Azmi told newsmen after launching the Health and Safety Campaign 2008 organised by MAHB and MAS.

The campaign was to create safety awareness among MAHB and MAS personnel at the Sultan Abdul Halim Airport in Kepala Batas.

Azmi said the Low Cost Carrier Terminal would be expanded to cater to the increased passenger load and accommodate more low-cost airlines that had expressed interest to set up their bases in the country.

Low-cost airlines currently operating out of the terminal are Air Asia, Air Asia Thailand, Air Asia Indonesia, Tiger Airways and Cebu Pacific.

Azmi said the terminal recorded a total of 7.7 million passengers last year and would hit the 9.7 million mark before the end of this year.

He said that the terminal had a maximum capacity of 10 million passengers and an expansion project would be completed between nine and 12 months' time which could increase the maximum capacity to 15 million passengers.
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Old April 7th, 2008, 05:13 PM   #1129
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AirAsia to charge for handling checked baggage
Published: 2008/04/07

Quote:
AirAsia has no intention to raise fuel surcharge even though the jet oil in today’s market is at US$130 per barrel, says its group chief executive officer

BUDGET airline AirAsia Bhd will charge a fee for handling checked baggage for flights booked from April 21 onwards.

Group chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes said the fee was only applicable for bookings made after April 21 and would be implemented across AirAsia’s network.

“One of the major causes is obviously fuel ... You use more fuel when the aircraft is heavier.

“What we are going to do is that every bag that you checked in, we will charge RM5 per bag, but if you buy online on the days before then we will charge RM3 per bag.

“AirAsia X has been doing this and has proven quite successful. Hence, we are going to do it at AirAsia from April 21,” he said at a media briefing in Sepang today on its plan to impose checked baggage handling fee.

He said the fee would not be imposed on customers who had already booked the flight.

Fernandes said the airline has to shoulder huge costs, especially in an area that people generally “fly with the house” such as Indonesia and China.

“So, this is a way of passing on some of the extra costs directly to the people who need those extra bags,” he said.

He said the move has already been done in Europe and had proven successful.

“In fact, some of the premium airlines (in Europe) have been doing it,” he said.

Fernandes, however, said passengers travelling with only hand luggage would not be charged.

He said previously, the cost of checked baggage was automatically included in the fees.

“This means that those travelling with only hand luggage were subsidising those travelling with heavier checked baggage.

“Now, the guests will pay for the bags they wish to travel with,” he said.

On whether AirAsia would also raise fuel surcharge, Fernandes said: “We have no intention even though the jet oil in today’s market is at US$130 per barrel. - Bernama
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Old April 8th, 2008, 01:23 PM   #1130
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AirAsia to charge for baggage to offset rising fuel cost
by Doreen Leong, 08 Apr 2008 12:23 PM

SEPANG: While AirAsia Bhd will consider raising fuel surcharges should oil prices hit US$132 per barrel, it will only do as a last resort. Instead, the budget airline has figured out an innovative way of covering the rising cost of fuel — charge customers more for their checked-in luggage.

“It is not fair to penalise everybody by imposing higher fuel surcharges. Instead, they should be given the option to choose certain services and pay only for those services,” its group chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes said.

Previously, the cost of checked-in luggage was incorporated in ticket prices. This meant that those travelling without any checked-in luggage, were effectively “subsidising” those travelling with heavier, check-in bags.

Speaking to reporters at a media briefing on the matter, he said one of the measures to defray higher fuel costs was to impose a fee of up to RM5 per checked-in luggage effective for bookings made after April 21.

Passengers who pre-book their checked luggage online would only have to pay RM3 per luggage while those who check in their luggage at the airport counters pay RM5 per luggage. Passengers travelling with hand luggage alone will not be charged.

“We have no intention of raising the fuel surcharge for now. I don’t think oil prices will go higher than US$130 per barrel,” Fernandes added.

The last time AirAsia imposed a higher fuel surcharge was on Dec 18, 2007 with a minimal increase of between RM2 to RM3 per ticket, depending on sectors. On average, fuel surcharges account for some 30% of Air Asia ticket prices.

Oil prices rose near to US$107 per barrel yesterday in Asia as prospects for further cuts in US interest rates seemed more likely after poor US jobs data at the end of last week. The falling dollar has been one of the key factors supporting oil prices in the past weeks.

Fernandes said luggage is a huge cost for AirAsia, accounting for about 4% of its total cost and the fee on handling checked luggage would help recover cost from heavier planes.

“Lighter luggage weight on board the aircraft means the burning of less fuel. Fewer checked luggage improves airport efficiency and will eventually lead to shorter check-in queues,” he added.

Despite not being able to recover the higher fuel costs completely, Fernandes said AirAsia would continue to enjoy healthy margins as it fills its planes at a faster-than-expected rate and grows its ancillary income.

He added that as AirAsia increases the frequencies on its routes, passengers would be able to enjoy between 15% and 20% cheaper ticket fares on those routes.

Its investor relations officer Mohshin Abdul Aziz told The Edge previously that based on its rough estimates, about half of Air Asia’s passengers carry one luggage while a quarter has two. The rest only carry a hand carried luggage.

“Assuming AirAsia carries 12 million passengers this year, this means the airline will be able to rake in some RM27 million just on luggage alone,” he said.
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Old April 9th, 2008, 04:16 PM   #1131
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Sarawak to consider AirAsia's LCCT request
Published: 2008/04/09

Quote:
The Sarawak Government will help AirAsia to get a special terminal so that the airline's operations will stay low cost, says the state's chief minister
THE Sarawak government will consider AirAsia’s request for a low cost terminal in Kuching to help make the Sarawak capital a hub for global low cost travel, Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said today.

The state government, which supports an “open sky” policy, is receptive to the airline’s role in bringing Kuching closer to other parts of the region by opening more entry points for foreign visitors to Sarawak and to allow for better air connectivity.

“We (the state government) will help you (AirAsia) get a special terminal so that your operation will stay low cost as you wish,” he said when launching AirAsia’s inaugural flight of its thrice weekly Jakarta-Kuching service.

However, Abdul Taib did not disclose if a suitable site has been identified for the terminal.

At present AirAsia’s Kuching hub, which also connects to other points in the peninsula and Sabah, serves seven domestic routes - to Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Johor Baru, Kota Kinabalu, Miri, Bintulu and Sibu - as well as three international destinations - Macau, Bali and now Jakarta - with a total of 163 flights a week.

With the direct service to Jakarta, Taib said, there is better justification for Indonesians to visit Sarawak, which recorded 410,000 visitors from the republic last year, the second highest number after Bruneians.

Speaking at a press conference later, AirAsia Bhd Group chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes said he had discussed with the Chief Minister on the need to provide a simpler facility as the airlines will not abandon its low cost principle, in terms of low fares, despite the global hike in petrol prices.

He stressed that it is crucial to set up a low cost terminal as AirAsia is optimistic that its Kuching hub will generate about five million passengers in three years through additional direct air links.

“Since 2001, we have carried over 8.5 million passengers from and into Sarawak from the various AirAsia points in the region and we strongly hope that our robust growth will be supported with an appropriate air terminal to cater to this emerging demand,” Fernandes added.

The passenger volume included two million passengers to and from Kuching and three million for the whole state last year, according to him.

“We are bullish and will work very hard with the Sarawak government,” he assured, pointing out that brand new Airbus A320 aircraft will be deployed for all its flights to Kuching from May 4.

Fernandes said AirAsia is looking at establishing direct flights from Kuching to Manila to exploit the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) as well as to Singapore, Bangkok, Brunei and Perth.

It also hopes to unleash the state’s huge tourism potentials through innovative yet affordable and accessible routes, including a Kuching-Taipei direct link which is scheduled to be introduced by year-end, he added. — Bernama
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Old April 10th, 2008, 03:53 PM   #1132
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MAS sees higher profit from repair business
Published: 2008/04/10

MALAYSIAN Airline System Bhd (MAS) expects its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) business to register higher profit of RM400 million this year compared with RM320 million last year.

Its managing director/chief executive officer, Datuk Seri Idris Jala, said its engineering and maintenance unit’s third-party MRO business was set to grow by utilising its facility at the KL International Airport (KLIA).

“We have a big hangar in KLIA. There is scope for us to utilise (the facility) with our highly-talented engineers and grow the business,” he told reporters at the official visit of Transport Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat to MAS office in Petaling Jaya, today.

The airline company’s MRO clients are AirAsia, AirAsia X, JetsAir and Lufthansa.

Asked whether MAS planned to review its fuel surcharge following Singapore Airline’s move last month to increase its fuel levy, Idris said that MAS was still studying the matter and that it wanted to ensure that customers don’t end up being burdened.

He said MAS will look at its fuel surcharge cost and also monitor its 43 per cent hedging policy and reduce other costs.

On March 17, oil price recorded a record high of US$111.80, prompting the increase in fuel levy by SIA.

Oil price has since eased to around US$102 a barrel.

“We have submitted our request to the government and at the moment there are discussions between the government and MAS,” Idris said when asked for an update on the government subsidy for the rural routes in Sabah and Sarawak.

“We want to reduce as much as possible the subsidy. So we don’t burden the public (tax payers) and the government to make sure we can run in a very tight shape,” he said.

Currently, MAS continues to operate these zero-profit routes as a social obligation through MASwings. — Bernama
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Old April 11th, 2008, 08:31 AM   #1133
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AirAsia X: London flights will take off
By Anna Maria Samsudin Published: 2008/04/11

Quote:
AirAsia X's business model and cost structure provide the carrier with a better chance to succeed compared with Oasis, says OSK Research associate director
LONG-HAUL budget airline AirAsia X is unfazed by the collapse of Oasis Hong Kong Airlines and is proceeding with its plans to start flights to London from Kuala Lumpur.

Its chief executive officer Azran Osman-Rani said that its current cost structure, the world's second lowest at US$0.04 (RM0.13) per available seat kilometres after AirAsia Bhd's, enables the airline to stay in good shape to operate its long-haul routes profitably.

Commenting on the closure of budget airline Oasis 18 months after it first took to the skies, Azran said it was not an indicator that the business model had failed.

"It is more to do with the impact of rising fuel cost, which has been putting pressure on the entire airline industry," he told Business Times in a telephone interview yesterday.

"Oasis is not the only casualty. Legacy full-service carriers, too, are not spared from feeling the impact of higher fuel cost. Several premium airlines, such as the US-based Aloha Air, have gone bankrupt because of the current situation," he said.

This makes it more crucial for both low-cost (LCCs) and full-service carriers (FSCs) to stick to their respective business models to better manage their cost structure. "Mixing both models would only bring disaster," he said.

Azran believes that to be a successful LCC, an airline must operate the right aircraft type and have the right seat configuration and efficient use of planes - all of which AirAsia X adheres to.

In addition, being part of the AirAsia group has enabled the airline to benefit from the globally recognised brand, sales infrastructure and resources such as pilots and cabin crew.

OSK Research Sdn Bhd associate director Chris Eng said that AirAsia X's business model and its strong parent company will help the airline weather the challenging aviation climate.

Since AirAsia X is unlikely to start the London-Kuala Lumpur flights this year, the carrier can make use of the opportunity to build up its plane capacity and improve its services to China and Australia.

"I do not see AirAsia X folding anytime soon. As for its long-haul service to London, I think its business model and cost structure provide the carrier with a better chance to succeed compared with Oasis," Eng said.

A local analyst, who declined to be named, said that AirAsia X has an added advantage over other start-up airlines when it comes to market outlook and sharing of resources as it has industry veterans such as AirAsia's Datuk Tony Fernandes and Virgin's Richard Branson as shareholders.

AirAsia X's financial position is sound, he added.

"And if it does need to raise more cash, it can easily do so by selling more of its shares to investors," he said.
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Old April 12th, 2008, 01:34 PM   #1134
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AirAsia Fleet

AirAsia

Thai-AirAsia

Indonesia-AirAsia

AirAsia-X

Last edited by aseantraveler; April 12th, 2008 at 05:20 PM.
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Old April 13th, 2008, 07:27 AM   #1135
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AirAsia drops Xiamen flights

AVIATION

AirAsia drops Xiamen flights

BOONSONG KOSITCHOTETHANA

The no-frills carrier Thai AirAsia (TAA) has dropped Xiamen in southeastern China from its network as it shifts aircraft capacity to two new routes that potentially offer greater economic returns.

TAA said it pulled the plug on its flights to Xiamen, which started in April 2005, due to higher operating costs, a limited load factor and a price war with Thai Airways International.

TAA executives described the withdrawal, effective from March 31, as a temporary suspension. But they gave no indication as to when operations would resume. Its withdrawal gave THAI opportunities to maximise traffic benefits from the route, which it flies three times a week.

The no-frills carrier believes it will be more profitable to use the planes on two new routes, Bangkok-Jakarta and Bangkok-Ho Chi Minh City (HCM), according to TAA chief executive Tassapon Bijleveld.

''With oil prices skyrocketing, the new routes seem to offer a better economic proposition,'' he said, adding that jet fuel cost more China than in other areas where the airline operates.

TAA started flying daily to Jakarta on April 1 and to HCM on April 4, starting with two flights a week. It doubled those to four flights a week on April 27.

With Xiamen removed from its network, the only point in mainland China that TAA is still serving is Shenzhen. TAA inaugurated Bangkok-Shenzhen service in July last year.

TAA's earlier plan to start flying from Bangkok to Guangzhou this year has yet to take off as the airline began to tread more cautiously on its expansion plan in the wake of a global economic slowdown and spiralling oil prices.

Mr Tassapon said the airline would look to consolidate operations on its existing network over the next two years, rather than aggressively pursuing new routes like before. Furthermore, the airline does not have the aircraft capacity to fly new routes, possibly to Bali, Dhaka, Kunming and India.

TAA is advancing the retirement of its Boeing B737-300 fleet and replacing them with brand-new Airbus A320 jetliners. By the end of next year, its fleet will consist entirely of A320s.

TAA has ordered 40 A320s, three of which were delivered last year. Five are due this year and five more next year.

Mr Tassapon said that the airline carried nearly 1.2 million passengers in the first quarter of this year with a load factor of 79%.
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Old April 13th, 2008, 04:21 PM   #1136
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Ambulift launched at LCCT
Sunday April 13, 2008
TheStar

Quote:
AirAsia launches ambulift for disabled passengers


Disabled-friendly move: An AirAsia flight attendant posing with disabled
people in front of the new ambulift at the LCCT at the KL International
Airport on Saturday.



SEPANG: AirAsia launched its first ambulift at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) here to allow disabled passengers to board the aircraft instead of being physically carried into the plane by AirAsia workers.

The airline bought two ambulifts, one to be placed at LCCT and another one at Kota Kinabalu airport.

Ambulift is a lift that is attached to the back of a van to lift passengers from the aircraft to the ground so they do not have to use the steps.

Nine months ago, members of the Barrier-Free Environment and Accessible Transport Group (BEAT) representing the disabled community gathered at the LCCT to protest the carrier’s “discriminatory” policy and demanded disabled-friendly services by AirAsia.

They asked the airline to provide an ambulift to allow disabled passengers to board the aircraft instead of being physically carried into the plane by AirAsia workers.

Former Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy then ordered Malaysia Airports Berhad and AirAsia to solve the problem.

AirAsia chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandez said providing the ambulift was only one part of their initiatives to be disabled-friendly.

He said they were also in talks with Malaysia Airports to provide free aerobridge usage at airports that do not have ambulifts and give staff hands-on training by engaging those from the disabled community.

“We will also enhance our services and accessibility where possible and we hope to set the example for other LCCTs and airlines to work towards an improved environment for our disabled friends,” he said.

However, he hoped Malaysia Airports would improve airport facilities and provide level walkways and designated car parks.

Fernandez also said that the AirAsia’s A320 aircraft could only take a maximum of four disabled guests per flight and two of the seats could accommodate quadriplegic flyers.

BEAT coordinator Christina Lee welcomed AirAsia’s move to introduce disability equality training for the cabin crew and staff.

“This will give them a better understanding of “disability” issues as well as tips on how to relate to and assist disabled passengers,” she said.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 02:34 PM   #1137
David-80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aseantraveler View Post
AFAIK Indonesia AirAsia has ten B733 fleet though, they're still waiting to receive their 1st A320.

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Old April 16th, 2008, 04:02 PM   #1138
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MAS to gain RM70m-RM100m more from hub-and-spoke network
16 Apr 2008 10:51 AM

SUBANG: Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) expects to gain incremental revenue of between RM70 million and RM100 million this year from its enhanced global hub-and-spoke network, said its commercial director Datuk Rashid Khan.

He said the national carrier had over the past two years built an extensive hub-and-spoke network with 25 airline partners, allowing its customers to connect to most destinations worldwide.

Rashid said this in a statement yesterday, which was issued in conjunction with its announcement of the launch of three direct flights per week to Cairo, Egypt.

“There have been lots of requests for us to offer direct flights to Cairo. It’s a magnet for tourists as well as businessmen and we are delighted to code-share with EgyptAir to meet these requests,” he said.

Meanwhile, ECM Libra Research said in order to differentiate its products versus the low cost carriers, it was vital for MAS to provide connectivity for its long-haul passengers to other destinations within the region.

It said MAS was also looking into expanding to Eastern Europe and India via code-share agreements with Turkish Airlines and India’s Jet Airways this year.

“These two agreements are seen as vital pieces to MAS’ hub-and-spoke jigsaw puzzle due to their extensive networks,” it said, initiating coverage on MAS with a buy at the stock’s current price of RM3.74.

“We believe MAS offers an attractive investment proposition should the company continue to deliver. Furthermore, MAS’ huge net cash of RM4.4 billion or RM2.63 per share should limit the downside risk,” it said in a research note yesterday.

ECM Libra said MAS had registered “tremendous improvement” in its balance sheet, as its cash reserve had increased to an “exhilarating” RM5.3 billion as at December 2007.

“We estimate operating cash flows to increase by RM1.3 billion and RM1.7 billion in FY08 and FY09, respectively. With limited capex prior to the delivery of new B737-800, we estimate the cash reserve to increase to RM7.6 billion by FY09,” it said.

ECM Libra said MAS had been historically trading at a discount to its regional peers, probably due to its disappointing operation and financial performances.

“Today, MAS appears to be trading at 5%-35% discount to its regional peers and we expect the gap to narrow as MAS’ profitability continues to improve under the BTP2 (business transformation plan),” it said.

ECM Libra said the constantly evolving landscape of the airline industry would push players against the wall and MAS was by no means sheltered from the increasingly tough environment.

It said in the past two weeks, four airlines, US-based ATA Airlines, Aloha Airlines, Skybus Airlines, and Hong Kong’s Oasis Airlines, had collapsed, citing record fuel prices and intense competition.

ECM Libra identified five potential pitfalls that were expected to suppress the aviation sector’s profitability — a weakening global economy, surging capacity additions, liberalisation of Asean skies, proliferation of LCCs, and record oil prices.

“We believe that MAS is capable of riding out these challenges,” it said, adding that MAS’ success in implementing its business turnaround plan had offered it a platform to build a sustainable long-term profitable airline.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 08:15 PM   #1139
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planespotters.net is not really up-to-date.
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Old April 17th, 2008, 04:58 PM   #1140
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AirAsia to add flights to Vietnam
Published: 2008/04/17


Quote:
AirAsia group is also aggressively expanding and strengthening its network in Indochina
AIRASIA is increasing its twice weekly Bangkok-Ho Chi Minh City flights to four times weekly from April 27 to meet the rising demand from passengers at both cities.

“The Kuala Lumpur-Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok-Ho Chi Minh City services will also enable the people of Ho Chi Minh City to connect to AirAsia’s extensive group network and also attract long-haul guests from Gold Coast, Australia, and Hangzhou, China,” it said in a statement today.

It said AirAsia group is also aggressively expanding and strengthening its network in Indochina.

The low cost carrier has nine points into Indochina, including Phnom Penh and Siem Reap (Cambodia), Vientiane (Laos), Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), from Kuala Lumpur.

It also has services to Phnom Penh, Yangon (Myanmar), Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City from Bangkok.

To date, AirAsia group has carried over 49 million passengers and has grown from a two-aircraft fleet to 70 within of six years of operation. — Bernama
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