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Old July 26th, 2008, 10:50 AM   #1221
ntly1
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source:www.thestar.com.my

MAS flying Chelsea on its Asian tour

PETALING JAYA: Chelsea is being flown by Malaysia Airlines for its 2008 Asian tour which will also see them in action at the Shah Alam Stadium on Tuesday.

The national carrier has already taken the 2005/6 English Premier champions to Guangzhou for their first game against Guangzhou Pharmaceutical where Chelsea won 4-0 on Wednesday.


The preferred choice: Chelsea’s Frank Lampard being greeted by a MAS stewardess when he boarded the flight in London.

The MAS chartered flight took the team to Macau yesterday where they will play Chengdu Blades on Saturday before heading to Malaysia to take on the national selection.

After that, Chelsea will fly MAS to Russia for the Railways Cup.

MAS signed an agreement yesterday with football consultancy ProEvents International Sdn Bhd to be the Chelsea official air charter for the tour.

Last year, Malaysia Airlines (MAS) chartered football club Manchester United.

“When it comes to providing air charter services for world-class soccer clubs, MAS has consistently maintained its competitive edge for many years as the preferred carrier for these recognised teams.

“This is evidenced by our success in securing the business to fly 5-star soccer clubs like Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona and now Chelsea with an entourage of about 100 persons,” said its executive director and chief financial officer Tengku Datuk Azmil Zahruddin.

Fast-tracked check-in for departures, specially made in-flight seat headrests with the Chelsea Asia Tour 2008 insignia, seamless baggage restoration on arrival and exclusive in-flight entertainment are among the special treatment arrangements the airline has put in place for this purpose.

The Chelsea-Malaysian selection match will kick-off at 8.45pm. For ticketing details visit www.ticketpro.com.my or call 03-7880 7999.
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Old July 28th, 2008, 12:04 PM   #1222
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Visa rule could scupper AirAsia X flights to Japan
Monday July 28, 2008, TheStar

KUALA LUMPUR: Long-haul budget airline AirAsia X is likely to drop plans to fly to Japan next year due to tough visa rules, said a top official with the airline.

“Give me a chance now and I’d rather fly to South Korea, the Middle East and India ... other countries are competing for Malaysian tourists,” AirAsia X chief executive officer Azran Osman-Rani told AFP in an interview.

“To get a Japanese visa, a Malaysian has to visit the embassy in Kuala Lumpur twice and even then the person is not sure a visa will be issued,” he said.

The Australian-based Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (Capa) said recently that Japan’s highly restrictive visa system virtually rules out AirAsia X from starting a service in 2009 as it had planned.

Capa said Japan would have to remove the visa restrictions to make it attractive to regional budget carriers.

Azran said that when he visited airports in Japan earlier this month, the operators were eager to accept AirAsia X flights to “compensate” as full-service carriers like Qantas had cut back their frequencies.

An affiliate of regional low-cost carrier AirAsia and Virgin Group, AirAsia X was launched in January 2007.

Meanwhile, AirAsia has extended its service to Makassar’s main gateway, the Hasanuddin International Airport, making it the first international airline to service the route.

The airport in Sulawesi, Indonesia, connects to other international routes via Kuala Lumpur and domestic destinations in the region.
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Old July 28th, 2008, 12:11 PM   #1223
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Chelsea players get a kick out of satay
Monday July 28, 2008, By Y.P. SIVAM, TheStar


IT was satay, the all-time favourite among Malaysians, that the Chelsea players tucked into during their journey from London to Guangzhou – the first stopover for the Blues in the Samsung-Asian Tour 2008.

According to Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Hajj and Charter services assistant general manager Nik Ahmad Huzlan Nik Hussain, the Chelsea players found the delicacy irresistible.

“Satay was included in the special menu, prepared by MAS after consulting Chelsea’s team of nutritionists and dieticians. The menu was proposed to the Chelsea management when MAS was appointed as the official air charter for the Blues’ Asian Tour.

“The menu was also proposed on the length of the trip. For instance, the flight from London to Guangzhou was about 12 hours and we had to look at breakfast, lunch and dinner. And it also depended on the time zone,” said Nik Ahmad Huzlan.

MAS will be responsible for Chelsea’s Asian Tour with stoppages in Guangzhou, Macau, Kuala Lumpur and Moscow.

The tour started on July 20 and will end with the team returning to London on Aug 3. The Chelsea entourage comprises players, officials, sponsors and medical team.






Delicious: A stewardess serving satay during
the team’s flight from London to Guangzhou.





“We are responsible for the team’s travelling programme from the time they check in and until they check out,” he said.

Nik Ahmad Huzlan said MAS had deployed a group of 30 dedicated employees, who were handpicked for the exclusive flight.

“The Chelsea entourage could be from 80 to 120 at any one time. We will ensure that staff members involved in the programme are not star-struck. They are also not allowed to solicit for photos or autographs unless authorised.

“The staff are also competent on safety requirements and must be obliging,” added Nik Ahmad Huzlan.

Upon the contingent’s arrival, MAS will have to make arrangements for special checkout. MAS staff manning the check-outs, have the ability to handle cargo and excess baggage.






Thorough planning: Nik Huslan (second from right)
discussing Chelsea's Asian Tour with his staff.





MAS has vast experience with foreign teams. They have flown teams like Manchester United (2005 and 2007); Barcelona (2004); Real Madrid (2003) and Juventus (2004).

Nik Ahmad Huzlan said the experience gained from the previous expeditions would come in handy when they welcomed Chelsea.

After the match, the Chelsea entourage will depart to the KL International Airport (KLIA) where MAS would have made arrangements for the players to freshen up at the airport.

“Preparation for the flight to Moscow will begin four hours prior to departure,” added Nik Ahmad Huzlan.

Chelsea will take on the Malaysian Selection at the Shah Alam Stadium tomorrow. The match will kick off at 8.45pm.

The match will be telecast live to England, Italy, Portugal, the Balkans, Serbia, Poland, CIS States, Indonesia, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and the Middle East.

The official match sponsors include Samsung Malaysia, adidas, Maxis, Astro, Malaysia Airlines and the Palace of the Golden Horses.

Tickets, priced at RM33, RM53, RM83, RM103 and RM303 (VIP), are on sale at Ticket Pro outlets and selected adidas stores.

For more information call 03-78807999 or log on to www.ticketpro.com.my
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Old July 29th, 2008, 05:38 PM   #1224
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MAS To Introduce Over-The-Counter Payment Service By Early 2009
July 29, 2008 20:13 PM

PETALING JAYA, July 29 (Bernama) -- Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is expected to launch its over-the-counter payment service by early 2009 to increase online booking transactions, its senior general manager of network and revenue management, Datuk Bernard Francis said.

He said the airline was in talks with three local banks and a few others in in Asean to introduce the service. He however declined to name the banks.

"We are actually at an advanced stage of discussions involving technology and integration," he told reporters after the presentation of MAS' online payment service via CIMB Clicks, here Tuesday.

He added that MAS was looking to collaborate with selected banks which had branches in the region.

"The new service enables customers to make online bookings and payments at any bank, the post office or institution recognised by us," he said.

On the new online payment facility via CIMB Clicks, Francis said the service ensured customers with no credit cards could still enjoy MAS' attractive online offers.

"The online payment facility via CIMB Clicks is simple and user friendly. Once the flight booking is confirmed at www.malaysiaairlines.com, customers will be directed to the payment page, where they select CIMB Bank and the account for the payment to be debited," Francis explained.

The online facility has registered RM250,000 in transactions since its launch in May this year.

MAS has targeted to increase its internet penetration rate to 60 percent by 2010 from the 15 percent at present.

The national airline first rolled out its internet booking portal in January 2004 to cater for the domestic sector and moved to cover international air travel effective Aug 14 the same year.

It offers payment options via Visa and Mastercard credit cards.

-- BERNAMA
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Old July 30th, 2008, 03:57 AM   #1225
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AirAsia starts special promotion
Published: 2008/07/30, BusinessTimes

AIRASIA Bhd, Asia's largest low-cost carrier (LCC), is offering airfares from Kuala Lumpur to eight domestic destinations for as low as RM9 each way, excluding taxes, fuel surcharges and fees.

The destinations comprise Alor Star, Johor Baru, Kota Baru, Langkawi, Penang, Kuala Terengganu, Kuantan and Labuan.

In a statement yesterday, AirAsia said the booking period for this special promotion began on Monday to August 5 for travelling between September 1 and November 13.

The move is in conjunction with Tourism Malaysia's ZOOM Malaysia tourism campaign, which aims to strengthen and stimulate domestic tourism.

Other routes offered under the promotion include Bintulu, Kuching, Miri and Sibu in Sarawak and Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan and Tawau in Sabah, which are priced from RM29 one way.

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Old July 30th, 2008, 04:35 AM   #1226
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MAS in talks with banks to expand online sales
Wednesday July 30, 2008, TheStar

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is in discussions with more banks to provide additional payment modes to its customers worldwide.

This follows the success of the national carrier’s partnerships with Maybank and CIMB Bank since May by which clients of the two banks can pay for their tickets online without using credit cards.

“We are looking at giving our customers additional payment modes in order to simplify their air travel transactions,” said MAS network and revenue management senior general manager Datuk Bernard Francis.

Francis said MAS was in talks with three other banks in Malaysia and several others in the Asean region on similar partnerships.

On its partnership with Maybank and CIMB Bank, Francis said once bookings were finalised, customers would be guided to the online payment option page where they could authorise payments to be debited directly from their bank account.

“This will encourage more customers to buy online as it is more cost effective, and travellers can view, select and purchase value-for-money deals from the airline from the comfort of their homes and workplace,” he told reporters at a news conference here yesterday.

“At the global level, we are in discussions with big financial institutions, especially those with branches around the world,” he said, adding that MAS was soon introducing over-the-counter payments through its partnered financial institutions locally and globally.

It is learnt that the exercise is to further strengthen the airline’s distribution network.

Since its e-ticketing service was wholly implemented in May, MAS has seen nearly three million hits a month, equivalent to RM100mil in online ticketing sales.

The carrier aims to do 60% of its transactions online by 2010.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 08:07 PM   #1227
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MAS to launch OTC payment by 1Q09
By Sharmila Ganapathy, 30 Jul 2008 4:26 PM, THEEDGEDAILY




CIMB Bank head of retail banking Peter England (left), Francis (centre) and
MAS air stewardess Siti Rohana at the launch of its online payment facility
in partnership with CIMB Bank. Photo by Suhaimi Yusuf


KELANA JAYA: Malaysia Airline System Bhd (MAS) plans to launch its over-the-counter (OTC) payment system by year-end or at the very latest the first quarter of next year, the company said yesterday.

Its senior general manager of network and revenue management, Datuk Bernard Francis, told reporters here yesterday that the new service would allow travellers to book and pay for their tickets online at any bank, post office or institutions recognised by the airline.

“We are in discussions with three banks in Malaysia and a number of banks in Asean and the rest of the world,” he said, adding that the discussions were at an advanced stage involving technology and integration. He did not divulge the names of the banks.

“We want to start (this service) in Malaysia, once successful we will introduce in all the markets we are in,” he added.

MAS, he said, planned to work with local banks in Malaysia. In the Asean region, the airline would explore working directly with local banks in the respective countries, as well as with Malaysian banks with presence elsewhere in Asia, for instance CIMB Bank which has a presence in Indonesia.

“We are also in discussions with a few global banks with branches around the world, some of which have 20,000 branches worldwide,” Francis said.

He was speaking after the launch of a new online payment facility in partnership with CIMB Bank, where travellers can make payments directly via CIMB Clicks, thus eliminating the need for credit cards. Payments are debited directly from the customer’s savings or current account in real-time.

“There are also no interest charges or fees for this convenience, which is available anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said CIMB’s head of retail banking Peter England.

Bernard said the online facility had booked RM250,000 transactions since it went operational in May. The service is part of the airline’s longer-term plan to increase its Internet penetration rate to 60% by 2010 from about 15% currently. It first introduced its online booking portal in January 2004.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 08:08 PM   #1228
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AirAsia launches Zoom promotion fares
30 Jul 2008 3:10 PM, THEEDGEDAILY

SEPANG: AirAsia has launched a new promotion which offers fares from as low as RM9 to selected domestic destinations, in conjunction with Tourism Malaysia’s Zoom Malaysia tourism campaign.

In a statement yesterday, AirAsia said the move was in line with the government’s effort to strengthen and stimulate domestic tourism. All fares exclude airport taxes, fuel surcharges and fees.

Fares are priced as low as RM9 one way from Kuala Lumpur to domestic destinations such as Alor Setar, Johor Bahru, Kota Bharu, Langkawi, Penang, Terengganu and Kuantan. East Malaysian route Labuan is also offered at RM9.

Other domestic routes offered under the Zoom promotion, which are priced at RM29 one way, include Bintulu, Kuching, Miri and Sibu in Sarawak plus Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan and Tawau in Sabah.

The booking period for this latest promotion begins on July 28 until Aug 5, 2008 for the travel period of Sept 1 to Nov 13, 2008.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 03:48 AM   #1229
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AIRSIA'S DEBT ISSUE TO BE RESOLVED WITH MAHB WILL SETTLE WITHIN NEXT TWO WEEKS, SAYS AIRASIA CEO

Bernama - Thursday, July 31

PENANG, July 30 (Bernama) -- Budget carrier AirAsia will resolve problems relating to it reportedly owing RM100 million to Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd for the use of the latter's airports in the country within the next two weeks.

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AirAsia's chief executive Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes said discussions were ongoing with MAHB and both sides have reached an agreement.

"I have met Datuk Seri Basher Ahmad, Malaysia Airports' managing director and I'm optimistic that within the next two weeks, there would not be any issue between AirAsia and Malaysia Airports," he told reporters after a dinner meeting with the Penang business community.

During the dinner, he met Basher Ahmad where they discussed the issue.

He said both parties had a fruitful dinner and that they would be happy with the resolution.

It was reported in May that the low-cost carrier owes MAHB more than RM100mil for its use of airports in the country since 2002 until March 31 this year.

AirAsia's debts included RM5.4mil that the low cost carrier owed when it was operating the Rural Air Services (RAS) in Sabah and Sarawak.

It had appealed for the amount to be reduced.

However, he said the budget airline is urgently in need of low cost terminals in Malaysia as it was not getting low charges for using the country's airports.

"I am very keen on setting up our own low-cost terminal but its really in the hands of the Federal government to decide and work on it," he said.

Despite the the recent fuel hike, he said AirAsia will continue to expand its route and will not increase the fuel surcharge.

"It will certainly be a wrong move for the company to cut back on routes as we want to take a different view. We have launched a new "ZOOM" domestic flight package in cooperation with Malaysia Tourism," he said. -- BERNAMA
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Old July 31st, 2008, 03:55 AM   #1230
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AirAsia expects to resolve LCCT debt issue in 2 weeks
By Marina Emmanuel Published: 2008/07/31, BusinessTimes

BUDGET carrier AirAsia Bhd expects to resolve any outstanding issues it has over the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) charges in two weeks.

Group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes said he met with Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) managing director Datuk Seri Bashir Ahmad on Monday to discuss the amount it owes the airport operator.

"I am optimistic that we can resolve this because it was a meeting of minds... the issue with MAHB is coming to an end," he said, but did not elaborate.

Fernandes was speaking to reporters at the inaugural session of investPenang's "The CEO Speaks" series in Penang yesterday.

Fernandes presented a talk on "Branding: Jazzing Up Your Business", which was launched by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

AirAsia is disputing the amount it owes MAHB because it believes that charges at the LCCT should be lower than the KL International Airport's main terminal.

It was reported that the actual amount accumulated since 2002 varies from the RM60 million mentioned in some reports to up to RM110 million as reported in Parliament.

The matter was reported to have been brought to the Finance Ministry to resolve.

"It is a bonus for us to clear that," Fernandes said, adding that the low-cost carrier business is a new one and therefore took a little longer for various parties to understand its operating concept.

Asked whether AirAsia is planning to settle its debts with MAHB, Fernandes said: "We have resolved whatever historical issues which are outstanding and will need further discussions on the future."

On the business outlook for AirAsia amid rising fuel costs, Fernandes said: "Despite 24 airlines around the world going bust, I am optimistic that people will still want to fly and we will continue doing what we are doing and ride through the storm."
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Old July 31st, 2008, 08:18 PM   #1231
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AirAsia To Offer Fares From As Low As RM15 At Matta Fair
July 31, 2008 22:39 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, July 31 (Bernama) -- AirAsia Bhd will offer fares as low as RM15 from Johor Baharu (JB) hub to Kuala Lumpur in conjunction with the 10th Malaysian Association of Tour & Travel Agents (Matta) Fair which will be held in JB from Aug 1-3.

In a statement here Thursday, the company said the fares would also be priced as low as RM40 from JB to Penang with two flights available daily while the JB to Kota Kinabalu daily flights would be at as low as RM70.

AirAsia said it would also include several regional destinations as an added treat for budding travellers.

"A one-way flight to Jakarta or Surabaya is offered from as low as RM50 from JB with three flights a week for each route.

"Daily flights to Macau are also offered with fares from as low as RM100," it said.

It said it would also give away free return flights from JB hub to Macau, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta and from Kuala Lumpur hub to the Gold Coast, Banda Aceh and Vientiane.

Four free seats are allocated for each destination, it said.

AirAsia regional head of commercial, Kathleen Tan, said the MATTA fair gave the company an opportunity to reach out to the public.

"With low fares going even lower at the fair, it is the time for the public to take full advantage as the routes offered are among our best sellers," she said.

-- BERNAMA
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 03:39 AM   #1232
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AirAsia’s inaugural flight to Makassar receives warm welcome
Saturday August 2, 2008
TheStar

The largest low-cost carrier in Asia, AirAsia celebrated its inaugural flight from Kuala Lumpur to Makassar (Ujung Pandang) in a warm welcoming ceremony held at the Hasanuddin International Airport recently.

Hasanuddin International Airport is Makassar’s main gateway and it connects to other international routes which AirAsia flies to via Kuala Lumpur.

It also serves other domestic points in that region such as Bajarmasin, Kendari, Palu, Mana-do, Gorantalo, Ambon and Jayapura.

Guests on Flight AK1026 from Kuala Lumpur were welcomed with a traditional cultural dance before being garlanded by the VIPs.

Among those present at the ceremony were South Sulawesi Governor Dr H. Syahrul Yasin Limpo, director-general of Indonesia’s Marketing Culture and Tourism Department Sapta Nirwandar, CEO of Indonesia AirAsia Capt Dharmadi and H. Jafrie Arief, Indonesia AirAsia’s director of airport & public policy as well as representatives from the Culture and Tourism Office of South Sulawesi.

Guests from Makassar who were travelling to Kuala Lumpur received goodie bags courtesy of Tourism Malaysia.

AirAsia group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes said: “AirAsia’s low fares has enabled this new route to escalate in terms of the growth of passenger traffic between both countries and stimulate the local economies and tourism. This is evident as our first flight today recorded over 77% of load factor and this is a good indication of the strong growth for this sector.

“We hope that with this new air connectivity, the people of Makassar will have access to more low-cost alternatives to international routes and additional destinations from Kuala Lumpur.

“Many Malaysian Malays are of Bugis descent with roots in South Sulawesi, hence the striking resemblance in terms of food and culture. Perhaps our revolutionary low fares will also initiate them to renew family ties and visit each other more frequently.”

Governor Dr Syahrul said: “We are pleased that AirAsia has become the first international airline to service this route, opening up our market to the world once again.

“Indeed this service has been long awaited by the people of Makassar and certainly will increase the integration between Makassar and Kuala Lumpur, enhance the trade and tourism industry of both countries in addition to further drive passenger traffic between the two cities.”

For more information, visit www.airasia.com
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Old August 5th, 2008, 05:05 AM   #1233
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AirAsia will launch 2nd KL-HK direct flight
Published: 2008/08/05

AIR Asia Bhd will launch its second direct daily flights from Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong to meet the increase demand from business and leisure travellers.

In a statement, its regional head of commercial, Kathleen Tan, said Hong Kong has always been a prominent destination due to its significance as a growing centre of international commercial and financial hub.

The promotional fares start from as low as RM88 for the booking period from Aug 5 to 8, 2008 for the travel period from Aug 27 to Apr 30, 2009. — Bernama
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Old August 6th, 2008, 04:20 AM   #1234
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Agence France-Presse - 8/5/2008 3:09 AM GMT

AirAsia X denies passenger weigh-in

Malaysian long-haul budget carrier AirAsia X on Tuesday denied it was considering charging passengers according to how much they weigh.

An Australian executive with the airline had been quoted as telling a travel industry magazine that an initiative to charge larger passengers "could help Aussies lose weight".

But the carrier said the comment had merely been a joke.

"We never planned nor even considered charging passengers by weight," chief executive Azran Osman-Rani said in a statement.

An affiliate of regional low-cost carrier AirAsia and Virgin Group, AirAsia X was launched in January 2007.

From its base in Kuala Lumpur it operates services to Australia's Gold Coast and Hangzhou in China.

It is set to begin flying to Perth from November but plans to fly to Britain are yet to be finalised.
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Old August 6th, 2008, 04:30 AM   #1235
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MAS hot meals set to rake in RM50m annually
Published: 2008/08/05



HOT meal boxes, currently offered on selected Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flights, are likely to bring RM50 million in additional revenue annually, managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Idris Jala said yesterday.

Hot meal boxes are currently offered on selected flights from Kuala Lumpur to Penang, Kuching, Miri and Kota Kinabalu.

The boxes are also available on Asean flights between Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, Yangon, Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh, Jogjakarta, Phuket, Bandar Seri Begawan, Denpasar, Hanoi, Jakarta, Manila, Siem Reap, Surabaya and Singapore.

At a media briefing in Petaling Jaya yesterday, Idris said the national carrier was introducing the meal boxes in response to customer preferences while optimising aircraft utilisation in line with MAS' business transformation plan.

"Many full-service carriers in the region like Thai Airways and Garuda as well as European carriers such as Lufthansa and KLM are already offering meal boxes, especially in their short- to medium-haul flights. Consequently, we decided to test this out," he said.

"This hybrid approach will see the return of all-time favourites such as nasi lemak and nasi goreng kampung as well as the introduction of new varieties. In addition, we have more menu options available and customers can now choose between an Asian or western meal," he added.

A total of 37 menus are on offer over an eight-week cycle rotation to ensure that frequent travellers will be able to enjoy a variety of meals.

New offerings include nasi impit with lontong, black pepper chicken balls with spaghetti and waffles with fruit fillings.

A permanent feature of the menu is the option of western meals. Passengers will continue to enjoy unlimited in-flight beverages such as coffee, tea and fruit juices.

New children and special meals, including vegetarian, are also being developed progressively and will be introduced by the end of the current quarter.

"We are currently conducting a one month in-flight survey until August 15 and we will use the findings to continuously refine our meal offerings," Idris said. - Bernama
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Old August 6th, 2008, 04:33 AM   #1236
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MAS: Improved turnaround time to bring in RM50m more
Published: 2008/08/06
BusinessTimes

MALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) has clarified that efforts to improve aircraft turnaround time, including through the introduction of meal boxes, could bring RM50 million in additional revenue annually for MAS.

It was commenting on a Bernama report yesterday, which misquoted MAS managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Idris Jala as saying that the hot meal boxes are likely to bring in that amount.

"When we introduced the light meal boxes last year, our primary objective was to increase in-flight service efficiency with the aim of aircraft turnaround time.

"By improving each aircraft's turnaround time by five minutes, we are able to increase our aircraft utilisation which is equivalent to one B737-400 aircraft. This translates to potential additional revenue of RM50 million per year," Idris had said.
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Old August 12th, 2008, 10:48 PM   #1237
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MAS 2nd best among top 10 legacy airlines
Published: 2008/08/12

AirAsia is ranked seventh among the top 10 low-cost/regional airlines, says Aviation Weeks latest top-performing companies report


NEW YORK: Aviation Weeks latest top-performing companies (TPC) report has ranked Malaysia Airlines (MAS) as the second best among the world's top 10 legacy airlines.

On the other hand, Malaysia's private low-cost carrier, AirAsia Bhd, ranks seventh among the top 10 low-cost/regional airlines.

The TPC study measures survivability in a tough competitive environment which focuses on the global airline industry, indicating which carriers are best fit to surmount the daunting economic challenges confronting them.

TPC project manager Michael Lowry used proprietary formulae to rank airlines in three categories.

According to a statement released by Aviation Week, a division of the McGraw-Hill Companies, the metrics have been significantly revised this year to place more emphasis on survivability, reflecting the problems airlines face as a result of soaring fuel costs and faltering demand.

The TPC feature is carried in the latest issue of Aviation Week & Space Technology.

The TPC study shows that the best of the Asia-Pacific and European airlines perform far better than their peers among the major legacy carriers.

Singapore Airlines, again, takes the top position of the list followed by Malaysia Airlines. The US major airlines are entrenched in the bottom half of the table.

“The gap between the Asian and European top performers, and the US airlines has only grown larger over the past year,” the article maintains.

Other categories of airlines include low-cost and regional airlines, and the major cargo carriers.

There are five US airlines in the list compiled by Lowry which face the greatest risk of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection over the next two years.

The best-performing airlines in each category feature strong liquidity, good financial health, cost discipline and a focus on efficiency.

In the list of top major legacy airlines, Singapore Airlines and MAS are followed by Iberia Lineas Aereas de Kapana S.A. (3), Aer Lingus Group PLC (4), Deutsche Lufthansa (5), Qantas Airways Ltd (6), Finnair Oy (7), Cathay Pacific Airways (8), British Airways PLC (9) and Air France (10).

The list of the top 10 low-cost/regional airlines is headed by Ryanair Holdings, followed by easyJet (2), Allegiant Travel Co (3), Hainan Airlines Co Ltd (4), Southeast Airlines Co. (5), Transat (6), AirAsia Bhdd (7), Copa Holdings, S.A. (8), WestJet Airlines Ltd. (9), Norwegian Air Shuttle (10).

The United Parcel Service Inc was the highest ranked cargo carrier. — Bernama
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Old August 15th, 2008, 04:48 AM   #1238
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AirAsia Launches Direct Pekanbaru-Singapore Route
August 14, 2008 21:43 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 (Bernama) -- Asias largest low cost carrier, AirAsia Bhd launched its first direct flight from Pekanbaru, Indonesia to Singapore Thursday.

Pekanbaru, located along the Siak River on the Sumatra Island is the capital city of Riau province, Indonesia.

Chief executive officer, Indonesia AirAsia Captain Darmadi said this latest service will not only complement AirAsias aggressive growth in Indonesia, but also support the Visit Indonesia Year 2008 by feeding more traffic to the country.

"The new sector will also enable greater access to a whole new market of cost-conscious travellers from Singapore and Pekanbaru as both are established gateways," he said in a statement here Thursday.

-- BERNAMA
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Old August 15th, 2008, 05:26 PM   #1239
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MAS box meal with cover
by b.d30

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Old August 15th, 2008, 05:27 PM   #1240
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by b.d30

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