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Old December 17th, 2008, 10:14 PM   #1401
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AirAsia kicks off Thai marketing campaign
17-12-2008:

BANGKOK: AirAsia has kicked off a massive regional marketing campaign, “Get Your Baht To Thailand”, “Mai Pen Rai Thailand” and “Same Same Thailand” as part of its initiative to support Thailand’s travel, trade and tourism by offering 100,000 free seats* from its hubs primarily in Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur, Johor), Thailand (Bangkok) and Indonesia (Jakarta).

In a statement yesterday, AirAsia said the campaign was a joint collaboration between the low cost carrier and Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) aimed at bringing back tourists and businessmen. It said prior to this, the Thailand tourism sector had been severely affected, evident with the declining number of visitors due to the recent political upheaval.

The campaign will be launched exclusively at www.airasia.com for the booking period between Dec 17-19, 2008 for travel between Jan 6, 2009 – March 31, 2009.

AirAsia Bhd group CEO Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes said: “As an ‘asean airline’, we are pleased to be the first airline to respond to this recent political instability climate by driving the traffic back to the country with this free seat campaign.

"With close to 800 domestic and international flights weekly to and from the various points in Thailand, we are more than confident that the country’s tourism will bounce back,” he said.

“With our rapid expansion and ongoing brand new Airbus A320 fleet roll-out, we expect our capacity to grow and more new points connected within Asean and beyond so that more people can fly with us,” he added.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 10:15 PM   #1402
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AirAsia Offers 100,000 Free Seats In Massive Regional Campaign
December 16, 2008 20:32 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 16 (Bernama) -- AirAsia is offering 100,000 free seats from its hubs primarily in Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur, Johor), Thailand (Bangkok) and Indonesia (Jakarta) in its massive regional marketing campaign as part of its initiative to support Thailand's travel, trade and tourism.

The campaign, aptly themed "Get Your Baht To Thailand", "Mai Pen Rai Thailand" and "Same Same Thailand".

The Thailand tourism sector has been severely affected by the declining number of visitors due to the recent political upheaval.

This proactive campaign, initiated by the "People's Airline", is a joint collaboration between AirAsia and Tourism Authority of Thailand to bring back tourists and businessmen by reinstating the core message that it is now safe to travel back to the country.

In a statement Tuesday, AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes said the airline hoped this campaign will instil confidence among travellers and help boost tourism.

"With close to 800 domestic and international flights weekly to and from various points in Thailand, we are more than confident the country's tourism will bounce back," he said.

The 100,000 free seats allocation include all international flights on AirAsia's route network in Thailand.

Free seats are also available for domestic destinations. The seats also include routes from Kuala Lumpur to Phuket, Chiang Mai and Krabi.

This regional campaign will be launched exclusively online at www.airasia.com for the booking period between Dec 17-19 for travel between Jan 6 and March 31, 2009.

-- BERNAMA
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Old December 17th, 2008, 10:19 PM   #1403
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MAS gives travellers full control of fares
NST Online » 2008/12/16 By : Presenna Nambiar



KUALA LUMPUR: Pay for what you want and save by more than 70 per cent on air tickets -- this is the latest offer from Malaysia Airlines.

MAS launched its new fare scheme yesterday which allows the least choosy passengers the choicest deals on domestic travel.

The carrier's four new fare options give customers discounts by trimming the perks.

For example, under its MHlow fares, the carrier offers a minimum of 70 per cent discount in fares.

However, the flight tickets need to be bought online at least 30 days in advance and paid for immediately.
"This means the customer decides. The standard ticket with fixed offerings has gone with the wind.

"The traveller now has full control over his travel experience as he can choose the services he values and pay accordingly," MAS managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Idris Jala said here.

The four fare choices -- MHlow, MHbasic, MHsmart, and MHflex -- will be available for international travel in February.

The four fare choices differ in ticket discounts, purchase requirements and benefits.

Idris could not quote the average number of seats available for each fare option, saying that the allocation of the seats for each fare option would be done on a flight-by-flight basis and by taking into account customers' travelling trends.

"We will be using data of the last three to four years to gauge customer preferences for fare tickets for particular routes and seasons," he added.

MHlow offers a minimum discount of 70 per cent, MHbasic 50 per cent and MHsmart 20 per cent. MHflex is a full-fare, full-service option.

To develop the fare options, MAS conducted extensive research and benchmarked against best practices adopted by 21 airlines, including KLM and AirAsia.

"We thoroughly researched the fare options offered by these airlines, looking into what they offered and how they packaged them," Idris said.

On the fuel surcharge, he said there were no plans to abolish it.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 10:20 PM   #1404
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MAS among 13 facing freight price fixing charges
16-12-2008:

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) is among 13 airlines to be prosecuted by New Zealand’s Commerce Commission for alleged price fixing and long-term cartel behaviour in the freight market.

MAS, in a statement yesterday, confirmed that it was served with a “statement of claim” by the commission in relation to its air freight investigation. The statement of claim did not indicate any quantum of fines that might ultimately be imposed.

The national carrier said it has a policy of compliance with all applicable laws, including competition laws, in its countries of operation. It is taking legal advice in relation to the statement of claim.

According to a report by Reuters from Sydney, Australia, the NZ competition regulator said the 13 airlines, in addition to seven individuals, had colluded to raise the price of air freight by imposing fuel surcharges for more than nine years.

The commission said the alleged price fixing would have caused more harm to New Zealand because of the country’s distance from its markets.

“It will have resulted in increased costs for exporters and importers and higher overall prices for many consumer goods,” the commission’s chair Paula Rebstock said yesterday.

The 12 other airlines which face legal action are Air New Zealand, British Airways, Cargolux International, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Garuda International, Japan Airlines, Korean Airlines, Qantas Airways, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airlines and United Airlines, Reuters reported.

According to the report, New Zealand’s international air cargo market was valued at around NZ$400 million (RM781.83 million), and during the time of the alleged offences, airlines would have earned about US$2.9 billion (RM10.35 billion).

It said the commission had already taken three airlines to court for not cooperating with its investigation, with a court decision expected next month.

Competition supervisory bodies in the European Union, United States and Australia have taken action against airlines for price fixing in the freight market.

The report said a court in Australia had last week instructed Qantas to pay A$20 million (RM47.57 million) for price fixing on cargo charges between 2002 and 2006.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 05:30 AM   #1405
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MAS to offer Value Fares year-round
16-12-2008: by Ellina Badri



Munir signing a plaque to mark the opening of the one-stop
MAS ticket centre at KL Sentral, witnessed by Jala (centre).


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) will offer its MH Value Fares all year-round for first, business and economy class travel in its effort to build itself as a five-star value carrier, its managing director and chief executive Datuk Seri Idris Jala said.

“This is the way that MAS will sell our tickets and we want to make sure the option to choose is given to customers.

“I am very convinced that in difficult times like these, what we’re doing in MAS is a very good response to deal with the economic slowdown in terms of travel, because we are giving our customers the volition to choose what they really want,” Jala said.

He was speaking to reporters yesterday after launching four new fare options for economy class travel. MAS’ Value Fares proposition allows customers to choose the service they want, such as travel dates and baggage allowance, and be charged for their fare accordingly. Currently available for domestic travel, it will be extended to international travel from February next year.

Idris said that while the national carrier has been planning the new fare strategy for a long time under its Business Transformation Plan 2, the timing for its new fares was especially appropriate due to the slowing economy.

He said the new strategy is expected to boost sales and revenue, adding that the national carrier’s load factor also will be maintained or improved.

“It will certainly help us and the competition will get tougher in the new year. As far as we are concerned, our sales are still holding at the moment. I think it (Value Fares) will help to move the load factor up.

“I’m very convinced that in some routes it will help to maintain it, and with some flights it will help to increase it. It now depends on how good we are in execution,” he said.

He added the expected improvement in its load factor was indicated from its previous promotions, such as Everyday Low Fares and All Inclusive Low Fares, which grew internet sales by RM450 million.

He said with global data showing forward booking was slowing down, airlines needed to be innovative, adding that MAS’ forward bookings were “looking good right now”.

Meanwhile, Jala said the carrier reviews its fares on a daily, flight-by-flight basis and makes adjustments accordingly.

On its competitiveness, he said their fares were as competitive as any other airline, adding that in the current difficult period, the focus on customers must be relentless.

He also said the carrier currently has no plans to get rid of its fuel surcharge, although this might be considered later, depending on market conditions.

Meanwhile, at the opening of MAS’ one-stop ticket centre in KL Sentral, its chairman Tan Sri Dr Munir Majid said the airline will open another ticketing office in Subang Skypark in February 2009, with work on the office to begin next week.

“Our plan is to have two centrally located one-stop centres, the flagship store in KL Sentral to cater to customers in the city and another in Subang Skypark for those in the suburbs,” Munir said.

The carrier spent RM200,000 to upgrade its ticket office in KL Sentral, increasing its ticket counters to 27 from 14, he said. It is expected to cater to more than 20,000 customers every month.

MAS’s other ticket offices are in Putrajaya and in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Its ticketing office in Jalan Sultan Ismail was closed last Friday.

On the Asean open skies agreement which was to be implemented on Jan 1 2009, Munir said this was still in question as Thailand had yet to ratify the agreement due to the political upheaval there.

He added that MAS hopes its low-cost subsidiary, Firefly, will be allowed to fly to Singapore’s Seletar Airport with the opening of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore route.

“Firefly is suited to fulfil the demand of people who want to travel between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore,” he said.
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Old December 20th, 2008, 02:18 PM   #1406
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Quote:
Fact Find: MASkargo
- First air cargo operator in the world to introduce i-Port, Airport within the Seaport
MAS kargo boeing 747
by griffs0000

image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr
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Old December 21st, 2008, 12:41 AM   #1407
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by Eduardo Mariz

image hosted on flickr


by erikvanriessen

image hosted on flickr
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 01:54 AM   #1408
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AirAsia-Jetstar merger brewing

Airlines’ bosses mulling over idea

PETALING JAYA: Something may be in the air between Qantas Airways Ltd and AirAsia Bhd. If things work out, a merger between AirAsia and the Australian carrier’s units Jetstar and JetstarAsia may be in the offing.

The talks are still in preliminary stages and it is learnt that AirAsia’s boss Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes and Qantas new chief executive officer Alan Joyce have been mulling over it. They last talked on the issue last week, a source said.

This comes at a time when Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is also in talks with Qantas for a possible alliance, but any alliance between Qantas and MAS will be between the network airlines.



Last week Qantas and British Airways announced the calling off of plans to merge into a mega carrier after failing to agree on key terms. The merger could have created an A$8bil plus carrier by market value with a fleet of about 500 planes.

The end of talks with BA opens new doors for other players such as MAS and AirAsia to search for synergies with Qantas. Now the brewing merger involves the low-cost carriers – AirAsia, Melbourne-based Jetstar and Singapore-based JetstarAsia.

Fernandes, when contacted yesterday, told StarBiz that “we are always talking and looking at ways to strengthen AirAsia into a global brand. If there are opportunities of equals which will enhance the brand, then it is something worth considering.’’ He declined to comment further.

Qantas’ Joyce was not immediately available for comment.

But a Qantas spokesman, in an e-mail response to a query from StarBiz, said: “We talk to airlines all the time about possible partnerships, relationships and cooperative agreements.’’

Jetstar’s Australian operation is wholly owned by Qantas but is managed separately and operates independently. Jetstar’s intra-Asian operation – JetstarAsia – is a Singapore-based partnership between Qantas (49%), local businessmen Tony Chew (22%) and FF Wong (10%), and Temasek Holdings (19%). JetstarAsia officials declined to comment when contacted yesterday.

In an economic downturn when passenger traffic is on a decline, airlines look to cooperate by forming code shares, alliances, strategic partnerships and even mergers to sustain operations. If a merger shapes up, it could possibly involve a share swap, a source said.

“A possible merger of Jetstar, JetstarAsia and AirAsia would mean that the operations of the airlines will be merged to create a stronger airline which could potentially be known as AirAsia/Jetstar with a larger network, a bigger aircraft fleet and wider access to many more markets.

“There are synergies by combining AirAsia and Jetstar. With a merger, passengers from Asia will have wider choices to fly to Asia, Australia, New Zealand, India, China and even Honolulu (via Jetstar),’’ he said.

The Kangaroo route (from any Australian point to KL and on to Europe) is a possible route that these airlines will capitalise on. Jetstar stopped flying the Sydney-KL route in September due to the economic slowdown.

Qantas and MAS talks were still progressing, another source added. He said the alliance would be modelled alongside the KLM/Air France structure. That model allows MAS to retain its identity.

MAS first began talking to Qantas a year ago.

Yesterday Qantas also announced that it has reduced its international and domestic fuel surcharges for the third time in recent months because of falling oil prices.

The new surcharges apply to tickets bought on, or after, Dec 23. Qantas executive general manager John Borghetti said the group’s fuel bill this financial year would still be A$400 million higher than in 2007/08. The surcharge has been cut by A$20 to A$35 for shorter-haul Asian destinations such as Bali.

The fuel surcharge for a one-way ticket from Australia to the United Kingdom and Europe has been cut by A$30 to A$160.

Qantas joins the league of airlines that are reducing fuel surcharges since crude oil prices have fallen over 70% from its July height of US$147 a barrel.
__________________

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Old December 24th, 2008, 09:28 AM   #1409
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MAS To Revert To Three Flights A Week To East Coast Of US
December 24, 2008 13:55 PM
By Manik Mehta

NEW YORK, Dec 24 (Bernama) -- Malaysia Airlines (MAS), after having cut down its flights from three to two a week since August 2008, will revert back to its thrice a week frequency to Newark airport in New Jersey effective March 28, 2009.

Malkit Singh, MAS' New York-based area manager (eastern region), said the earlier cut was due to spiralling fuel prices and the slowdown in the US economy which forced the national airline to cut costs to stay afloat.

"But we will be reverting to our former flight frequency of three a week effective Apr 1, 2009. This will also meet the demand during the Easter holiday and the ensuing spring and summer seasons when demand, generally, rises regardless of the economic situation," Malkit told Bernama here today.

He said MAS would also change 8.45am departure time from Kuala Lumpur to the east coast of the US cause it has inconvenienced many passengers.

"We will depart from KL around midnight and reach Newark at about 10am. This will enable the passengers to have the rest of the day to themselves," he said.

Malkit said the change in timing along with the additional frequency would increase the airline's load factor as this would allow MAS to capture new demand from South-East Asia with immediate connections.

"We will save money on stopover charges such as footing the bill for overnight stay and transportation costs, particularly, for transit passengers.

"The ongoing recession, which has had a devastating effect on the business of many US-based airlines because of a sharp decline in domestic air travel, has not been as severe as we had feared. There has been some impact on our load factor but not on our yield factor," he said.

He said MAS, however, would not change its 9.50pm flight departure from Newark to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

Malkit said as part of the "go lean" strategy, MAS' Washington office has been converted into a "virtual office".

"Two staff members, employed by the airline, work from home.

"Apart from cutting costs and overheads, it also enables the staff concerned to work from their familiar surroundings sparing them a commute during inclement weather conditions, blizzards and rain," he said.

Malkit said the increase in the number of frequencies would not entail any additional hiring of staff.

"This will keep our costs down and will be a big saving for us," he said.

He said the "one through fare" -- the direct one-time check-in of passengers boarding at KLIA through Newark to any destination in the US -- has helped both the airline and passengers save money.

"This is appreciated by our passengers who are spared the stress and hassles of doing another check-in on landing at Newark airport.

"Currently, MAS has this arrangement with Continental Airline," he said.

-- BERNAMA
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Old December 28th, 2008, 10:54 AM   #1410
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AirAsia X to expand routes, staff
Published: 2008/12/28

MALAYSIAN budget carrier AirAsia X said it can weather the storm of a sharply deteriorating global economy and is hiring pilots to expand its routes to China, India, South Korea and Japan.

Chief executive Azran Osman Rani said while it is a challenging period for the aviation industry as many countries slip into a recession and carriers go bust, there are “a lot of business opportunities for us”.

Bookings for its direct London flight on its leased Airbus 340-300, due to begin March 11, were overwhelming, he said, with 30,000 seats sold.

Demand was great as ticket prices cost about RM2,000 (US$580), less than half the price of a regular non-budget flight.

AirAsia X will fly five times a week between the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur and Stansted Airport on the outskirts of London.

Azran said AirAsia X is looking to expand its routes in 2009 into northern India, including New Delhi, Amritsar and Mumbai, and to Beijing.

In 2010, it aims to target South Korea as well as Tokyo and Kyushu.

Azran said it is taking on new staff for its expansion. “We are still hiring pilots and cabin crew despite the tough economic outlook next year,” he said.

AirAsia X, which now flies to Australia’s Gold Coast, Perth and Melbourne, and Hangzhou in China, will end the year with about RM362 million in sales.

It aims to expand sales tenfold to US$1 billion by the end of 2010, despite the global slowdown.

Azran said the main challenge amid the uncertain global outlook is “to effectively scale up the scope of our business while keeping the lid on costs.”

He said that oil prices, which have sunk sharply in recent months, are not expected to surge in the short and medium term.

The carrier has three A330-300 aircraft, one of which is leased.
It has placed an order for 25 more by 2013, of which Airbus has delivered two.

Richard Branson’s Virgin Group has taken a 20 per cent stake in the airline and the British billionaire has vowed to ensure that it turns a profit. - AFP
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Old December 29th, 2008, 01:51 AM   #1411
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AirAsia X still hiring
Published: 2008/12/29



Published: 2008/12/29MALAYSIAN budget carrier AirAsia X said it can weather the storm of a sharply deteriorating global economy and is hiring pilots to expand its routes to China, India, South Korea and Japan.

Chief executive officer Azran Osman Rani (pic) said that while it was a challenging period for the aviation industry as many countries slip into a recession and carriers go bust, there were "a lot of business opportunities for us." Bookings for its direct London flight on its leased Airbus 340-300, due to begin March 11, were overwhelming, he said, with 30,000 seats sold.

Demand was great as ticket prices cost about RM2,000, less than half the price of a regular non-budget flight.

Azran said AirAsia X is looking to expand its routes in 2009 into northern India including New Delhi, Amritsar and Mumbai, and to Beijing. In 2010 it aims to target South Korea and to Tokyo, Hokkaido in northern Japan and Kyushu in the south.

Azran said it was taking on new staff for its expansion. "We are still hiring pilots and cabin crew despite the tough economic outlook next year," he said. - AFP
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Old December 29th, 2008, 08:21 AM   #1412
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Code:
BEST ECONOMY CLASS AIRLINES : 2008
Rank	Airline		2007
	
1	Asiana Airlines	5	
2	Qatar Airways	4	
3	Singapore Airlines	3	
4	Malaysia Airlines	2	
5	Thai Airways		7
http://www.worldairlineawards.com/Aw.../Yclass-08.htm

Code:
WORLD'S BEST CABIN STAFF 2008
Rank	Airline		2007
	
1	Asiana Airlines	6	
2	Malaysia Airlines	1	
3	Singapore Airlines	2
4	Thai Airways		3	
5	Air New Zealand	10
http://www.worldairlineawards.com/Aw...inStaff-08.htm
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Old December 31st, 2008, 04:12 AM   #1413
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AirAsia's integrated call centre ready by Feb
Published: 2008/12/31

AIRASIA'S (5099) new integrated call centre in Kuala Lumpur will be completed by February 15 2009, chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes said yesterday.

He said in a statement that the call centre will be used for all the group's country operations - Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and the UK.

"As we are presently undergoing migration, our call centre is operating with limitations and thus you may find the lines to be heavily congested. On average we receive a total of 15,000 calls a day," he said.

Fernandes said if possible, customers should avoid calling the call centre for the next six weeks while it is ramping up.

As an alternative, they can utilise the airline's website to perform various tasks and transactions relating to their flight bookings and even holiday and hotel reservations.

"Our continuous improvements on the website will enable you to do even more things online in the future. We acknowledge that technology will cost us more but at the same time we are committed to giving you excellent services," Fer-nandes added.
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Old January 10th, 2009, 05:46 AM   #1414
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MAS unit, Qantas finalising JV
Wednesday December 31, 2008

KUALA LUMPUR: MAS Aerospace Engineering, a wholly owned subsidiary of Malaysia Airline System Bhd (MAS), and Qantas are finalising the details for their engineering joint venture.

In a filing to Bursa Malaysia, MAS said there was no material change in the status of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between both parties.

Both parties are still in discussion after a year of signing the MoU.

The MoU was signed to establish a joint venture to provide airframe maintenance services from Malaysia. — Bernama
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Old January 10th, 2009, 05:47 AM   #1415
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MAS launches air miles scheme for govt servants
09-01-2009:



Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan launching
Malaysia Airlines' (MAS) Enrich-GOM programme, a loyalty reward scheme for
civil servants, in Putrajaya yesterday. Flanking him are MAS chairman Tan Sri Dr Mohd Munir Abdul Majid (right) and MD/CEO Datuk Seri Idris Jala.


PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) unveiled its Enrich-GOM programme yesterday, which is a loyalty reward scheme for civil servants that expands on the airline operator’s frequent flyer programme.

MAS chairman Tan Sri Dr Mohd Munir Abdul Majid told reporters yesterday that it hoped to enrol 120,000 of the estimated 1.2 million civil servants for the programme. Enrolment into the programme is free.

“MAS flies nearly 40,000 passengers daily to some 100 destinations worldwide across six continents. As a result, we have become attractive to all categories of passengers including government officials, who currently make up 13.4% of our passengers,” Munir said at the launch of the programme.

The benefits attached to the Enrich-GOM programme include 1,000 free miles for enrolment, rebates for MAS’ lounge service and double miles for the first international flight on MAS.

The event was officiated by Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan, who described it as the forging of a closer partnership between the government and the national carrier.

MAS managing director Datuk Seri Idris Jala said there were plans to further develop the programme, but the carrier viewed the Enrich-GOM scheme as a pilot test for further expansion.
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Old January 11th, 2009, 04:53 PM   #1416
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AirAsia X eyes flights to Japan by year-end
Published: 2009/01/11

LONG-haul budget airline AirAsia X today said it hopes to launch flights to at least three destinations in Japan by year-end after Tokyo relaxed its tough visa requirements for Malaysians.

“With our new A330-300 being delivered, I hope to mount flights by end of the year to at least three destination in Japan,” chief executive officer Azran Osman-Rani said.

Azran said since October, Japanese officials had dropped the requirement for Malaysian travellers to show a confirmed ticket and accommodation before a visa was issued.

“We explained to the Japanese authorities how our ticket booking model works and they accepted it,” he said.

Azran last July said AirAsia had to delay flying to Japan due to the tough visa rules. AirAsia was concerned over what would happen if a passenger bought a ticket online but was then refused a visa.

The three destinations are to the north (Hokkaido), Osaka and Fukuoka, he said. - AFP
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Old January 12th, 2009, 01:25 AM   #1417
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Air Asia opens new RI-overseas routes
Yuli Tri Suwarni, , The Jakarta Post, , Bandung | Fri, 01/09/2009 10:55 AM | Business

The Indonesian subsidiary of Malaysia's budget carrier Air Asia is planning to open at least 10 international routes in Indonesia this year to help reach its target of carrying 3.5 million passengers from Southeast Asia's largest economy.

Air Asia Indonesia president director Dharmadi said Thursday the company hoped to generate Rp 2 trillion (US$185 million) of revenue from Indonesia this year, as against Rp 1.6 trillion from carrying 2.4 million passengers in 2008.

Air Asia plans to open this year a new route linking Bandung and Singapore by operating two A-320s, each aircraft having a capacity of 180 seats.

However, the airline is seeking support from West Java administration to immediately upgrade the runway at the Husein Sastranegara airport in Bandung for the use of its Airbus A-320 aircraft.

"With a full cargo load, the A-320s are required to land on an airstrip with a thickness of more than 52 centimeters. We have proposed this since 2008," said Dharmadi after meeting West Java governor Ahmad Heryawan Thursday.

The current thickness of the Bandung airport main runway is just 37 centimeters.

Air Asia is planning to open 10 other new routes in Indonesia which will be served by 12 A-320 aircraft and five Boeing 737s.

The routes include those linking Denpasar with Singapore, Denpasar with Perth in Australia, Medan with Penang in Malaysia, Medan with Hongkong, Medan with Bangkok, Medan with Phuket in Thailand, and Medan with Singapore.

"We will only operate the A-320 aircraft if the airstrips in Indonesia meet the requirements," said Dharmadi.

Air Asia carried some 160,000 passengers from Bandung to Kuala Lumpur back and forth last year, as more Malaysian tourists flocked to the city for shopping.

The Husein Sastranegara airport is operated by state-owned airport operator PT Angkasa Pura II, which has already allocated Rp 60 billion (US$5.55 million) for improving the airstrip.

Heryawan said the administration would help Air Asia in lobbying Angkasa Pura to immediately upgrade the runaway in a bid to allow bigger aircraft to use Bandung airport and generate more foreign tourist arrivals.
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Old January 12th, 2009, 12:16 PM   #1418
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MAS Flight Status Now 'Live' On Website
January 09, 2009 20:52 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 9 (Bernama) -- Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is making it more convenient for its passengers and customers to check their flight status online at www.malaysiaairlines.com.

"Extending this information beyond the airport into the digital sphere is intended to further enhance the value-added service to our passengers by offering greater convenience and global access," its senior general manager of network revenue management Dr Amin Khan said.

In a statement Friday, Amin said the user-friendly link would accommodate visitors to tailor their search preferences according to arrival and departure time, city names of inbound and outbound stations as well as both flight numbers in order to check the status.

He said traditionally, the referral point for flight information was at the flight information system display at the airport or through the call centre.

"The implementation of this facility also helps minimise wait-time should there be any changes to flight schedule," he said.

-- BERNAMA
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Old January 13th, 2009, 02:25 PM   #1419
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AirAsia Implements New Baggage Policy
January 13, 2009 13:19 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 (Bernama) -- Low cost carrier AirAsia, has implemented a new baggage policy effective today.

Dubbed Supersize, AirAsia pasengers can now choose from three tiers of baggage sizes when purchasing tickets online.

For domestic flights, customers can choose from Supersize Regular for up to 15kg of baggage and pay a nominal sum of RM5, Supersize Medium for up to 20kg at RM43 or Supersize Large for up to 25kg at RM80.

For international sectors, the charges are RM5, RM55 and RM105 for Supersize Regular, Supersize Medium and Supersize Large respectively, it said in a statement today.

"With the implementation of Supersize, customers no longer have to pay the checked-in baggage handling fee of RM5 per piece of luggage.

"This means passengers who opt for Supersize Regular can check-in more than one piece of luggage but only pay RM5 as long as the total weight does not exceed 15kg," its regional head of commercial, Kathleen Tan said.

She said a similar baggage policy had previously been implemented for AirAsia X flights with rate revisions for its Supersize implementation.

Tan also said from today, Supersize Regular for AirAsia X remained at the previous rate of RM20, while Supersize Medium and Supersize Large now cost RM55 and RM105 respectively.

Meanwhile, the over-the-counter excess baggage fees remained at RM15 per kg for domestic flights and RM20 per kg for international sectors, she said.

"There is also no change to AirAsia X excess baggage charge of RM20 per kg on all its international sectors, except for London Stansted, where the charge is RM50 per kg," Tan added.

-- BERNAMA
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Old January 13th, 2009, 03:29 PM   #1420
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MAS prepared to embrace biofuel
13-01-2009: by Joy Lee May Yen THEEDGEDAILY



(From left): MAS general manager of corporate safety , security, health &
environment Capt Ooi Teong Siew, Dr Lian, Jala and FRIM director-general
Datuk Dr Abd Latif Mohmod at the handing over of MAS VCOP fund.


PETALING JAYA: Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) is prepared to embrace biofuel if it is commercially available in the market, said the national carrier’s managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Idris Jala.

“Quite a lot of airlines are testing biofuel and Malaysia Airlines is prepared to do it too when these alternative fuels are commercially available.

“We are always looking for ways to reduce carbon emissions. When it becomes commercially available, we want to become the first company to embrace it,” he said after handing over a cheque for RM80,000 to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment yesterday.

The contribution would be channelled to a trust fund at the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM). It was a result of MAS’ voluntary carbon offset scheme, which allows customers to contribute voluntarily to the fund.

The ministry’s under-secretary of conservation and management division, Dr Lian Kok Fei, said it had a management committee that looked into the various applications by the state governments for projects that fulfilled the sustainability criteria.

He said projects such as reforestation, afforestation and small-scale solar projects would be qualified for disbursement of the fund. “In this case, we have received application only from the Pahang government,” he said.

Lian said the ministry was still in the midst of finalising a memorandum of understanding with the Pahang government on conservation work at the Southeast Pahang Peat Swamp Forest.

“We are also prepared to go into projects such as sustainable tourism,” Lian said.
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