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Old June 23rd, 2009, 03:23 AM   #1601
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New MAS ticketing office offers one-stop convenience for travellers
Tuesday June 23, 2009

THE recently upgraded Malaysia Airlines (MAS) ticketing office in KL Sentral is a delight for customers as the one-stop centre offers everything needed for travel.

The MAS flagship store boasts 27 counters manned by a staff of 60, offering services for the national carrier, Firefly, MASwings, Enrich, Golden Holidays and more.

The employees can also help customers with ticket refunds, applications for Australian visas and medical cases. It opens from 4.30am to midnight daily.

MAS assistant general manager (distribution) Abdul Mutalib Ishak said the national carrier was committed to ensuring that the travel experience was seamless, from the purchase of a ticket to boarding the ERL direct to KLIA.

“This one-stop centre will make it easy for customers and even travel agents to conduct all the necessary transactions. We have a bigger waiting area, dedicated counters and up to 60 staff members on three shifts,” he said.

He added that the ticketing centre was planned to cater for more than 20,000 customers a month.

“More and more people prefer to do their transactions at KL Sentral, so it makes sense to upgrade the centre and offer the entire suite of products and services that we have,” he said.

Mutalib also said the ticketing centre was part of the airline’s plan to intensify and consolidate its ticketing operations in the Klang Valley.

“Our focus is customer convenience. As such, 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 its surroundings and another in Subang Skypark for those in the suburbs,” he said.

The MAS Subang Skypark ticketing office opened in May this year and is open from 7am to 7pm daily.

There are two more Malaysia Airlines ticketing offices, one in Putrajaya and another at the main terminal building at the KL International Airport. The ticketing office in Jalan Sultan Ismail was closed on Dec 12, 2008.
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 03:33 AM   #1602
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MAS: No plans to lay off staff
By Jeeva Arulampalam
Published: 2009/06/23



Malaysia Airlines chairman Tan Sri Dr Munir Majid says salary cuts may not be necessary as the airline may review its remuneration packages instead

MALAYSIA Airlines (MAS)(3786) says it has no plans to join other airlines in laying off staff at this stage to save cost.

Its chairman Tan Sri Dr Munir Majid said such a proposal was not up for discussion, but the national carrier, which posted its first operating loss in over two years in the first quarter, was looking at other means of conserving cash in this challenging economic environment.

"We are currently in a consultative process which requires discussion and evaluation on how to keep everyone employed," he told reporters after the group's annual and extraordinary general meetings in Kelana Jaya yesterday.

Last week, it was reported that MAS was in talks with its employees on cost-reduction measures, including reduced work days and pay cuts across the board.
Munir said salary cuts may not be necessary as the airline may review its remuneration packages instead.

"We don't have a definite period on when this consultation will end as we don't want to rush the process," he said, adding that the board of directors was not set on making a decision at its next board meeting next month.

Munir's announcement came around the time when at least three major Asian carriers announced drastic measures to cut cost, amid deteriorating business conditions.

Last Saturday, Singapore Airlines said it will cut salary of management staff from July, ranging between 10 per cent and 20 per cent, while its board of directors has agreed to take a cut of 20 per cent as part of efforts to keep the airline profitable.

Japan Airlines plans to eliminate about 1,200 jobs while the government is considering pumping money into the airline. Air India, meanwhile, has been forced to delay staff salary payments.

Earlier, MAS launched its global low fares campaign, which will see the airline selling some six million seats at low fares, to stimulate travel demand.

Managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Idris Jala said that the low fares were only made available for lean flights, in line with the airline's dual pricing strategy.

In Malaysia, the low fare campaign comes in the form of the Malaysia Airlines Travel Fair (MATF), which now entitles customers to earn Enrich miles despite purchasing low fares.

MATF, which started yesterday until July 5, is for the travel period between June 29 and December 15 2009.

MAS senior general manager of sales Datuk Bernard Francis said MAS hopes to generate RM50 million in sales from its second MATF this year. The first MATF for the year was held in February and recorded sales of RM100 million.

He added that the airline will offer more than 70 travel fairs globally until 2010 and that the MAS Stimulus Package launched earlier this year has seen sales increase up to 30 per cent.

Although Idris said that it was difficult for MAS to surpass last year's revenue of RM15 billion due to lower passenger travel, the airline has seen load factors improve to 65.9 per cent as at June, from 56 per cent recorded in its first quarter of 2009.

On the impact of influenza A (H1N1) virus, MAS has seen some decline in terms of passenger travel to North Asia.

In response to Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's call for Malaysians to stay away from Australia and the US, Idris said that people should take into account the associated risk when travelling.

"But we need to compare the risk now with SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). Relative to SARS, the severity is not as bad but we need to take the necessary precautions," he said.
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 01:11 PM   #1603
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MAS plans more airfare promotions
By EDY SARIF

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) plans to launch more airfare promotion campaigns as the national carrier’s load factor has begun to improve on the back of such promotions, said managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Idris Jala.

“With the airline industry facing an economic slowdown and the H1N1 flu affecting the business, we need to do more attractive promotions to boost sales,” he said here yesterday after the launch of the Malaysian Airlines Travel Fair (MATF) and a global low fares campaign.

According to MAS, its load factor in the second quarter rose to 66% as at June 21 from 56% in the first quarter.

“We will continue to push sales aggressively and we are planning to offer more than 70 travel fairs globally until 2010,” he said, adding that the low fare promotions were only for non-peak flights.

Nevertheless, Jala acknowledged that MAS was facing tough operating conditions and that it would be a strong challenge for them to surpass the RM15.5bil revenue posted in 2008.

Meanwhile, MAS chairman Tan Sri Munir Majid said the national carrier currently had no intention to lay off workers.

“We value our workers who have been contributing a lot to this company. We have mentioned it before and today that there will be no lay-offs. We are still at the consultation stage and discussing the best solutions for the company and the staff. We are not in a hurry to decide.”

The company had also not made a decision regarding pay cuts, he added.

The all-inclusive one-way fare promotion under MATF began yesterday and will last until July 5, with prices ranging from RM118 to Singapore, RM198 to Asean countries, RM428 to South Asia, RM488 to Australia and RM898 to Europe.

MAS is also offering promotional deals globally until June 26, with flights to Asean, South Asia, North Asia, Australia, Middle-East, US and South Africa.
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 02:19 PM   #1604
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MAHB to resolve AirAsia airport tax debt soon
Published: 2009/06/23

MALAYSIA Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) did not take any drastic action to claim the arrears in airport tax owed by AirAsia because it will only affect the operation of the low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT), Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today.

Najib, who is also the finance minister, said it would also give a negative impact to MAHB as the operator and manager of airports.

As AsiaAsia has chalked up arrears of RM65 million, MAHB was in negotiations with the airline to resolve the matter, he said.

MAHB was confident of resolving the matter soon, he said in a written reply to Wee Choo Keong (PKR-Wangsa Maju) who had asked him to state why MAHB had accorded AirAsia the special privilege of owing RM65 million in airport tax as at February 28 this year when passengers had already paid the tax in advance.

Wee had also asked why, when Air Asia had been reporting making huge profits every year from its inception, there was a need for MAHB to negotiate with AirAsia over the settlement of the airport tax debt. - Bernama
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Old June 24th, 2009, 05:43 AM   #1605
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MAS, Sri Lankan expand code-share pact
Published: 2009/06/24



MALAYSIA Airlines (MAS)(3786) has expanded its existing code-share agreement with SriLankan Airlines, which enables the national carrier to code-share on SriLankan's flights to Male in the Maldives, besides Colombo, from tomorrow.

With this code-share expansion, SriLankan Airlines will also gain access to Los Angeles, Sydney, Melbourne, Jakarta, and Seoul through MAS.

The agreement was signed in Colombo on Monday.

MAS general manager, government and industry relations, Germal Singh said the expanded partnership with SriLankan Airlines will provide MAS passengers access to the Maldives, while enabling MAS to further enhance its loads to the major cities in North America, Asia and Australia.
Members of the frequent flyer programmes of the two airlines, Malaysia Airlines' Enrich and SriLankan FlySmiLes can also earn and redeem points on flights of either airline.

The expanded code-share is effective from tomorrow. In conjunction with the MAS Travel Fair, the carrier is offering a promotional all inclusive fare of RM348 from Kuala Lumpur to Colombo and RM718 from Kuala Lumpur to Male from June 22 until July 5 2009.

The two airlines have been code-sharing between Kuala Lumpur and Colombo since 1999.
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Old June 24th, 2009, 11:47 AM   #1606
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Thai AirAsia waives ticket booking fees
Published: 2009/06/24

THAI AirAsia Ltd, partly owned by AirAsia Bhd, will waive ticket booking fees from today to attract more passengers because demand has weakened during the recession, said chief executive officer Tassapon Bijleveld.

Passengers will pay only air fares and taxes, Tassapon said.

The carrier removed a fuel surcharge in January.

The lower ticket cost may help the company meet its target of 5.2 million passengers this year, he said. -- Bloomberg
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Old June 24th, 2009, 11:49 AM   #1607
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AirAsia scraps admin fees to make tickets cheaper
Published: 2009/06/24

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian budget airline AirAsia on Wednesday abolished administrative fees on all its flights in a move to reduce fares and bolster sales amid the global slowdown.

AirAsia Chief Executive Tony Fernandes said scrapping the fee creates further savings for passengers as they will now pay only the fare and airport tax.

AirAsia removed fuel surcharges in November last year.

AirAsia Chief Executive Tony Fernandes smiles as he talks to the media during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday. The Malaysian budget airline AirAsia on Wednesday abolished administrative fees on all its flights in a move to reduce fares and bolster sales amid the global slowdown. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

The fee ranged from 22.5 ringgit ($6.40) to a maximum of around 43 ringgit per ticket and removing it will cost the airline 400 million ringgit ($113 million) a year.

Fernandes said the region's biggest budget carrier is confident it can increase ticket sales and generate income from other sources to offset the loss of revenue.

"It's been a tough six months for the airline industry but AirAsia is getting stronger and stronger. We believe we will increase our load factor and become more competitive," he told a news conference.

Airlines worldwide are reeling from the global economic slump that has choked passenger and cargo traffic.

Many have cut capacity, grounded planes and shed their work force to cope with the downturn.

But AirAsia is expanding and says it is benefiting as travelers cut cost and downgrade to budget carriers.

Its net profit in the quarter through March hit a record 203.2 million ringgit ($57 million), up 26 percent from a year earlier. - AP
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Old June 24th, 2009, 03:10 PM   #1608
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AirAsia Wants MAHB To Recommend Reduction In Airport Tax At LCCT
June 24, 2009 20:07 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 (Bernama) -- Low cost carrier AirAsia Bhd, wants Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) to recommend a reduction in airport tax to the government for international passengers, at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT)

Its group chairman Datuk Aziz Bakar said today that the current rate of RM51 charged for international travellers was unfair, and should be reduced to RM10, as the LCCT did not have advantages such as aerobridges when compared to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

"Malaysia Airports should be recommending to the government to lower the charge as it is the entity operating the airport," he told reporters on the sidelines of AirAsia's Major Tariff Adjustment launch here on Wednesday.

"The Minister of Finance, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, will have to consider this. We have invested a lot and are always expanding and lowering cost. We want to make Kuala Lumpur a hub for travellers," he added.

Aziz said AirAsia had helped bring about the multiplier effect to the country's economy through its passengers.

"If Malaysia Airports look at the bigger picture of the economy, what is a few ringgit in service charges?" he asked.

He said this when asked to comment on the issue of the RM65 million in airport tax owed by AirAsia to Malaysia Airports and which was brought up in Parliament on Tuesday.

"We have been paying the charges. But the RM65 million is part of the payment we are holding back, until we resolve this issue," he explained.

-- BERNAMA
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Old June 25th, 2009, 05:59 AM   #1609
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AirAsia scraps admin fees to woo more passengers
By Presenna Nambiar
Published: 2009/06/25

AIRASIA Bhd (5099) has scrapped administration charges, which contribute some RM400 million to the group, from its fare structure in a move to attract more passengers.

The budget carrier's administration charges range between RM22.50 and RM43.50.

AirAsia chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes is confident that the loss in revenue will not hurt earnings, saying the airline will make up for it through ancillary income as well as a surge in passenger volume.

"Our routes are maturing, they are getting more profitable, our hotel side is booming, we are looking at other ways of generating income.
"I continue to be very bullish about the industry, as a product, the fact that we can reduce charges, at a time like this means that we are doing good, I think," Fernandes told reporters in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

First quarter passenger numbers for the airline were 21 per cent higher than those recorded last year.

"We are not going to fill up a 30 million capacity low-cost carrier terminal just by waiting for things to happen. We have to constantly innovate to keep the passengers coming," Fernandes said.

He hoped airports would take the cue, by reducing their charges around the world and at home.

AirAsia has been calling for Malaysia Airports Holding Bhd to reduce airport tax charges for the carrier from RM51 for the international sector to RM10 for some time now.

AirAsia chairman Datuk Aziz Bakar said the airline has yet to pay the RM65 million airport tax to MAHB to negotiate lower charges for airports in the country.

This is the second time the budget carrier has withheld payment to MAHB for airport charges.

On fuel surcharge, Fernandes said the airline will only reintroduce fuel surcharge should crude oil price reach the US$100 per barrel (RM355) mark again. The oil price trades at around US$70 (RM248) a barrel now.

"We have systems in place to manage oil up to that level now," Fernandes said.

The airline currently does not hedge any of its fuel requirements and appears to have no plans to do so anytime soon.

"We are not hedged (against crude oil prices) at all now, and I don't see any demand for crude oil to boost prices. Hedging is just too expensive," Fernandes said.

Meanwhile, on the influenza A (H1N1), Fernandes said demand for seats has not been affected by the outbreak.
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Old June 25th, 2009, 06:16 AM   #1610
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Thai AirAsia Targets 5.2 Million Passengers This Year
By D. Arul Rajoo

BANGKOK, June 24 (Bernama) -- Thai AirAsia, a subsidiary of Malaysia's AirAsia low-cost carrier, is confident of achieving its target of 5.2 million passengers this year, despite several hicups, including political instability, Influenza A(H1N1) and global economic recession.

Its chief executive officer, Tassapon Bijleveld, said the strong showing in the first quarter of the year -- where the company posted a 15 to 20 per cent growth as compared to the corresponding period last year -- had boosted their confidence.

"This growth was achieved, despite the Songkran riot (anti-government protests).

"But the market is weak currently, and we are doing our best to stimulate the market with such initiatives," he said, after announcing its parent company's move to waive the administration fee for passengers booking tickets with the airlines.

Tassapon is hopeful that waiving the administration fee (100 baht in Thailand) would boost ticket sales as passengers just needed to pay for ticket fare and airport tax, which is 50 or 100 baht for domestic routes and 700 baht for international flights departing from the Kingdom.

Last year, the airline carried 4.2 million passengers.

Tassapon said the Influenza A(H1N1) scare was affecting the market as the number of passengers had dropped. To date, the Thai Public Health Ministry has confirmed 985 such cases in the country.

"We hope to see signs of recovery within 60 days as people are cautious now because of the flu. But the key to travelling in Thailand is political stability and fortunately it's good now," he said.

Tassapon said the Phuket and Bali sectors were among the best routes served by the airline, adding that plans to make the island the second Thai hub after Bangkok, was expected to materialise by the fourth quarter of the year.

On its expansion plan, Tassapon said they were finalising plans to open several destinations in India and more cities in China, year end.

"We are aiming to tackle China and India as they are big markets. We intend to do that once we receive more Airbus planes by the end of the year," he said, adding that it currently had nine Airbus and six Boeings.

-- BERNAMA
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Old June 26th, 2009, 04:20 AM   #1611
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Source: http://www.airasia.com/









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Old June 26th, 2009, 04:26 AM   #1612
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Pre-Ordered Hot Meal
Enjoy a healthy and delicious meal on your AirAsia.
Nasi Lemak Combo
MYR8/IDR24,200/THB80



Asian Fried Rice with Chicken Satay Combo



Nasi Briyani (Curry Chicken) Combo



Roti Canai



Amazing Hot Dog



Sandwich (Chicken Ham & Cheese)



Smoked Chicken Foccacia



Source: http://www.airasia.com/site/my/en/pa...ce=akmeal_desc
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Old June 26th, 2009, 05:06 AM   #1613
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AirAsia removes administration charges
Thursday, June 25th, 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: Low-cost carriers, AirAsia and AirAsia X, have removed administration charges effective midnight on Tuesday night, enabling travellers to save up to RM30 and RM42 respectively.

AirAsia group chief executive officer, Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes, said the move would lower the fares and boost passenger volume during the present difficult times.

He said the group was also expected to lose revenue of about RM400 million regionally and RM250 million in Malaysia.

“We want to be more proactive. The best way to get people to fly is through high quality products and lower fares,” he said at the launch of AirAsia’s Major Tariff Adjustment here yesterday.

The admin charges are between RM22.50 and RM43.50 for one-way travel.

Fernandes said he was confident the move would not hurt the group’s profita-bility as it would be bols-tered by ancillary busines-ses like food and hotel via increase in passengers.

“We posted a record profit of RM220 million in the first quarter when we removed fuel surcharge. We feel the same way this time (about removing administration charges),” he said.

Fernandes hoped that airports worldwide would be able to reduce charges to further encourage air travel.

“The only other charge that is not controlled by us is the airport charge. In the spirit of getting more people to fly, they (airports worldwide) should look at this,” he said.

Fernandes said the RM6 airport tax for domestic flight was all right.

However, he said the RM51 for international flight at the low-cost carrier terminal should be reduced to RM10.

He said the group’s passengers were now enjoying lower fares of up to 20 per cent following the removal of charges and promotions carried out previously. — Bernama
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Old June 26th, 2009, 07:31 AM   #1614
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MAS adopts 14th school
Monday June 22, 2009



Service with a smile: Malaysia Airlines cabin crew
extending a hand to students at SK Keruak in Besut.


PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airlines has adopted SK Keruak in Besut, Terengganu, its 14th school under the Pintar programme.

MAS chairman Tan Sri Dr Mohamed Munir Abdul Majid said the Pintar project had generated encouraging results.

“Last year, 397 primary school students from 34 schools that were adopted by government-linked companies under this programme, obtained 5As in the UPSR. The average percentage of students who obtained these excellent results were 12.7% – higher than the 9.7% national average.

“We are very proud of the students and the increased level of excellence especially in the UPSR, PMR and SPM examinations in our various adopted schools in the country,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Under Pintar, MAS will help motivate students over the next three years to learn and to ensure that they will have a conducive learning environment.

“The initiatives would include motivational talks, tuition packages, leadership courses, school uniforms for needy students and desktop computers.

“In addition, MAS staff would engage the students in other activities such as educational visits to the airline’s operations areas, and tourist spots during school holidays and summer camps coordinated by volunteers from Malaysia Airlines’ Sports Clubs,” he said.

As a reward for outstanding performance, he said MAS would also offer complimentary air tickets to top students.

“Outstanding teachers who have contributed to the academic excellence of the students would also be rewarded,” he said.

MAS was the first government-linked company that participated in the Pintar programme in January 2007, by adopting two schools in Penang.
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Old June 26th, 2009, 07:32 AM   #1615
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MAS To Offer Over 70 Travel Fairs Globally
June 22

PETALING JAYA, June 22 (Bernama) -- Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) will offer more than 70 travel fairs globally until 2010, its senior general manager, sales, Datuk Bernard Francis, said Monday.

The airline will continue to aggressively push sales in the Asean region, South Asia, North Asia, Australia, the Middle East, the Americas, and South Africa, he said.

"These are targeted campaigns which are matched with the different consumer segments and their buying behaviour," he told reporters at the launch of the Malaysia Airlines Travel Fair (MATF) and Global Low Fares Campaign, offering "Great Deals For Everyone".

Bernard said a free ticket would be given to every 500th customer booking their tickets online at the malaysiaairlines.com website.

"One of the more attractive MATF offerings is that customers can travel immediately as the travel period is from June 29 until December 15," he said.

The all-inclusive one-way fare for MATF, which started today and will end on July 5, begins from RM118 to Singapore, RM198 to Asean countries, RM428 to South Asia, RM488 to Australia and RM898 to Europe.

Concurrently, MAS is offering attractive deals globally in Asean, South Asia, North Asia, Australia, the Middle East, the Americas and South Africa for five days from today until June 26.

The company secured RM100 million in sales during the previous MATF held in February this year, Bernard said.

According to him, the global low fares campaign has increased sales by 100 percent and the MATF held in the United Kingdom raised the number of passengers carried by 50 percent in the past six months.

"We only offer low price for non-peak flights and we believe this is the right thing to do," said MAS managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Idris Jala when asked how the airline could offer low fares despite the high cost in providing service.

As of yesterday, MAS' passenger load factor increased by 65.9 percent despite the current economic situation as a result of its effort to stimulate demand, he said.

-- BERNAMA
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Old June 26th, 2009, 11:52 AM   #1616
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No more admin fee for AirAsia tickets
Thursday June 25, 2009

PETALING JAYA: AirAsia has abolished its administrative fees from its fee structure.

AirAsia group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes said all bookings made for AirAsia and AirAsia X flights would now only display the fare plus airport tax throughout the booking process.

“We were the first airline to abolish our fuel surcharge and we are proud to lead again in removing our administration fee,” he said in a statement yesterday.

He added that the “No Admin Fee” initiative ensured transparency of the advertised price.

Fernandes said the effort, to stimulate travel and tourism in Malaysia and the region, was being held in conjunction with a regional promotional fare campaign that would run from June 24 to 28.

The bookings would be for travel dates between Oct 1 and April 30 next year.

Fernandes said the first quarter results showed that there was a 21% growth in passengers compared with the same period last year.

“This goes to prove that people appreciate the true value we offer especially in these difficult times,” he said.
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Old June 26th, 2009, 12:39 PM   #1617
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MAS, Royal Brunei expand code sharing
Published: 2009/06/26

MALAYSIA Airlines and Royal Brunei Airlines have agreed to code share on the Bandar Seri Begawan-Kota Kinabalu and Bandar Seri Begawan-Kuching flights from next month.

In a joint statement today, the airlines said Malaysia Airlines will code share on Royal Brunei Airlines' twice daily services between Bandar Seri Begawan and Kota Kinabalu and twice weekly services between Bandar Seri Begawan and Kuching.

The two airlines have been code sharing on flights between Bandar Seri Begawan and Kuala Lumpur since 2004.

"We are delighted to expand our partnership with Royal Brunei as Borneo is a popular destination for North American and North Asian tourists," said Malaysia Airlines' commercial director Datuk Rashid Khan.

"Our customers can now enjoy seamless connectivity to the three major cities which offer unique cultural heritage and natural attractions," he said.

Royal Brunei Airlines' senior vice president of commercial, sales and marketing Wong Peng Hoon said the airline will be able to effectively make travel to Borneo seamless for passengers with the code share on Sabah and Sarawak.

Passengers, he said, will also be able to take advantage of the increased number of flights into Borneo and access the booking facilities of both airlines. -- Bernama
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Old June 27th, 2009, 06:32 AM   #1618
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AirAsia taken to task over NFL deal
While local sports bodies beg for money, airline sponsors American football team
Jonathan Fernandez
Thursday, June 25th, 2009 08:32:00



SPONSORED: Oakland Raiders team players posted on an aircraft

CHARITY, they say, begins at home. This, apparently does not apply to Malaysia's low budget carrier AirAsia. While its support for local sports has been largely in the form of discounted flights, the carrier is about to splash out millions in cash to an American football team in a major deal to be announced tomorrow.

Baffling is why AirAsia is even pursuing this deal - it doesn't even fly to the US and yet, is doling out cash for a sport with hardly a following in Malaysia.

Equally puzzling is how the no frills airline, which had its early success from strong Malaysian support to see a local airline make a global name, can afford to splash extravagant amounts when it owes Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) RM65 million in airport tax.

Yesterday, AirAsia even admitted that it was withholding the payment unless MAHB lowered the airport charges! (See accompanying story)

Meanwhile, Malaysian sports figures said AirAsia could do a lot more to support local sports rather than be generous with foreign sponsorships.

Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) secretary-general Datuk Sieh Kok Chi said the carrier's support has been quite minimal so far. "At the moment, all we get are minimal rates for flights domestically and within South East Asia. There is no cash funding involved.

"But something is better than nothing. They have helped us, I don't want to be ungrateful by saying that they have not helped at all. However, I'm disappointed as I feel that they can offer much more. But we got to live with what we have."

Sieh continued by saying that OCM does not have constraints in finding sponsors, adding that AirAsia could definitely afford to be more generous.

While details are still sketchy on the National Football League (NFL) deal with the Oakland Raiders, the sponsorship is likely to be worth at least RM1 million. At the sponsorship announcement by AirAsia group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes and Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis, the airline will also unveil the Oakland Raiders livery on AirAsia's aircraft.

The event is expected to be attended by Oakland Raiders legend Ted Hendricks and famed Raiderettes (official cheerleaders of the Oakland Raiders) April Dizon, Angel McCoy and Amanda Voecks.

Contacted yesterday, Fernandes declined to say much about the deal.

"There will be a Press conference on Friday (tomorrow) and it will not be fair to others if I respond (to your questions). Everything will be revealed on that day," said Fernandes, who turned AirAsia into Asia's No 1 low budget carrier. AirAsia has expanded its routes outside Asia to include Australia and London. It had announced in March that it was looking at the US and Middle East sectors as well.

And one way the carrier has made headway in globalising its brand name is by involving itself in sports sponsorships - mainly overseas.

Among the millions AirAsia has pumped for international presence includes a reportedly S$1million (RM2.3m) sponsorship for a basketball team in Singapore called Singapore Slingers, which takes part in the National Basketball League.

While the value of its other major sponsorship deals were not revealed, the endorsement of professional referees in the English Premier League, the AT&T Williams team in Formula One, and now with Oakland Raiders, run into millions.

To get an idea of just how much money is being splurged, AirAsia had earlier this year flirted with the idea of being the jersey sponsors for Manchester United - in a deal which would have cost a staggering US$100m (RM340m).

Even a football team in Thailand received three million bahts (RM300,000) in the form of travel, a privilege the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) enjoys with the carrier.

AirAsia was also the main sponsors for the Asia Cup hockey tourney in Kuantan, for which it reportedly provided RM500,000.
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Old June 27th, 2009, 07:49 AM   #1619
WonderlandPark
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Why is Air Asia sponsoring NFL football? They don't even fly here?

I love Air Asia and have flown them in the past, but until they serve the mainland US, why would they spend money this way?

I sure hope this means Air Asia is coming to LAX soon,
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Old June 27th, 2009, 08:14 AM   #1620
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CEO: AirAsia keen to fly to US destinations
Saturday June 27, 2009
By LEONG HUNG YEE



Datuk Tony Fernandes (left) and Mark Davis at the
briefing to announce AirAsia's sponsorship of the Raiders team.

SEPANG: AirAsia Bhd, which has just signed a sponsorship deal with National Football League’s (NFL) Oakland Raiders, is keen to fly to US destinations.

Group chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes said the budget airline would fly to North America once it sorted out the legal issues and obtained clearance from the respective countries. However, he did not give a timeline.

“It (the United States) is a market that we’re very keen on,” Fernandes told a press conference to announce its sponsorship of the Raiders yesterday.

AirAsia also unveiled the Raiders’ aircraft livery. Also present at the event were Raiders owner Mark Davis and legends Ted Hendricks, Rod Martin and Cliff Branch. The team’s official cheerleaders Raiderettes were also present.

Its associate long-haul, low-cost carrier AirAsia X currently flies to several destinations in the region, Europe and Australia.

AirAsia X chief executive officer Azran Osman-Rani said the carrier was very “keen to secure rights” to the United States.

“The aircraft donned with the Oakland Raiders brand symbolises our ambition to open up the US market as our future growth area.

“We’ll be flying this aircraft into Oakland at the start of this coming NFL season,” Azran said.

Fernandes said the airline was looking at New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and one day it would like to go to Hawaii.

“America is a new chapter for us. We’re reaching out to a new market. The partnership with Oakland Raiders is expected to be the catalyst in promoting the AirAsia brand in the United States,” he said.

He added that the partnership was part of its strategy to develop AirAsia into a global brand.

To a question, Azran said it had been discussing with the NFL team for about six months before the deal was concluded.

However, he declined to reveal the cost of the partnership but said it was a “long-term” plan.

“By promoting Malaysia in North America, we hope to bring more travellers from that part of the world to Malaysia, which will help boost tourism and the local economy,” Azran said.

On criticism that AirAsia only sponsored overseas sports team, Fernandes said it was among the top four local corporates to sponsor local sports teams.

“We have just sponsored the Malaysian Hockey Federation by being the title sponsor and the Women’s World Table Tennis Championships 2008,” he said.

In a separate press conference, AirAsia chairman Datuk Abdul Aziz Abu Bakar said it had been making monthly payments to Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB).

“However, there is a portion outstanding, pending decision on AirAsia’s requests for MAHB to review its charging mechanism,” he said.

Abdul Aziz said some Members of Parliament who brought up the issue had misconstrued that AirAsia had not paid MAHB since 2002.

“We have been paying MAHB on a monthly basis. For the first five months of this year, we’ve paid over RM40mil. AirAsia has, since 2003, paid MAHB a total of RM404mil. In 2008, we paid RM117mil.”

Abdul Aziz said AirAsia had been overcharged by about RM100mil by MAHB.

“Since moving to the low-cost carrier terminal in March 2006, AirAsia had been overcharged by no less than RM12mil.

“There are also growth incentives on the increase in the number of passenger throughput and landings worth no less than RM90mil, for which both parties have been in discussion but yet to reach a conclusion,” he said.

The issue was not about AirAsia not making payments to MAHB, Abdul Aziz stressed, adding that he welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement on the appointment of a consultant to resolve this and other outstanding issues between the two parties.

Source: http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story...6&sec=business
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