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Old July 7th, 2009, 07:08 AM   #1681
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bagak View Post
hey, I heard Air Asia cancel all domestic flights in Indonesia, and rumor said it's for good, any one knows about it?
Seems to be like that... Domestic flight from Jakarta to Batam, Makassar, Balikpapan, and Padang will be ended on August 19, while flight to Pekanbaru will be closed maybe on Feb 2010.

That means only Medan, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, and Bali left for domestic flights from Jakarta (just major cities, huh....). Why don't they open Jakarta - Manado flight? Manado is a popular tourist destination in Eastern Indonesia
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Old July 7th, 2009, 07:43 AM   #1682
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AirAsia establishes Penang as a hub with direct flight to Hong Kong
Written by The Edge Financial Daily
Monday, 06 July 2009 21:05
> http://www.theedgemalaysia.com/busin...hong-kong.html

SEPANG: AirAsia Bhd is establishing Penang as its eighth hub with the inclusion of another international flight from the state to Hong Kong starting July 31, 2009.

In a statement today, AirAsia said the new service was its sixth international service from Penang after Singapore, Bangkok, Medan, Jakarta, Macau and the third international service from Hong Kong after Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.

Its other hubs are Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Bandung, Bali, Jakarta, Bangkok and a "virtual hub" in Singapore.

AirAsia said the new sector to Hong Kong and the introduction of the second frequency to Singapore, opened for sale for the booking period from July 7-12 for the travel period from July 31, 2009, to April 30, 2010.

AirAsia will be offering an all-in-fare from RM99 to Hong Kong and RM51 to Singapore to mark the launch of these sectors.

AirAsia regional head of commercial Kathleen Tan said: "At a time when some airlines are cutting routes and downsizing capacity, AirAsia is breaking the trend with our aggressive expansion plans, increasing frequencies where there is proven demand, which there certainly is for the Penang-Hong Kong and Penang-Singapore routes."
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Old July 7th, 2009, 07:53 AM   #1683
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Indonesia AirAsia to start new flights, boost services on existing routes
Tuesday, June 30, 2009, 10:56
> http://www.dancewithshadows.com/avia...isting-routes/

Indonesia AirAsia is starting new flights as well as increasing the number of flights on the existing routes.

The carrier will start flying from Denpasar in Indonesia to Perth in Australia from July 17, 2009; from Jakarta to Saigon in Vietnam and from Jakarta in Indonesia to Manila (the Philippines) in September 2009; and daily flights between Jakarta and Manila from September 2009.

Indonesia AirAsia is a budget carrier based in Jakarta, Indonesia, and the Indonesian associate airline of the Malaysia-based low-cost airline AirAsia.

Dharmadi, president-director of Indonesia AirAsia, told reporters that the airline hoped that the demand for low-cost air travel would stay in 2009 and that it could attract a considerable number passengers travelling between Jakarta and Manila.

At present, the Jakarta-Manila route is dominated by Cebu Pacific, the low-cost airline based in the Philippines.

Indonesia AirAsia, according to Dharmadi, will double the existing Jakarta-Singapore and Denpasar-Singapore flights to 4 times a day.

While flights on the Bandung-Singapore route will be raised to 2 while flights a day, the service on the Bandung-Kuala Lumpur route will go up from 2 flights a day to 3 flights a day.

Later in August and September 2009, Dharmadi said, Indonesia AirAsia would add new regional routes as a part of the carrier’s strategy to shift services from “mainly domestic routes to mainly regional ones.”

As of now, while 80% of flights of Indonesia AirAsia is domestic, the rest 20% is regional. The airline said it was intending to change this to 75% and 25%, respectively.

Indonesia AirAsia also is planning to close domestic routes from Jakarta to Batam, Balikpapan, Padang and Ujungpandang. However, it will keep its domestic routes from Jakarta to Surabaya, Denpasar, Medan, Pekanbaru and Bandung.

The airline, according to its president-director, will replace its entire fleet of Boeing aircraft with Airbus aircraft as a part of its strategy to cater to the increasing demand for short-haul travel. It aims to have a fleet of 45 all-Airbus aircraft within the next 5 years.

Indonesia AirAsia had announced earlier that it would launch nearly 10 international routes to Indonesia in 2009.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 07:53 AM   #1684
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HSBC AND AIRASIA JOIN FORCES IN CREDIT CARD
** The First in Indonesia, co-brand credit card between three international institution **
> http://www.hsbc.co.id/1/2/miscellane...in-credit-card



HSBC and AirAsia are partnering in a business joint venture and have agreed to jointly manage and grow the HSBC – AirAsia Credit Card. AirAsia-HSBC Card will be the first collaboration of banking and regional airlines in Indonesia. The launching event was held today at Senayan City, and attended by Ravi Sreedharan, Head of Personal Finance and Services HSBC Indonesia, Javier Salgado, Head of Consumer Assets, HSBC Asia Pasific, Kathleen Tan, Regional Head of Commercial, AirAsia, Dharmadi, CEO AirAsia Indonesia, serta Ellyana Fuad, Country Manager VISA International.

The agreement brings together two powerful brands with a common commitment to outstanding customer care. It is consistent with HSBC’s strategic objective to grow its financial services and makes it one of the top credit card issuers in Indonesia. The transaction is also expected to achieve significant financial and operational benefits for AirAsia through HSBC’s customers. Together, AirAsia and HSBC will also increase the effectiveness of customer marketing and loyalty programmes and extend product choice for consumers.

Ravi Sreedharan, Head of PFS HSBC Indonesia, said: "Combining our expertise in banking with AirAsia’s experience in airline industry will create an exciting new force in Indonesia travel and financial services. This is very much in line with our strategy to build our business. AirAsia enjoys a unique position in the minds of our consumers and together we have the opportunity to nurture this for the mutual benefit of our business and the 5 million customers flying AirAsia every year."

In his remarks, Dharmadi, Chief Executive Officer Air Asia Indonesia, commented:" We are delighted to partner with HSBC. The collaboration of the two major brands will strengthen our commitment to be the world airlines. We value HSBC credibility as a global bank to be the perfect preference for this partnership The rapid expansion of AirAsia networks within the Asia Region will provide added value for HSBC customers and in the same time create business opportunity for both sides. With HSBC database as one of international bank with the largest credit card holder in Asia, this partnership will eventually enlarge the number of AirAsia potential customers and also support our e-commerce business."

Ellyana Fuad, Country Manager for Visa in Indonesia also commenting," We are proud to partner with Air Asia and HSBC to deliver the first co-brand Visa card with a regional airline to the Indonesian market. As the world's largest retail electronic payments network, Visa is committed to working in close collaboration with our partners to provide innovative electronic payment solutions, which offer consumers greater security, convenience and efficiency for all their payment needs. This is yet another strategic partnership that Visa has entered into with market leaders that puts the needs of our cardholders above all else."

AirAsia Card will provide customers with opportunity to convert their point rewards into electronic voucher that can be further use to any AirAsia transaction. Cardholders can redeem every 8.000 point from their rewards points for IDR.50.000 AirAsia voucher – provides more opportunity to enjoy flying with AirAsia. Different from the other co-brand card, which only count the reward points from any airlines tickets purchase, AirAsia-HSBC Card will count the number of reward points from any transactions, anywhere and everywhere customers made.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 08:00 AM   #1685
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HSBC - AirAsia - Gesek Terus, Terbang Terus
> http://www.airasia.com/creditcard/id/index.html

[IMG]http://www.**************/show/2009/07/07/09/01/4340259_832x557.JPG[/IMG]
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Old July 7th, 2009, 01:30 PM   #1686
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MAS to suspend flights to stockholm, New York
Published: 2009/07/07

MALAYSIA Airlines will suspend its thrice-weekly services from Kuala Lumpur to New York via Stockholm vice versa effective October 2009.

In a statement in Kuala Lumpur today, the airlines said the last flight from Kuala Lumpur to New York will be on September 30 while the last flight departing New York will be on October 1 and Stockholm on October 2.

Malaysia Airlines commercial director Datuk Rashid Khan said the airlines has been serving New York since 1998 and Stockholm since 2004.

He said Malaysia Airlines has decided to suspend the services as demand has dropped due to the global economic crisis.

"The suspension is part of our continuous review to ensure that we retain the correct balance in network and fleet utilisation given supply and demand.

"We are making arrangements to notify all who are affected. Customers holding tickets issued prior to today for flights from Kuala Lumpur to New York/ Stockholm vice versa and Stockholm to New York vice versa will be eligible for a refund, without any fees. We can also make arrangements for them to fly with our partner airlines should they wish to continue with their journey," he said.

Rashid said Malaysia Airlines will continue to offer its thrice weekly flights from Kuala Lumpur to Los Angeles via Taipei.

It will maintain an office in New York and continue to offer services to the Big Apple via its airline partners.

Malaysia Airlines will also maintain an office in Stockholm, and customers can continue to connect to Stockholm via Amsterdam with Malaysia Airlines'' code share partner, KLM.

For further information, customers can contact their travel agents. Those who purchased their tickets via Malaysia Airlines' offices, call centre and website can contact Malaysia Airlines' call centre at 1300 88 3000 (Malaysia).

Customers in North America can contact the Los Angeles' office at 1 800 552 9264 while those in Sweden are to call the Stockholm office at 08-50530050. - Bernama
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Old July 7th, 2009, 03:38 PM   #1687
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by Y-Xiang
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3697618522/

image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr
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Old July 7th, 2009, 09:12 PM   #1688
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AirAsia to turn Penang into fourth hub in Malaysia
By Jeeva Arulampalam
Published: 2009/07/08

Penang is suitable as a hub because it is a tourist destination and a fast-growing industrial and trading centre, says AirAsia

BUDGET carrier AirAsia plans to turn Penang into its fourth hub in Malaysia as it continues to expand its network and add more destinations from the island.

AirAsia Bhd (5099) regional head of commercial Kathleen Tan said AirAsia will start flying from Penang to Hong Kong four times a week starting July 31, with one-way fares as low as RM99.

The airline will also be adding a second daily flight between Penang and Singapore due to popular demand. Its existing load factor for this route is above 90 per cent.

"Penang is suitable as a hub because it is a tourist destination and a fast-growing industrial and trading centre," Tan told Business Times in a phone interview yesterday.
She said Penang had previously been a virtual hub for AirAsia as it did not park planes at the Penang International Airport.

But the airline will start parking one plane at the airport as of July 31, as it starts flying to Hong Kong and adds its second daily frequency to Singapore.

"We are looking at a second plane next year as we continue to build Penang as a hub. There is heavy investment in terms of human capital and equipment in building a hub," said Tan but was unable to provide a quantum.

AirAsia has eight hubs in total now, including Kuala Lumpur, Johor Baru, Kota Kinabalu, Bandung, Bali, Jakarta, Bangkok and a "virtual hub" in Singapore.

"What we need right now is a good low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) in Penang, as we can easily have up to 10 planes there. By comparison, we have six planes in Kota Kinabalu," she said.

Tan added that a LCCT in Penang will allow for lower passenger airport taxes, as passengers departing from Penang International Airport currently pay RM51 in airport taxes.

"In comparison, our passengers departing from KL (LCCT) and Kota Kinabalu (LCCT) only pay RM25," she said.

AirAsia will also look to add more international destinations from Penang next year, including Chennai and Bali. International flights from Penang now are to Singapore, Bangkok, Medan, Jakarta and Macau.

Tan added that concerns surrounding the influenza A (H1N1) virus was unlikely to dampen travel to Hong Kong, as many passengers wanted to capitalise on cheap fares.

"This seems to be the best time to travel due to good deals, more so for the youth market which is not worried about the recession or the flu," she said.

Tickets for the new flights to Hong Kong and Singapore are open for sale until July 12, for the travel period from July 31 to April 30 2010. The all-in fare of RM99 to Hong Kong and RM51 to Singapore is exclusively made available online at www.airasia.com.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 12:46 AM   #1689
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K14N View Post
Seems to be like that... Domestic flight from Jakarta to Batam, Makassar, Balikpapan, and Padang will be ended on August 19, while flight to Pekanbaru will be closed maybe on Feb 2010.

That means only Medan, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, and Bali left for domestic flights from Jakarta (just major cities, huh....). Why don't they open Jakarta - Manado flight? Manado is a popular tourist destination in Eastern Indonesia
there was an plan to open the jkt-ambon route in the begin of 2009, but it never started...
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Old July 8th, 2009, 06:35 AM   #1690
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AirAsia aims to park 10 planes in Penang to start new hub
Wednesday July 8, 2009
By DAVID TAN



File pic of AirAsia aircraft at Kuala Lumpur International Airport's low cost
carrier terminal in Sepang. Malaysian budget carrier is to park 10 planes in
Penang and make Penang its 8th hub. - APpic


This is in line with plans to make island its eighth hub

GEORGE TOWN: AirAsia Bhd’s plan to park more planes at the Penang International Airport can materialise faster if Penang has a low-cost carrier terminal.

Regional head of commercial Kathleen Tan said the budget airline operator had plans to park 10 planes in Penang, which was in line with its goal of making the island its eighth hub.

AirAsia has hubs in Kuala Lumpur, Johor Baru, Kota Kinabalu, Bandung, Bali, Jakarta and Bangkok; and a “virtual hub” in Singapore.

“This is our long-term plan to enhance the attraction of Penang as a hub. Presently the cost of operation in Penang is very high. If Penang had a low-cost carrier terminal, it would reduce our operation cost, and attract more travellers to fly from Penang,” she said in a telephone interview from Kuala Lumpur.

Tan said presently the Penang airport imposed higher international and domestic taxes, at RM51 and RM9 compared with RM25 and RM6 respectively charged at the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal in Kuala Lumpur.

She said from July 31, AirAsia would station one plane in Penang for the four weekly flights to Hong Kong. The round trip fare is about RM200.

“We are engaging a support team comprising pilots, engineers and technicians to be based at the Penang airport,” she said, adding that AirAsia was also adding a second flight to Singapore from Penang starting July 31.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 07:26 AM   #1691
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AirAsia may have to write off money owed by associates
Write offWritten by Financial Daily
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 10:38



AIRASIA Bhd may have to write off some of the amounts owed by its associates, Thai AirAsia and Indonesia AirAsia, or inject more cash investments into them if they continue to make losses and require more funding, according to Maybank Investment Bank (Maybank IB).

“AirAsia may have to write off some of the owed amounts totalling RM603 million at end-4Q08 and RM752 million at end-1Q09, and/or inject more cash investments into its associates.

“This could result in losses at the group level post-injection of new funds into its associates, and require more than a 20% private placement at AirAsia level to right-size its balance sheet,” the research house said in a report yesterday.

AirAsia will propose to raise the continued assistance to 49%-owned Thai AirAsia and Indonesia AirAsia from 5% each of AirAsia’s latest audited net tangible asset (NTA), to 10% each at an upcoming EGM.

AirAsia reported on Monday that net financial assistance rendered to Thai AirAsia and Indonesia AirAsia were RM248 million and RM355 million, respectively, or 15.5% and 22.2% of its audited NTA as at FY08.

Maybank IB, which maintained a sell on AirAsia, said it was not surprised at the announcement, as it was “one of several overhanging concerns on AirAsia”, and that its share price did not fully reflect these concerns.

The research house has ascribed a target price of RM1 to the low-cost carrier, based on 0.9 times 2010 price-to-book value.

“In the worst-case scenario, if the amounts due to AirAsia from its associates are fully written off, the NTA of AirAsia will lower by about 30%, implying a similar potential writedown to our target price,” it said.

In the aviation sector, its pick is Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd with a buy call and target price of RM4, for leverage on the air travel market’s potential recovery in 2010.

Meanwhile, AmResearch has upgraded AirAsia to buy from sell to reflect “easing balance sheet concerns”, stronger-than-expected 1Q09 performance and share price retracement, which has discounted a potential share dilution risk from AirAsia’s proposed private placement.

It said AirAsia’s proposed placement of new shares had addressed its key concern on AirAsia’s highly leveraged balance sheet previously.

“Cash to be raised from the exercise — circa RM500 million — is expected to bring net gearing down to much more manageable levels — from four times down to just 3.1 times in FY10. Interest cover is estimated to rise to two times from 1.9 times pre-placement,” it said.

AmResearch has revised upwards its FY09 net profit projection for AirAsia by 153% to RM410 million, and FY10 forecast by 167% to RM493 million to reflect, in anticipation of higher ancillary income, a more moderate yield contraction of 10% versus a previous assumption of 13% contraction for FY09.

Following an upward revision to projections, the research house has revised upwards its fair value for AirAsia to RM1.45 per share from RM1.04 per share previously.

“Our valuation is pegged at 40% discount to AirAsia’s historical average PE (price-earnings) of 14 times against FY10 diluted earnings, to reflect AirAsia’s volatile cost structure (as it is unhedged at the moment) as well as still uncertain recovery of the broader airline industry,” it said.

“At implied valuation of just 6.4 times FY10 fully diluted earnings, we think the market has sufficiently priced in earnings dilution risk ahead of AirAsia’s proposed private placement over the next two months.

“AirAsia currently trades at a huge 54% discount to historical average PE of 14 times against expanding ROE (return on equity) of 16% in FY10,” it added.

AirAsia closed at RM1.14 yesterday, up four sen.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 02:24 PM   #1692
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MAS opens ticket office in Cebu City
Published: 2009/07/08

MALAYSIA Airlines has opened a new ticket office at the Bigfoot Building in Cebu City, the Philippines, in line with its growth strategy.

It is the second ticket office for Malaysia Airlines in the Philippines after Makati City.

"The ticket office is for us, a key component of our customers' purchase experience, whether they are passengers or travel agents," Malaysia Airlines senior general manager, sales and marketing, Datuk Bernard Francis said in a statement today.

Besides reservations and purchase of tickets, the office staff could assist customers with refunds, he added.

Bernard said the launch of the new ticket office was also in collaboration with the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) objective of developing convenient air linkages within the region.

He said the Asean liberalisation on air services agreement which would be in place by year end, would result in airlines having unlimited rights to operate between the capital cities of Malaysia and the Philippines.

He explained that this would further reinforce the partnership with Philippine Airlines, with whom Malaysia Airlines code-shares.

Malaysia Airlines operates twice weekly flights from Kuala Lumpur via Kota Kinabalu to Cebu City. - Bernama
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Old July 9th, 2009, 06:09 AM   #1693
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Analysts: Minimal impact on MAS from NY flight suspension
Thursday July 9, 2009
By LEONG HUNG YEE



PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airlines’ (MAS) move to suspend flights from Kuala Lumpur to New York via Stockholm from October will not have a major impact on the carrier, analysts said.

“I think the impact is minimal as MAS flies to New York only thrice a week and it’s just one route,” OSK Research analyst Ng Sem Guan told StarBiz.

Ng believes MAS’ move was just a “temporary measure” as the carrier intends to continue its operations in the Big Apple.

“If there is no hope of revival, MAS might just close down its office in New York. I believe MAS is hoping to return to New York one day when demand picks up again,” he said.

On Tuesday, MAS announced that it will suspend its thrice-weekly service from Kuala Lumpur to New York via Stockholm from October due to low demand.

The last flight to New York from Kuala Lumpur will be on Sept 30 while the last flight from New York will be on Oct 1 and on Oct 2 from Stockholm.

The national carrier’s thrice-weekly Kuala Lumpur-Taipei-Los Angeles flights will continue.

Ng said the suspension was part of MAS’ ongoing efforts to strike a balance between network and fleet utilisation and making “nominal impact” on the company’s financial position.

He added that while MAS would be able to reduce some operational costs due to the suspension, the carrier could incur some costs such as parking or lease charges.

Another aviation analyst with a local brokerage said the flight suspension was not a surprise as the MAS management had offered guidelines that it would remove unprofitable capacity and continue with its cost-cutting initiatives.

“The industry is facing strong headwinds. We believe MAS will cut all its loss-making routes to stay afloat,” he said, adding that he concurred with OSK’s Ng that the move would have only minimal impact on MAS.

CIMB Research, in a recent report, said despite its confidence in the ability of the MAS management to execute the plans, it was still concerned about the health of the overall sector, which it expected would remain under pressure until oil prices declined.

For the first quarter ended March 31, MAS carried about 2.5 million passengers, with its load factor dropping to 56.1% from 69.2% a year ago.

In a recent briefing, MAS managing director Datuk Seri Idris Jala said the airline had introduced several initiatives such as the Everyday Low Fares, All-inclusive fares, MH Value fares, Weekend Specials as well as fuel surcharge reduction to boost sales.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 06:10 AM   #1694
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AirAsia refutes reports it is writing-off dues from two units
Thursday July 9, 2009
By B.K. SIDHU

PETALING JAYA: There will be no write-offs on the amount owed by Thai AirAsia (TAA) and Indonesia AirAsia (IAA) to parent AirAsia Bhd, said AirAsia group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes.

This is in contrast to what some analysts are saying in their reports, which have suggested a possible write-off of RM603mil, of which RM248mil is from TAA and RM355mil from IAA.

As at Dec 31, 2008, IAA and TAA owed RM974mil and RM457mil to AirAsia respectively, while the amount owed by AirAsia to IAA and TAA was RM619mil and RM209mil respectively. Net borrowings due to AirAsia are RM603mil.

“A draft agreement is being prepared to ratify and seek approval from AirAsia shareholders at an EGM to be called on Aug 3 for the past and continuing financial assistance to the two units,’’ Fernandes told StarBiz.

This is necessary since the amount owed by the two 49%-owned associates exceeds the 5% threshold of AirAsia’s shareholders’ funds which stand at RM1.81bil.

TAA and IAA have paid-up capitals of 400 million baht and 180 billion rupiah respectively.

AirAsia has been funding the two associates since they began operations and the unwinding of fuel hedgings has had an impact, thus raising the level of their borrowings.

AirAsia, unlike many other airlines, decided to end its hedges when fuel price headed south.

Fernandes said the two units were now cash-flow positive and that they had been paying back some of their dues, but noted that it would take two to three years for them to fully pay their dues to AirAsia.

Things are looking much better since the group embarked on a change in the aircraft type and expanded routes.

“If anything, the losses in the recent past were also small and incurred due to geopolitical and market conditions,’’ Fernandes said.

“Our Indonesian operations are enjoying brisk sales as IAA is now flying to more international routes, especially to Singapore and Australia. Our Bali hub is also performing way above expectations. We are very bullish on both the countries and Indonesia is turning out to be politically stable.’’

The change in aircraft type was from B737 to A320, which is more fuel efficient.

“It is a turnaround story and by 2010, all the B737 aircraft will be replaced with the A320 and we will have phenomenal cashflow and benefit from this move,’’ Fernandes said.

Thai AirAsia has 14 aircraft (nine A320s and five B737s) while Indonesia AirAsia has 11 (seven A320s and four B737s). All these aircraft are leased from AirAsia.

“This year, TAA will get four more new A320s and IAA seven more and that allows them to expand further,’’ Fernandes said.

Part of the dues from the associates to AirAsia is from the cost of leasing the aircraft for their respective operations.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 05:22 PM   #1695
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AirAsia targets RM30m revenue from Redbox
Published: 2009/07/09

AIRASIA Bhd is aiming for RM30 million in revenue next year from its new service called Redbox, billed as the world's first low-cost courier service.

Chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes, in stating this, said Redbox was targeted at all market segments, especially small and medium enterprises, and it offered up to 50 per cent savings in shipment costs.

"This service will provide support to customers and local businesses in the central region and East Malaysia," he told reporters after the Redbox launch in Kuala Lumpur today.

The service is now available between the central region covering Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and selected parts of Negeri Sembilan as well as in the East Malaysian cities of Kuching, Miri, Sibu, Kota Kinabalu, Labuan and Sandakan.

Fernandes said that AirAsia would like to grow the existing courier market, which is estimated to be worth about RM500 million currently.

AirAsia X chief executive officer Azran Osman Rani said the new service will be expanded to more AirAsia and AirAsia X destinations early next year.

Customer can log on to the http://redbox.airasia.com or www.airasia.com websites to use Redbox at between RM27 and RM193, Azran said.

Individual customers can drop off their packages at any of the Mail Boxes Etc (MBE) outlets in the central region and the six East Malaysian cities, he said.

MBE is the world's largest franchise network of retail shipping, postal, document convenience and value-added business services.
Asked about the possibility of a merger between AirAsia with AirAsia X, Azran said: "That is the question for the AirAsia's board to decide. It is not my decision."

There have been reports in media recently saying that both companies will merge within one or two years.

The Redbox service marked the first partnership between AirAsia and AirAsia X so far, he said.

In another development, Azran said that AirAsia X planned to introduce new routes in the Middle East in the near future.

The proposed routes are Sharjah and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. - Bernama
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Old July 9th, 2009, 11:21 PM   #1696
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Fernandes keen to see group's airlines merge
Published: 2009/07/10

AIRASIA Bhd (5099)group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes is keen to merge the low-cost carrier with its long-haul sister airline, AirAsia X.

"We established AirAsia X separately initially because we were starting a long-haul budget carrier. But now that it has proven to be success, it seems like a good idea to merge both airlines," he said.

When asked if the idea was being discussed at board level, Fernandes said "No".

"I just think it's a good idea. But something like this will require the shareholders' approval," he said.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 11:21 PM   #1697
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AirAsia launches low-cost courier
By Jeeva Arulampalam
Published: 2009/07/10



The budget airline wants to capture a slice of the courier services market in Malaysia, estimated to be worth RM500 million

BUDGET carrier AirAsia Bhd (5099)is expecting its courier service to generate RM30 million revenue next year as it continues to roll out initiatives to boost ancillary income.

Group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes said the airline wants to capture a slice of the courier services market in the country, which is estimated to be worth RM500 million.

"With our network, we are also looking to provide courier services to places that are hard to get to," he told reporters after launching Redbox, the world's first low-cost courier, in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Fernandes said that 11 per cent of the aircraft belly space is used for cargo currently, but there is capacity for growth.
Investment will be minimal as AirAsia is using existing infrastructure like online transactions to provide the courier service.

Redbox, touted to provide 50 per cent savings in shipment costs, is a collaboration between the AirAsia group, Mail Boxes Etc. and DMSBT Group.

Customers can drop off their packages at any of the Mail Boxes outlets in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor and selected parts of Negri Sembilan, Kuching, Miri, Sibu, Kota Kinabalu, Labuan and Sandakan.

"We serve as the brick-and-mortar location for Redbox," Mail Boxes managing director Brian Chow said.

Boxes come in 10 sizes and weight breaks are between 5kg and 25kg, with weight options going up in increments of 1kg. The courier service is priced between RM47 and RM193.

AirAsia X chief executive officer Azran Osman-rani said that the courier service will be made available to all destinations served by AirAsia and AirAsia X by early next year.

"There is no-equity relationship. Redbox is a business partnership as Mail Boxes is the drop-off point, DHL will serve as the transport between the outlets and the airport, while AirAsia provides the air travel," said Azran, who is spearheading the project.

Meanwhile, Fernandes said the proposed issue of 20 per cent more shares, either to an institutional fund or a strategic investor, was progressing well.

"We will let you know in due course," he said when pressed on the status of the issue.

He also dismissed any possibility of AirAsia or himself looking to purchase football club Newcastle United.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 06:16 AM   #1698
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Ministry open to proposals on KL-New York route
Published: 2009/07/10

THE Transport Ministry is ready to consider proposals from airlines like AirAsia to serve the Kuala Lumpur-Stockholm-New York route, which Malaysia Airlines (MAS) will cease to operate from October.

In a statement to Bernama yesterday, Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri said that the offer was subject to agreement from all relevant authorities.

Currently, AirAsia unit, AirAsia X, offers long-haul flights to London, Melbourne, Perth and Taipei.

On Monday, MAS announced that it will stop its flights to Stockholm and New York, but will retain its offices in the two cities and offer its services to customers through code-share partner KLM, which flies to Stockholm via Amsterdam.

On another note, Abdul Rahim said the global economic slowdown was among the reasons for MAS' weaker first quarter performance.

"For the first quarter, MAS is reported to have registered losses amounting to RM698 million.

"The number of passengers using MAS services in the January-April period went down 11 per cent compared to the same period last year," he said.

He noted, however, that it was a trend experienced by a majority of airlines amid the current challenges.

MAS has taken various measures to boost sales, including online offers and aggressive media promotions. - Bernama
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Old July 10th, 2009, 06:18 AM   #1699
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AirAsia courier service takes off
Friday July 10, 2009
By LEONG HUNG YEE
http://redbox.airasia.com



From left: Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes, Azran Osman-Rani, MBE Business Corp
Sdn Bhd director Brian Chow and DMSBT Pte Ltd managing director and chief
executive officer Damien Santer at the launch of Redbox.


Redbox to contribute up to RM30mil revenue next year

KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia Bhd expects its newly launched low-cost courier service, Redbox, to contribute RM25mil to RM30mil to revenue next year, said group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes.

“We don’t expect a major contribution from Redbox for the first six months but it’s a massive market. Air travel is a small pie but now we’ve expanded it by offering more services such as Redbox,” he said after the launching ceremony yesterday.

He added that AirAsia’s branching out into a non-core business was part of its strategy to improve its ancillary income.

Fernandes said Redbox was targeted at the small and medium enterprises and individual customers, and offered about 50% lower shipment rates than the market.

Redbox is said to be the world’s first low-cost courier service. AirAsia will be transporting the packages from airport to airport while its partner DHL would be picking up and delivering them.

The low-cost carrier has also partnered Mail Boxes Etc (MBE) to enable customers to drop off their packages at any of 17 MBE outlets.

Redbox is the first courier service to use Google Maps for courier service tracking.

AirAsia X chief executive officer Azran Osman-Rani said the tie-up with DHL and MBE was just a pure business partnership and there was no equity involved.

“Redbox’s low-cost model is possible as it leverages on AirAsia’s extensive network and infrastructure,” he said, adding that the transaction costs would also be lower as most of the transactions would be done online.

“Our tie-up with DHL and MBE also allows us to use their infrastructure,” Fernandes said.

He added that the investment for Redbox was “very little”.

On the belly capacity allocated for the new service, Fernandes joked: “My belly or the plane’s belly? AirAsia still has lots of belly capacity for these services.”

He said about 11% of AirAsia’s total aircraft belly space had been allocated for cargo.

For a start, Redbox offers services between the central region of Peninsular Malaysia and some towns in Sabah and Sarawak.

Azran said Redbox would expand to all the other destinations that AirAsia and AirAsia X fly to early next year.

On recent reports that AirAsia and AirAsia X would merge in a year or two, Fernandes and Azran said it was not for them to decide and they would leave it to the board.

“I’ve got no control over the merger. It’s up to the shareholders and we don’t have a specific plan for the merger.

“However, the operational advantages will be quite significant if we merge both companies as there is a lot of operational synergy,” Azran said.

He said AirAsia X was “optimistic of tripling its revenue” this year as it had more planes and would be flying to more destinations.

Azran said AirAsia X planned to introduce new routes in the Middle East this year and was looking at Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates.

Meanwhile, Fernandes said AirAsia’s private placement plan was “progressing very well” but did not elaborate.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 06:19 AM   #1700
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Govt will consider plans for NY route by AirAsia, others
Friday July 10, 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: The Transport Ministry is ready to consider proposals from airlines like AirAsia to serve the Kuala Lumpur-Stockholm-New York route that Malaysia Airlines (MAS) will cease to operate effective this October.

In a statement to Bernama, Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri said the offer was, however, subject to agreement from all the relevant authorities.

Currently, AirAsia unit AirAsia X offers long-haul flights to London, Melbourne, Perth and Taipei.

On Monday, MAS announced it will stop its flights to Stockholm and New York but will retain its offices in the two cities and offer its services via its code-sharing partner, KLM, which flies to Stockholm via Amsterdam.

On another note, Abdul Rahim said the global economic slowdown was among the reasons for the significant drop in MAS’ performance in the first quarter this year.

“For the first quarter, MAS was reported to have registered losses amounting to RM698mil,’’ he said. “The number of passengers using MAS’ services during January to April this year went down by 11% compared with the same period last year.”

He added that other airlines had also reported significant drops in passenger numbers. — Bernama

Against this scenario, MAS has taken various measures to promote sales via online, as well as through better fares and promoting its services through travel agents and tourism agencies as well as aggressive media promotions. — Bernama
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