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Old July 17th, 2009, 09:13 PM   #1721
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MAS Aims To Reduce Costs By Rm1 Billion This Year
July 17, 2009 20:05 PM

KOTA KINABALU, July 17 (Bernama) -- Malaysia Airlines (MAS) plans to reduce its costs by RM700 million to RM1 billion this year, managing director Datuk Seri Idris Jala said on Friday.

He said this was one of the national carrier's plans to make the business viable during the current global economic crisis.

"The whole aviation sector is in a crisis and we are not spared. But we are doing the best we can," he told reporters after launching MASwings' Safety and Security Campaign at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport here.

Earlier at MAS' roadshow for government ministries and agencies in Sabah, Idris said the highest revenue recorded by the airline in its corporate history was RM15 billion last year.

"It would be very difficult to achieve this figure this year. But I believe that as a company, we will be able to pull through these difficult times," he said.

On the campaign, MASwings' managing director Mohd Salleh Tabrani said it was held to inculcate a culture of safety and security within the organisation to ensure safety among employees in the workplace and assure comfort for customers.

- BERNAMA
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Old July 18th, 2009, 09:00 AM   #1722
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AirAsia adds new service

PERTH: AirAsia Bhd said its aircraft made the inaugural flight between Bali and Perth at full load both ways yesterday and the airline will start a twice-daily direct flight service on the route from Aug 19.

Perth is the first Australian destination serviced from Indonesia by AirAsia Indonesia and the airline’s fourth international route operated from the Bali hub after Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Singapore, the airline said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

The latest flight means the AirAsia group now has 21 flights weekly to Perth, inclusive of one direct flight departing from Kuala Lumpur.

“The demand for Perth-Bali route has been phenomenal. We’ve sold over 75,000 seats since May when we opened for sale,’’ said Kathleen Tan, AirAsia group’s regional head of commercial.

AirAsia’s brand-new Airbus A320 aircraft will serve the route.

http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story...6&sec=business
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Old July 18th, 2009, 06:17 PM   #1723
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Go Ahead Eagles View Post
AirAsia adds new service

PERTH: AirAsia Bhd said its aircraft made the inaugural flight between Bali and Perth at full load both ways yesterday and the airline will start a twice-daily direct flight service on the route from Aug 19.

Perth is the first Australian destination serviced from Indonesia by AirAsia Indonesia and the airline’s fourth international route operated from the Bali hub after Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Singapore, the airline said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

The latest flight means the AirAsia group now has 21 flights weekly to Perth, inclusive of one direct flight departing from Kuala Lumpur.

“The demand for Perth-Bali route has been phenomenal. We’ve sold over 75,000 seats since May when we opened for sale,’’ said Kathleen Tan, AirAsia group’s regional head of commercial.

AirAsia’s brand-new Airbus A320 aircraft will serve the route.

http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story...6&sec=business
Thats why Bali is full of stupid inbred drunkass rugby douchebags..
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Old July 18th, 2009, 08:25 PM   #1724
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Budget Malaysian airline to start Melbourne route
New route ... AirAsia X will offer flights from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur.
Photo: AFP



Cut-price airline AirAsia X has announced it is to begin new Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur flights.

- New flights unveiled
- Tourism boost
- $199 fares

The Malaysian-based carrier will offer one-way fares to Kuala Lumpur - starting at $199 including taxes and charges - and four return flights a week from November 12.

The airline plans to increase to daily return flights during the peak season from December to mid-January and then daily from March 2009.

Industry and Trade Minister Theo Theophanous said the announcement was great news for Victorians, for local business and international education services.

"The growth in services exports is being driven by international education," he said.

"Around 40% of Malaysian students in Australia choose Victoria, with more than 7600 enrolments in 2007.

"Given the strong alumni links and growing trade and investment relationships between Victoria and South-East Asia, travel for business and pleasure will continue to expand," he said.

Melbourne is AirAsia X's third Australian destination. Its network includes services to the Gold Coast, Shanghai and Perth.

Azran Osman-Rani, chief executive officer of AirAsia X, said the daily peak season service during Christmas would offer Malaysian and Australian travellers low fares at a time when other airlines typically gouge passengers with high airfares because demand outstrips capacity.

Tourism and Major Events Minister Tim Holding said the new services would provide a significant boost for Victoria's tourism industry, worth more than $10 billion.

The airline's fare sale begins tomorrow and runs until Sunday.
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 05:15 AM   #1725
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Good response, so AirAsia increases KL-Taipei flights
Wednesday July 22, 2009

PETALING JAYA: AirAsia is expanding the frequency of its Kuala Lumpur-Taipei route from five a week to daily flights, starting Oct 19.

The route was launched in April and had received overwhelming response, said AirAsia chief executive officer Azran Osman Rani.

“We are running at more than 75% load factor. More than 20,000 seats were sold within the first 12 hours of the sales announcement in April and forward bookings were exceptionally strong,” he said.

The all-in-fare is priced at RM129. Tickets for the period from Oct 19 to Jan 10, 2010 can be booked from tomorrow to July 31.

Citibank AirAsia credit cardholders get to enjoy 24-hour priority booking, starting today.

Free room stay is also offered, via the airline’s GoHoliday package, at Hotel Renaissance, Hotel Equatorial, One World Hotel, Corus Hotel and Tune Hotels.

Another promotion, Best Online Rates in Taipei, offers five-star hotel rooms for as low as RM383 per night.

For more information, log on to www.airasia.com or mobile.airasia.com.
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 05:42 AM   #1726
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Union appeals for waiver on MAS aircraft rental fee
Wednesday July 22, 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia Airlines System Employees Union (Maseu) has appealed to Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd (PMB) and Aircraft Business Malaysia Sdn Bhd (ABM) to waive this year’s aircraft rental and lease costs to be paid by Malaysia Airlines (MAS).

MAS paid close to RM1bil annually in rent and lease payment to PMB and ABM, which is a subsidiary of the Finance Ministry and fully-controlled by Khazanah Nasional, Maseu said in a statement here yesterday.

“If PMB and ABM provide the exemption on the cost of aircraft rental and lease for this financial year, MAS will be able to reach its target and recover within a short period,” it said.

Maseu said MAS had carried out two rounds of budget cuts and set the target of reducing costs by RM700mil to RM1bil.

“International airline companies have gone to reduce their operations and administration costs and so has MAS, and these actions are not enough to guarantee the strength of an organisation in this high technology industry,” the union said.

An exemption on the rental and lease payment this year will help MAS cushion the costs of fuel hedging for the financial accounts ending December 2009.

According to the union’s records, more than 68 aircrafts are rented and leased from PMB and ABM now.

MAS recorded a net loss of RM695mil for the first quarter ending March 31 due to fuel hedging costs amounting to RM640.2mil.

Maseu also said it placed the guarantee of employment as the main factor and any cost savings should be intended for saving jobs.

It should not be the case of cutting jobs to save costs, it added. — Bernama
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 08:59 PM   #1727
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by Lin.y.c
http://www.flickr.com/photos/linyc/1352298117/

image hosted on flickr
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 09:12 PM   #1728
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by Lin.y.c

image hosted on flickr
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 11:16 PM   #1729
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AirAsia X CEO backs merger with AirAsia Bhd
Thursday July 23, 2009
By B.K. SIDHU



Azran Osman-Rani …
‘AirAsia needs growth from AirAsia X.’


Azran: Merger will let AirAsia tap into long-haul markets

SEPANG: A merger between AirAsia X and AirAsia Bhd makes business sense and the combined balance sheet would make sourcing for future funding much easier, said AirAsia X chief executive officer Azran Osman-Rani.

“It would be difficult for AirAsia in the future if it did not have trunk routes as (this) is where the traffic volumes come from, so AirAsia needs growth from AirAsia X and the merger allows it to tap growth opportunities in the long-haul markets,” Azran told StarBiz in an interview.

“AirAsia cannot continue to just criss-cross and enter new markets, it needs a bigger base,’’ he added.

Given the nature of the business, which is counter-cyclical, a large base was necessary to balance the routes in peak and non-peak months, he said.

That is why AirAsia X has to sell beyond Kuala Lumpur or else only 20% of the seats will be taken up. It has to sell destinations, be it in Malaysia or the region, and 80% of those travelling with AirAsia X use AirAsia to travel to Langkawi, Penang, Phuket or even Bali.

“That is why AirAsia needs growth from AirAsia X and for that greater control of AirAsia X is needed,’’ Azran said.

Recently, AirAsia group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes was reported as saying his personal preference was for a merger of the two companies.

AirAsia has a 16% stake in AirAsia X and an option to increase it to 30%.

The remaining shareholders in AirAsia X are Aero Ventures Sdn Bhd (48%), the Virgin Group (16%), while Bahrain-based Manara Consortium and Japan-based Orix Corp hold the remaining 20%.

Aero Ventures is owned by Fernandes, Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, Datuk Kalimullah Hassan, Lim Kian Onn and former Air Canada chairman and CEO Robert Milton.

Fernandes and Meranun are controlling shareholders in AirAsia with a 30.7% stake via Tune Air Sdn Bhd.

Even though it is still at the idea stage, critics are already saying the merger is necessary to rescue AirAsia X as, to them, AirAsia is now subsidising AirAsia X.

“Rubbish, we can clearly dispute that. For the first quarter ended March 31, 2009 our net profit was RM18mil and we are net cashflow positive. We even had a little cash at RM3mil.

“We are in a very good position and on a much firmer footing and now is an interesting time to talk about merger,’’ Azran said.

Fernandes, in a separate interview with StarBiz recently, said the merger was merely his proposal but felt it was a good model. However, no decision has been made thus far.

“When we started AirAsia X, a lot of critics said we could not do it but AirAsia X has turned out to be a very cash-flow positive company. Azran will be going on a roadshow soon to explain so that people have a better understanding that this long-haul, low-cost model can work,’’ Fernandes said then, adding that the roadshow would cover Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Hong Kong, New York and London.

A share swap is likely but Azran said AirAsia had an option to increase its stake from 16% to 30% and with that it could equity account its venture in AirAsia X.

“They can either put cash in and increase the stake from 16% to 30% or do a share swap. It is a decision only the shareholders can make and I am not privy to that,’’ he said.

Asked when the merger was likely to happen, he said: “I will be surprised if it happens this year. AirAsia X has not received any offer and the process cannot begin. We also have to appoint a valuer and AirAsia has to hold an EGM.’’

AirAsia X was last valued at RM1.3bil when Manara and Orix took up their stakes.
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Old July 27th, 2009, 09:01 AM   #1730
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AirAsia to fly to Tiruchi, India, twice daily from Sept 1

Published: Monday July 27, 2009 MYT 1:53:00 PM
AirAsia to fly to Tiruchi, India, twice daily from Sept 1
By YUEN MEIKENG


PETALING JAYA: Good news for those who travel often to Tiruchirapalli as low-cost carrier AirAsia will be adding a second daily flight to the Indian district starting Sept 1.

To celebrate the introduction of the flight, AirAsia will be offering an all-in fare of RM129.00 for a travel period between Sept 1 this year and April 30 next year.

The booking period for the flight will be from Tuesday to Aug 2.

AirAsia Group commercial regional head Kathleen Tan said the airline was proud to be servicing an underserved route and opening up this market to the world.

“Tiruchirapalli is a highly popular and desired destination among Hindus in Malaysia as it has an abundance of temples, which are popular pilgrimage sites for Hindus,” she said in a statement on Monday.

She added that there was an increase in visiting travellers from the district in Tamil Nadu who were progressively using Kuala Lumpur as a connecting gateway to over 130 routes in South East Asia and beyond.

“In fact, within the first month of flying to India, we enjoyed a load factor of 100% on this route,” Tan said, adding that it was now timely to add a second frequency.

Tiruchirapalli was AirAsia’s first destination in India since its inception on Dec 1 last year.

AirAsia is also offering its guests free rooms in various destinations when they book at its partner hotels via goholiday.airasia.com.

For more information on flights and other promotions, visit www.airasia.com.
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Old July 27th, 2009, 09:46 AM   #1731
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Click your way to great deals from MAS
Monday July 27, 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: Just RM300 for a ticket to Taipei? For more great deals, click to www.malaysiaairlines.com for discounted airfares available till Aug 2.

Malaysia Airlines is offering tickets to Kaohsiung at RM440, Osaka at RM697, Tokyo at RM713 and Seoul at RM740.

MAS senior general manager (Network & Revenue Management) Dr Amin Khan said: “To enjoy these offers, customers just have to register at the “Get-the-Deal” section on MAS’ website.

“We have been getting very good response to the offers. Since the campaign was launched a couple of months ago, we have sold some RM50mil worth of tickets,” he said.

Upon registration, which is free of charge, customers will be notified every time MAS offers a new promotion.

Amin added: “This way, customers can be assured that they are kept posted on the lowest fares offered by MAS.

“Airlines are now offering great deals to stimulate travel, and the public should take advantage of these offers to travel.”

The travel period for the North Asia promotion vary according to the destinations. These low fares are only available online on a first come, first served basis.
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Old July 27th, 2009, 09:45 PM   #1732
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MAS confident of pulling through worldwide slump
By Regina Lee Published: 2009/07/28

DESPITE people cutting down on their vacations and holidays, Malaysia Airlines (3786) is confident that it will pull through the global slump.

Chairman Tan Sri Dr. Munir Majid said that the national carrier has looked into ways to fulfill customer demands.

"We have had nine packages so far this year... we had to cut routes because the operating environment is already tough.

"It is competitive in terms of a wide economy in the airlines industry," he said in Cyberjaya yesterday.
The airline recently had to axe the Kuala Lumpur-New York route, leaving the Kuala Lumpur-Los Angeles route as the only direct flight from the country to the US.

"Our aim is to not only to make money, but also to save money. And we want to do it in an intelligent fashion," he said after launching a special menu of second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak's favourite dishes in Cyberjaya yesterday.

In fact, Munir was especially pleased that the airline was ranked third by a prominent weekly aviation magazine in financial strength.

"They ranked us highly to weather the current financial storm. To be ranked third out of 300 full-service carriers and more than a thousand airlines, this is quite a credit to us," he said.

MAS was ranked behind Singapore Airlines and Germany's Lufthansa.
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Old July 28th, 2009, 12:35 AM   #1733
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H1N1 pandemic overstated, says MAS chairman
Written by Melody Song
Monday, 27 July 2009 21:33

CYBERJAYA: MALAYSIAN AIRLINE SYSTEM BHD [] (MAS) chairman Tan Sri Dr Munir Majid said the panic over the Influenza A(H1N1) pandemic had been "overstated".

The World Health Organisation (WHO) should rethink how it called for a pandemic, he said.

"Right now, the 'pandemic' call relates to spread, and not fatality," said Munir after the launch of a Malaysia Airlines' special menu in tribute to second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak today.

On the business outlook for MAS, Munir said the current environment was tough but the airline was holding up well relative to its competitors. "Just last week, we were named as one of the top three carriers to perform in 2009 by Aviation Week," he said.

Meanwhile, MAS executive director and chief financial officer Tengku Datuk Azmil Aziz said it was too early to say for certain when a recovery in the airline industry would occur.

The new menu A Tribute to Tun Abdul Razak will be served on board business class of selected domestic and regional flights and across all classes on the Kuala Lumpur-London sector from Aug 1 until Sept 30, in conjunction with Malaysia's 52nd Independence Day.

"This is in recognition of the British connection that Tun Razak had to London, and as a tribute to Tun's contributions to the country," said Munir, adding that it was an opportunity to introduce Malaysian history and food to its passengers.

"It is timely for us to introduce this menu now, because Tun Razak's son Datuk Seri Najib Razak is prime minister."

The menu features several of the late prime minister's favourite dishes, including tomato rice with chicken kurma, roast beef tenderloin with Sarawak black pepper sauce and Yorkshire pudding, as well as desserts like bread and butter pudding and crème caramel.

This is the second time a special menu in honour of the country's former prime ministers has been launched by MAS, with the first being a selection of Tunku Abdul Rahman's favourite dishes in 2007.
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Old July 28th, 2009, 12:36 AM   #1734
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Malaysia Airlines Expects To Perform Despite Tough Times
July 27, 2009 20:41 PM

CYBERJAYA, July 27 (Bernama) -- Malaysia Airlines expects to continue to "stand" despite the current tough times and competition in the airline industry, said its chairman, Tan Sri Dr Munir Majid.

He said the national carrier was doing relatively well despite the global economic situation.

Being categorised by the Aviation Week magazine as among the top three airlines in terms of financial strength and capability to weather the storm, shows that the national carrier is able to do relatively well compared with other airlines, Munir said.

"Our focus is to look into our customers' demand. Our vision is to offer five-star services at affordable prices," Munir said after the launch of the "Tun Abdul Razak menu" Monday.

The menu, featuring the favourites of the country's second prime minister, the late Tun Abdul Razak, is expected to be served on MAS flights from August 1- September 30, this year.

It will be served in the business class both for domestic as well as regional flights (Kuala Lumpur to Indonesia, Manila, Bangkok, Yangon, Hanoi and Singapore).

"Passengers across all classes on flights operating the London route out of Kuala Lumpur will also be served this menu," he said.

Passengers can look forward to a menu which features both eastern and western dishes which were the favourites of Tun Razak.

Munir said Malaysia Airlines will continue to enhance its inflight meal services, introducing new and exciting dishes in line with its Business Transformation Plan (BTP2) and improving its services to customers.
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Old July 28th, 2009, 09:14 AM   #1735
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Quote:
AirAsia X denied rights to fly into Sydney
July 28, 2009 - 3:40PM

Long-haul budget airline AirAsia X has been denied permission to fly to Sydney and Seoul due to a row between the Malaysian government and its sister carrier AirAsia, a news report said.

The refusal has forced AirAsia X to scramble to make new plans to utilise the three new Airbus A330 aircraft due for delivery this year, the Star daily said today.

"We had asked for rights to fly to Sydney and Seoul, and the government decided to defer granting us the approval," AirAsia X's chief executive officer Azran Osman-Rani reportedly said.

He said the government first wanted AirAsia to settle the issue of an outstanding 65 million ringgit ($A22.45 million) payment for airport services with Malaysia Airports Holdings before giving the green light.

"The dispute is between the two (AirAsia and MAHB), but delaying us from flying into these two destinations will not help travellers who have limited choices," Azran told the daily.

"We know the Koreans are keen to have us, and both the airports - Sydney and Seoul - welcome us," he added.

AirAsia was not immediately available to confirm the reported comments.

An affiliate of regional low-cost carrier AirAsia and Virgin Group, AirAsia X was launched in January 2007. AirAsia and AirAsia X have common shareholders, including AirAsia founder and CEO Tony Fernandes.

AirAsia X currently flies to three Australian destinations - the Gold Coast, Melbourne and Perth.

AFP
http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-...0728-dzsk.html

So whats the news on the inside? This isn't good news!
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Old July 28th, 2009, 10:14 AM   #1736
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MAS targets 15,000 travellers with pre-paid Asean pass
Written by Melody Song
Tuesday, 28 July 2009 12:29

KUALA LUMPUR: MALAYSIAN AIRLINE SYSTEM BHD [] (MAS) targets up to 15,000 travellers for its new pre-paid Asean economy pass, from a low of US$229 (RM806) which includes administrative fees and surcharges but excludes airport taxes.

With the pre-paid pass, which consists of four pre-paid ticket vouchers, travellers can fly to four destinations in Asean, which is valid for three months within date of purchase.

As for the business class, it is from US$729.

However, travellers will have to use the KLIA as the hub for their travel, but the pass can be also used with other MAS promotions.

MAS managing director Datuk Seri Idris Jala said the load factor for June-July recovered to 2008 levels. He said the June load factor was 67% and July 76%.
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Old July 28th, 2009, 10:17 AM   #1737
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Special MAS menu honouring Razak
2009/07/28



SHAIFUL ANAZ HARUN dan Lily Sulia Abdul Aziz menunjukkan makanan
kegemaran Allahyarham Tun Abdul Razak untuk hidangan dalam pesawat
MAS di Cyberjaya semalam.


CYBERJAYA: Passengers on Malaysia Airlines will be able to sample the food that used to delight the taste buds of the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, the second prime minister of Malaysia.

The menu will be a combination of Malaysian and British cuisine, including tomato rice with chicken kurma, ikan asam pedas, chicken kuzi, roast beef tenderloin with Sarawak black pepper sauce and Yorkshire pudding, traditional bread and butter pudding, and classic cream caramel.

In conjunction with the 52nd Merdeka celebration, passengers in the business class of domestic flights (Kuala Lumpur to Penang, Langkawi, Johor Baru, Sabah and Sarawak) as well as regional flights (Kuala Lumpur to Indonesia, Manila, Bangkok, Yangon, Hanoi and Singapore) and passengers across all classes on the Kuala Lumpur-London route will be served this special menu.

MAS chairman Tan Sri Dr Munir Majid said the time was appropriate for a special menu honouring Razak.

"Now, Razak's son Datuk Seri Najib Razak is prime minister. We also want to remember that Razak was the prime minister of Malaysia during the introduction of Malaysia Airline Limited, or better known as MAL, which took to the skies with its first commercial flight as the national airline in 1972," said Munir.

Also at the launch were Najib's wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and his mother, Razak's widow Tun Dr Rahah Mohd Noah.

Chefs from the airlines' main caterer LSGB Skychefs worked in consultation with Rahah to develop the dishes, having gone as far as preparing the menu at her weekly dinner parties.

Along with the dishes, passengers can take home the recipes of Razak's favourites on bookmarks, made specially for this occasion. The promotion will last for two months, starting from Aug 1 to Sep 30.
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Old July 28th, 2009, 10:30 AM   #1738
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MAS passenger load factor back to normal
Published: 2009/07/28
> http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_New...cle/index_html

MALAYSIAN Airline System Bhd (MAS) sees its passenger load factor as being back to normal following initiatives to stimulate demand.

Managing director Datuk Seri Idris Jala said the national carrier had undertaken an aggressive plan to attract travellers to fly with MAS.

"We came out with an aggressive stimulus package and as a result, we have seen an increase in our passenger load factor for June and July this year," he told reporters after the launch of the airline's latest product called Asean Pass here today.

MAS's passenger load factor in June and July recovered by 67 percent and 76 percent respectively compared with the same months last year.

Idris also said that the recent bombing incident in Jakarta did not have any significant impact on the airline's flights to Indonesia.

On the Asean Pass, he said that MAS hoped to sell about 15,000 seats by the end of this year with the product.

The Asean Pass is a set of four prepaid ticket vouchers that enable passengers to travel on a maximum of four flights within Asean countries for US$229 (US$1.00=RM3.52) on economy class and US$729 on business class.

Since the introduction of the product in early June, a total of 5,000 seats valued at RM1.2 million had been sold.

MAS chairman Tan Sri Dr Munir Majid said the airline decided to develop the Asean Pass based on the positive growth in this region.

Last year, tourist arrivals from Asean countries totalled 16.6 million, an increase of 6.5 percent from 15.6 million in 2007, and contributed RM32.9 billion in tourist receipts.

"In line with the Tourism Ministry's efforts to promote intra-Asean tourism, we believe this new product will help to stimulate travel into Malaysia," Munir said, adding that MAS had also made some enhancements in the menu served on Asean flights.

The airline will soon be introducing popular local dishes such as nasi briyani, satay, nasi goreng, nasi lemak, roti canai and murtabak for these flights. - Bernama
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Old July 28th, 2009, 10:41 AM   #1739
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Malaysia airline offers region pass to spur travel
Published: Tuesday July 28, 2009 MYT 3:00:00 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airlines on Tuesday launched an air pass offering sharp fare discounts for travel within Southeast Asia in a bid to fill up its planes and spur tourism into the country.

The flag carrier plunged into the red in the first quarter, hit by a triple blow of overcapacity, fuel hedging losses and the global economic slump which hurt passenger and cargo demand.

Managing Director Idris Jala said business has improved in the second quarter with the average percentage of seats filled rising to 67 percent in June and 76 percent in July.

This was higher than 56 percent recorded in the first quarter.

He said the pass scheme would be an added boost to business as more people are opting for short-haul travel amid the economic crisis and the swine flu pandemic.

The pass offers a set of four prepaid one-way tickets for $229 for economy class and $729 for business class, inclusive of fuel surcharges and other fees.

Travelers pay separately for airport taxes.

The tickets are valid for three months and can only be used for travel from Kuala Lumpur to a destination within the countries that make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or vice versa, Idris said.

"It's a massive discount (on fares). Kuala Lumpur will be the base and hub, so it will bring a lot of tourists to Malaysia," he told reporters.

The airline is targeting at least 2,500 new passengers each month under the scheme, he said.

Ong Hong Peng, secretary-general of the Tourism Ministry, said travel within Southeast Asia remained resilient with tourist arrivals rising more than 15 percent last year to more than 70 million.

Travelers from the region accounted for 78 percent of foreign visitors into Malaysia last year, he said.

Malaysia is however, bracing for fewer tourists this year with arrivals expected to drop to 19 million, from 22 million last year, he said. - AP
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Old July 28th, 2009, 10:43 AM   #1740
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AirAsia X fails to get Govt nod for flights to Sydney and Seoul
Tuesday July 28, 2009
By B.K. SIDHU



Azran Osman-Rani ... ‘It is a high-profile
issue and needs a lot of justification'.


SEPANG: AirAsia X’s expansion into Sydney and Seoul will be delayed as it has failed to get the nod from the Malaysian Government to fly to the two cities, forcing the long haul low-cost carrier to formulate a back-up plan to utilise some of the new aircraft that will be delivered later this year.

“We had asked for rights to fly to Sydney and Seoul and the Government decided to defer granting us the approval. They want (AirAsia) to settle (its) dues with Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB),’’ AirAsia X chief executive officer Azran Osman-Rani told StarBiz in an interview recently.

“It is a high profile issue and needs a lot of justification but we are AirAsia X and not the ones that owe MAHB money for airport services. Every invoice that we receive is paid within 30 days.”

“It is unfortunate that we are brought into the AirAsia issue but we have written and explained that our accounts are all current,’’ he said.

About RM65mill payment due to MAHB from AirAsia is in dispute.

Azran reiterated that “the dispute is between the two (AirAsia and MAHB) but delaying us from flying into these two destinations will not help travellers who have limited choices and we lose opportunities of the multiplier impact (that) tourism has.”

“We know the Koreans are keen to have us and both the airports – Sydney and Seoul – welcome us,’’ he said.

The delay may be seen as a setback in its expansion plans as with so much capacity coming onstream, AirAsia X has to work fast to secure rights for other markets so that its planes are not grounded for too long.

“We believe the two markets are big enough for more players. MAHB has been trying hard to get Qantas and Jetstar back and here we are waiting to fly to Sydney,’’ Azran added.

Whether it is AirAsia or AirAsia X, there are common shareholders in both companies and allowing AirAsia into newer markets will certainly heat up competition and drive fares down as seen from its flights to Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth and London.

“Fundamentally, we do not fly to a destination and take passengers away. We create a new market which even other players can tap into,’’ the AirAsia X chief said.

AirAsia X is set to take delivery of three A330 this year – one each in September, November and December.

It needs to utilise these aircraft and Azran said he was now busy trying to come up with a plan so that the aircraft would be fully utilised since the Sydney and Seoul routes would be delayed.

“We will look at the near term first since we will take delivery of an aircraft in September. We may add capacity on our existing routes to Gold Coast, Hangzhou and Taipei. The new destinations that we are considering include Chengdu. We are hoping to get the time slots soon and the Transport Minisntry has been really helpful in all this,’’ he said.

AirAsia X might fly into either Sharjah or Abu Dhabi sometime this year as part of its plan to venture into the Middle East, he said, adding that Baharin was also on the cards but Teheran would be delayed.

India is a market that AirAsia X wants to look at in 2010 but Amritsar may come earlier if it manages to get the rights, but via Bangkok.

As for the US, the airline liked New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles but formal submissions had not been made, although the process had begun, Azran said, adding that AirAsia X hoped to cover the US by next year.
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