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Old June 11th, 2005, 08:05 PM   #161
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MAS To Add Three More Indian Cities To Network
June 09, 2005 14:55 PM



NEW DELHI, June 9 (Bernama) -- Malaysia Airlines (MAS) will add three more destinations -- Amritsar, Kochi and Thiruvananthpuram -- to its network in India.

The Malaysian carrier will operate three flights a week from each of the destinations from the winter schedule starting Oct 29 this year.

Moreover, the carrier will add three more flights between New Delhi and Kuala Lumpur this winter, MAS regional manager (South Asia) Christopher Yek has been quoted as saying.

"Our very next step in the expansion plans would be to launch services from Amritsar from October, followed by Kochi and Thiruvananthpuram early next year," he said.

"These destinations have been allowed as part of India's liberalised open sky policy for the Asean nations," Yek was quoted in a media report as saying.

With the additional three flights from New Delhi, the airline will mount daily services from the winter schedule, taking the total number of Indian cities served by the airline to 10.

Yek is reported to have said that India was one of the fastest growing markets, forecasting a 15 percent rise in passenger traffic.

-- BERNAMA
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Old June 11th, 2005, 08:06 PM   #162
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MAS may fly to 4 new China destinations
By MALCOLM ROSARIO
June 11 2005



MALAYSIAN Airline System Bhd (MAS) may fly to four new destinations in China once it receives five long-range narrow-bodied aircraft later this year.

“Recent flights to China have registered an average load factor of 70 per cent, and so we feel that the time is right for us to tap this market in an aggressive manner,” said Malaysia Airlines senior general manager of sales, distribution and marketing, Datuk Rashid Khan.

The new routes being planned are to Shenyang, ChongQing, Guilin and Shenzhen.

The wide bodied aircraft that are currently being used to serve some of the the China routes will be re-deployed to serve the Indian destinations.

“China and India are our main focus markets for the moment. In India, we plan to add three more destinations — Amritsar, Kochi and Thiruvananthpuram,” Rashid said.

The Malaysian carrier will operate three flights a week from each of the destinations from the winter schedule starting October 29 this year.

Rashid was speaking to newsmen at the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Malaysia Airlines and China’s Shaanxi Province Tourism Administration (SPTA) yesterday.

The MOU is aimed at developing a structured platform for the promotion of two-way tourist traffic between Malaysia and China’s Shaanxi Province.

Malaysia Airlines was represented by Rashid Khan and MAS general manager of sales, Nick Phang, while SPTA was represented by its director, Dong XianMin and its promotion department chief, Shao XiYuan.

“As far as Xi’an is concerned, we are looking at an average load factor of 70 per cent for this summer period. This is a positive indication that interest is picking up, considering that we just started flights into Xi’an only three months ago,” Rashid said.

“Our flights into Xi’an supports the Malaysian Government’s initiative to tap Chinese destinations as good tourist catchments,” Rashid said.

Based on International Air Transport Association figures, China as well as India are two major engines of growth for the airline industry and Malaysia Airlines said it has captured these two markets in its business plan.
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Old June 11th, 2005, 08:08 PM   #163
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MAS in talks to add flights to London
Updated : 11-06-2005
Media : Business Times
Story By : VASANTHA GANESAN and ANNA MARIA SAMSUDIN
www.biznewsdb.com



NATIONAL carrier Malaysia Airlines (MAS), with help from the Transport Ministry, is in talks with UK authorities to increase the number of flights to London to 21 times a week from 18 currently.

Senior general manager of sales, distribution and marketing, Datuk Rashid Khan, said such a move is necessary because of overwhelming demand for the service.

Demand for its Kuala Lumpur-London service has been strong as MAS has been able to fill on average more than 90 per cent of the seats for the flights.

However, he declined to comment on progress of the discussions.

¡§This issue is a bit sensitive. There are certain issues concerning landing rights that we still need to discuss with the authorities in the UK. We will make the necessary announcements when the time comes,¡¨ he told Business Times.

MAS¡¦ 18 weekly flights to London comprise three-times-a-day service on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays and two on other days.

Upon the approval of the frequency increase, MAS will be able to offer three flights a day to London.

On its expansion to India, Rashid said MAS is unfazed by the entrance of India-based carriers such as Jet Airways, and soon Air Sahara, into KL International Airport.

In fact, he said these airlines would further contribute towards accelerating MAS¡¦ network expansion plans in India.

MAS has plans to add 18 new destinations in India within the next five years, focusing on secondary airports such as Amritsar, Trichi and Trivandrum.

¡§We do not want to view the Indian carriers as our competitors. Instead, we plan to work closely with these airlines so that they could help us ferry our passengers to other areas in India that we are not covering. This way we would be able to cover a wider area in India,¡¨ he said.

In line with this move, MAS is seriously considering forming partnerships, including code share, with Jet Airways, he added.

Rashid said MAS and Jet Airways have a long history of cooperation, and is optimistic that the partnership would benefit both parties.

¡§We are now discussing with Jet Airways how both airlines can help each other,¡¨ he said.

MAS currently has 26 weekly flights to India, servicing routes to New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and, recently, Ahmedabad and Kolkata.

Besides India, MAS plans to introduce several more flights to China by 2010, including to ChongQin, Guilin and Nan Ning.

The airline operates 63 weekly flights to Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Xiamen, Chendu and Kunming, and in March introduced a twice weekly flight to Xi¡¦an.

The load factor for both India and China flights is currently 70 per cent.
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Old June 11th, 2005, 08:09 PM   #164
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Malaysia Close to Decision on Domestic Air Routes, Edge Says
Updated : 11-06-2005
Media : Bloomberg
Story By : Stephanie Phang
www.biznewsdb.com



(Bloomberg) --Malaysia's government will decide soon on how to split the country's domestic air routes between Malaysian Airline System Bhd. and AirAsia Bhd., the Edge weekly newspaper said, citing people it didn't identify.

The Ministry of Transport is evaluating the airlines' proposals together with Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd., which owns Malaysian Air and the loss-making domestic air service business, the newspaper said. Malaysian Air operates the domestic air services for Penerbangan under a contract that expires in March next year, the report said.

Malaysian Air may reduce the frequencies of most domestic destinations and raise fares, while AirAsia would add flights to these routes, the Edge said. The government may allow other companies to operate rural air services which require smaller planes and can't be taken over by AirAsia, the report said.

Malaysian Air's plan to replace its domestic fleet may be delayed and a planned $1 billion investment on 39 new narrow-body planes may be reduced until the government decides on the domestic routes, the newspaper said. Penerbangan owns the planes used by Malaysian Air, which leases the aircraft from its parent.
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Old June 13th, 2005, 11:30 PM   #165
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MAS joins 5-star airlines club
13 Jun 2005 5:29 PM
source : The Edge Communications Sdn Bhd.


Malaysia Airlines has joined the most exclusive group of world airlines being ranked as a five-star airline by global aviation rating organisation Skytrax. The other five-star airlines are Cathay Pacific Airways, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines.

Skytrax marketing director Peter Miller said: "To achieve five-star airline status is a most prestige achievement for the airline. A five-star rating beas testimony not only to the quality of product Malaysia Airlines provides to customers, but is greatly influenced by the very high standards of staff service."

"Malaysia Airlines cabin staff service is renowned as one of the world's best - it has the required hallmarks of efficiency, but what sets it apart is a most distinctive charm and character of service that is so reflective of the Malaysian culture."

In a statement, he said MAS's marketing tagline of "Going Beyond Expectations" was well portrayed by the airline's front line staff, and "is a defining element of their recent elevation to five-star airline status."

"There are just four airlines in the world that merit this prestige five-star accolade, and we are pleased to welcome Malaysia Airlines into this exclusive group that represents the very best about air travel today," said Miller.
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Old June 13th, 2005, 11:59 PM   #166
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Malaysia's AirAsia buys Airbus engines for US$750 million
13 June 2005

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia said Monday it has signed a US$750 million (euro625 million) deal to buy engines from Airbus for its new fleet of 60 aircraft it has ordered from the European plane maker.

AirAsia, the largest budget carrier in Southeast Asia, in March signed an order to buy 60 Airbus A320-200 aircraft for 14.4 billion ringgit (US$3.79 billion; euro3.16 billion), and also the right to buy another 40 of the same aircraft.

In a statement to the local stock exchange, AirAsia said it will buy 120 engines and nine spare engines from Airbus for the 60 aircraft. The agreement also included the right to buy an additional 80 engines and six spare engines for a further 40 aircraft.

"The Airbus A320-200 aircraft complete with the installed engines is scheduled to be delivered over a period of up to six years, with the first two aircraft scheduled for delivery in December 2005," it said.

AirAsia said it is considering various sources of funding, "including but not limited to export credit guaranteed borrowings, commercial bank borrowings and sale and leaseback transactions." It didn't elaborate.

AirAsia, which currently serves routes in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and Macau, is planning flights to China, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. It carried 1.8 million passengers in 2003, and an estimated 3.2 million passengers in 2004. It expects passenger numbers to rise to 6 million in 2005.
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Old June 14th, 2005, 08:30 AM   #167
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MAS told to fly daily to Paris
Updated : 14-06-2005
Media : Business Times
Story By : FAUZIAH ISMAIL


PARIS, Mon: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Abdul Razak has asked Malaysia Airlines (MAS) to exercise its rights to operate daily into France to further intensify accessibility between both Malaysia and France.

At present, Malaysia Airlines operates a Boeing 747-400 into Paris five times a week.

¡§Daily flights into Paris would serve as a greater attraction for people to travel between the two countries. With more flights into Malaysia, it would also serve (the interest of) KL International Airport as a hub. To be a hub, you (an airport) have to be connected,¡¨ Najib said when addressing the Malaysian community in France at a reception here yesterday.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy, in an immediate reaction to Najib¡¦s call, said the national carrier will be asked to mount daily operations into the French capital by the middle of next year.

¡§At a load factor of 75 per cent now, MAS should operate more flights between Kuala Lumpur and Paris,¡¨ he told reporters at the reception.

Chan, who is currently in the city for the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget and visiting the Port of Marseilles, said the Government acknowledged MAS¡¦ constraints especially with regard to capacity to mount the additional frequencies.

The national carrier, however, will be asked to work out ways to overcome it.

Business Times understands that MAS¡¦ plans to introduce daily flights out of Paris by 2007. By this time, it would have taken delivery one of its six A380s and would be introducing the superjumbo on current 747-400 routes, thus releasing the 747-400s for deployment to other routes such as Paris.

Chan said MAS will also be asked to look at avenues such as codeshare with airlines in France to further increase accessibility between the two countries.

MAS chairman Datuk Dr Munir Majid, who was also at the reception, said the airline¡¦s management would have to look into the ways in which to increase accessibility between both countries.
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Old June 14th, 2005, 09:55 AM   #168
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Czech Travel Service Will Lease 3 Planes To Malaysia Air
13 June 2005

PRAGUE (Dow Jones)--Czech private air charter company Travel Service AS Monday said it will lease three Boeing Co. (BA) 737-800 jets and their crews to Malaysia Airlines for 18 months.

Malaysia Airlines is owned by Malayasian Airline System BHD (3786.KU).

The contract is worth $40 million for Travel Service, the company said in a statement.

Travel Service will supply its manned planes in the fall when Malaysia Airlines begins its planned route expansion by offering new flights from Kuala Lumpur to China, India and Australia.

Travel Service is currently holding merger talks with the state-owned flagship airline, CSA Czech Airline AS (CAA.YY)

Company Web sites: http://www.travelservice.aero
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Old June 14th, 2005, 03:25 PM   #169
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'their crews' inclusive of inflight cabin crews?? i know MAS is very stringent in her stds..
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Old June 14th, 2005, 04:55 PM   #170
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AirAsia Signs Engine Maintenance Agreement With GE
Updated : 14-06-2005
Media : Bloomberg
Story By : Stephanie Phang



(Bloomberg) -- AirAsia Bhd., Asia's largest discount carrier, said it signed an agreement valued at about $1.5 billion with a unit of General Electric Co. to maintain and repair engines bought from CFM International Inc.

The agreement will fix the maintenance cost for 20 years for each of the 129 engines that AirAsia has ordered for 60 Airbus SAS A320-200 planes, the company said in a statement to the Malaysian stock exchange after the market close today.

AirAsia said yesterday it chose CFM International, General Electric's venture with Snecma SA of France, to supply CFM 56 engines for the 60 Airbus planes it ordered in March. The order for the engines is valued at $750 million, based on list prices. The carrier will start taking delivery of the 60 planes in December. AirAsia now operates 24 Boeing Co. 737-300 planes.

AirAsia is expanding its fleet as economic growth in the region boosts demand for travel. The airline, based outside Kuala Lumpur, is seeking proposals from banks for loans of $630 million to help fund the purchase of some of its new planes.

The engine maintenance agreement was signed with GE On Wing Support Malaysia Bhd., a unit of GE Engine Services, Inc., AirAsia said. The engines will be maintained by GE Engine Services Malaysia Sdn., a joint venture between GE Engine, a unit of General Electric, and Malaysian Airline System Bhd.

The agreement fixes the maintenance cost of a further 86 engines if AirAsia decides to buy 40 more Airbus A320 planes, the airline said.
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Old June 15th, 2005, 03:00 PM   #171
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More Xi’an-KL flights on the cards
Wednesday, June 15, 2005




China and Malaysia are looking at the prospects of increasing flights between Kuala Lumpur and Xi'an, the capital city of Shaanxi province.

Tourism authorities of the two countries feel that an additional flight between the two cities could boost passenger arrivals at both sides as well as draw more opportunities for commercial and cultural growth.

“Currently, there are only two flights a week between Malaysia and Shaanxi and we are working on offering another flight,” said Tourism Malaysia East Asia regional director Chong Yoke Har.

“This would help forge stronger ties between Malaysia and China,” she said at the opening of the Tourism Promotion Conference of Shaanxi at the JW Marriot Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.

Chong said China, along with Hong Kong, Taiwan and other East Asia countries have made the region one of Malaysia's main tourism markets.

Malaysia would continue to penetrate more markets in East Asia to compete with other countries that are also eyeing the region.

Shaanxi Tourism Association Bureau director Dong Xianmin said there are several direct flights from the province to international destinations like Japan, Korea, Thailand and Singapore as well as to Hong Kong and Macau.

He said there are first-class highways as well as good air and railway links in Shaanxi, which has developed into one of the most attractive destinations in China.

Dong hopes that there would be improved co-operation between China and Malaysia in the fields of tourism, aviation and media.
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Old June 15th, 2005, 03:03 PM   #172
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Malaysia Airlines and Thales to set up A380 In-flight Entertainment Repair and Support Center in Subang, Malaysia
13 Jun, 2005




Le Bourget, Paris 13th June 2005: Malaysia Airlines has teamed up with Thales to set up an A380 In-flight Entertainment (IFE) Repair and Support Center in Subang, Malaysia. This was made possible with the selection of Thales Top SeriesTM In-Flight Entertainment System for Malaysia Airlines A380.

With this partnership, MAS is now the only MRO in the region to offer an integrated array of specialized services, which among others includes VIP & Corporate Jet Maintenance Repair and Overhaul, installation of blended winglets, “Specialized boutique” aircraft painting services and world-class aircraft finishing.

“This is truly a step forward for Malaysia Airlines and we look forward to the opportunity of expanding our customer base and providing these specialized services to the major carriers of the world. Both MAS and Thales will work together to market the A380 In-flight Entertainment Repair and Support Center,” said Dato’ Ahmad Fuaad Dahlan, Managing Director of Malaysia Airlines.

Malaysia Airlines’ experience as a world class maintenance, repairs and overhaul center (MRO) of excellence makes it a strong partner for Thales in setting up the Repair and Support center in Subang for not only Malaysia Airlines’ fleet of aircraft but also regional customers, offering on-time and world-class logistical support for Thales IFE system fitted on the Airbus A380 aircraft.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on this cooperation was signed by the two companies at the at the Malaysia pavilion in the Le Bourget Airshow also known as the Paris Air show 2005.

Dato’ Ahmad Fuaad and Mr. Olivier Guibert, Thales, Managing Director at Singapore signed on behalf of the respective organisations at the ceremony witnessed by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, the Hon. Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia and Dato’ Dr Munir Majid, Malaysia Airlines’ Chairman and Mr. Emmanuel Grave, Managing Director, Thales.

Airline passengers’ growing expectations for high-level service standards of the In-flight Entertainment system (IFE) has transformed this facility into a product differentiator amongst the major air carriers.

Through this partnership, the Malaysian national carrier is now positioned to take advantage of additional 3rd party business throughout Asia, as the region is one of the largest Airbus A380 order base.

This new highly specialized service collaboration is also part of Malaysia Airlines’ continuing program to assist the Malaysia government’s plan to make Subang International Aerospace Park (SIAP) the regional hub for MRO of aircraft.

“Thales is delighted to set up this new A380 IFE repair and supporter center with Malaysia Airlines. Together we are committed to provide the best services to the A 380 customers”, said Mr. Olivier Guibert.

About Malaysia Airlines
The MAS Engineering Division in Subang, Malaysia started operations in 1972 when the national airline took to the skies. Its core function is to carry out maintenance work on the aircraft in the airline’s fleet. In addition, MAS Engineering also performs maintenance and component repair and overhaul services for other airlines. With its well equipped and advanced facility, coupled with well trained and highly experience personnel, MAS Engineering is scaling new heights by teaming up with Thales Avionics Inc and maximising synergies to set up an A380 In-flight Entertainment Repair and Support Center in Subang, Malaysia.

About Thales
Thales is a leading international electronics and systems group, serving defence, aerospace, security and services markets worldwide. The Group employs 61, 500 people throughout the world and generated revenues of 10.3 billion euros in 2004. Based in Singapore, the aerospace business of Thales in Asia is the regional hub for the Asia Pacific Region. It offers all operators of Asia Pacific a one-stop-shop for marketing and sales, customer support, repairs and maintenance.
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Old June 15th, 2005, 03:05 PM   #173
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MALAYSIA AIRLINES ENHANCES SAFE FLIGHT OPERATIONS WITH HONEYWELL RUNWAY AWARENESS & ADVISORY SYSTEM
15 Jun, 2005



Le Bourget, Paris 15th June 2005. Malaysia Airlines today signed an agreement with Honeywell International Inc, USA for the integration of a Runway Awareness & Advisory System (RAAS) in its fleet of 92 jet aircraft, becoming the first Asian airline to upgrade its flight operations with this enhanced safety feature.

The agreement was signed at the Paris Air Show 2005 by Dato’ Captain Mohd Nawawi Awang, Senior General Manager (Flight Operations), Malaysia Airlines and Mr. Frank Daly, President (Commercial Electronic Systems) of Honeywell International Inc.

Under this deal Honeywell Inc will upgrade the existing Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS), in all 92 jet aircraft of the Malaysian national carrier’s fleet, with the RAAS software.

The RAAS will also be integrated in the EGPWS of Malaysia Airlines’ 5 jet aircraft simulators at its Flight Simulator Training Centre, located in the Subang International Aerospace Park, Malaysia.

The sophisticated RAAS has an extensive database of airport runways in the world and uses this information to activate voice messages in English to the operating crew, providing them improved situational awareness during the crucial stages of aircraft taxiing, take-off and landing.

The voice-activated messages further assist the operating crew (pilots), over and above the physical indicators, to prevent irregularities during aircraft taxiing, take-off and landing, thus enhancing the safety of the operations on the ground.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Dato’ Captain Nawawi said, “Today’s deal is part of the continuous initiatives of our mission to provide safe and reliable air transportation to our customers. Over the years, we have maintained a very high standard of flight safety and will further strive in this aspect with timely upgrades to our flight operations processes and equipment as well as manpower training”.

The Honeywell RAAS was first introduced in 2004 for Business and Corporate jets and effective this year to commercial aircraft.

The RAAS integration into the EGPWS of Malaysia Airlines’ fleet will commence with the B777-200 aircraft, followed by B747-400, B737-400 and the Airbus A330-300 and A330-200. This upgrade beginning August 2005 is expected to be completed within 12 months for all 92 aircraft in the airline’s fleet and its simulators.
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Old June 17th, 2005, 10:45 AM   #174
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6 New Companies Selected as KLCI Component Stocks

KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 (Bernama) -- Six new companies including Astro All Asia Network PLC, whose market capitalisation currently stands at RM10.2 billion, have been included as component stocks of the KLCI effective June 30 2005.

Apart from Astro, the other companies are AirAsia Bhd, Bursa Malaysia Bhd, KLCC Property Holdings Bhd, Scomi Group Bhd and Uchi Technologies Bhd, Bursa Malaysia Bhd said in a statement here today.

It said that the Executive Committee of Bursa Malaysia, following a review of the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI) had decided to release six companies as component stocks of the KLCI, as they fell into the least active quartile of annual trading volume up to March 31, 2005.

The six companies to be released effective June 30, 2005 are Mesiniaga Bhd, Computer Systems Advisers (M) Bhd, Manulife Insurance (M) Bhd, United Plantation Bhd, Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd and Measat Global Bhd.

Bursa Malaysia said that the six new component stocks of the KLCI were selected based on the criteria which took into account, among others, market capitalisation, business activities and trading volume.

It said that the objective of the KLCI, made up of 100 component stocks listed on the Main Board of Bursa Malaysia Securities, was to continue to reflect the changes in the national economy as well as evolvement of the corporate sector.
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Old June 17th, 2005, 07:06 PM   #175
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AirAsia poised for expansion
Updated : 17-06-2005
Media : The Star


AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes tackles adversity with courage. He is proud to have achieved superior cost containment despite fuel prices being 48% more expensive.

The budget airline, which has grown by leaps and bounds, is poised for expansion; Fernandes himself is always driving for improvements and further understanding of the business.

STARBIZ: How are your plans to strengthen the business coming along?

Fernandes: We have managed to contain our costs effectively. Our cost/ASK for the latest quarter was 2.12 US cents, which is the lowest in the world. This superior cost containment was achieved despite fuel prices being 48% more expensive than what they were last year. This is our biggest advantage because with our lowest cost structure, we are able to continue offering low fares to our customers.

We have achieved better understanding of seasonality factors relating to travel and have effectively managed a more efficient revenue management system

We have successfully concluded an order for 100 Airbus A320, consisting of 60 firm and 40 options. The inclusion of the Airbus will continue to drive our costs downwards; increase capacity and improve fuel efficiency.

Also, we have announced in the Q3 report that we have successfully negotiated and locked in hedge for the period of July 2005 to 2006 to safeguard against intense fuel price fluctuations. Following which, we have also obtained approval from the Government to implement a minimal fuel surcharge. However, there are no immediate plans to implement one yet.

Moving forward, we have embarked on an aggressive plan to boost and drive ancillary income to support revenue. Go Hostel, Go Car was launched earlier this year.

Expansion-wise, we have strengthened our route network and this enables us to capture a bigger market. AirAsia now travels to 51 routes, including China and the Philippines.

StarBiz: Are you reaping the benefits of earlier moves to better position the business? Kindly elaborate.

Fernandes: Yes. Our meticulous efforts to promote travelling has changed the way Malaysians and Asians are travelling. More people are flying nowadays and many people flew for the first time. We carried 4.6 million people for the first nine months of FY2005. People who flew for the first time now travel via air frequently.

Meanwhile, our innovative cost optimisation policy has enabled us to enjoy cost savings from economies of scale, effective marketing and promotions, increased productivity and higher aircraft utilisation. The fuel hedge enables us to cushion the blow of high oil prices and continue offering low fare tickets.

As mentioned earlier, we have expanded our ancillary business to include Go Car, Get a Room, Go Holiday, air space advertising, charter flights, sale of F&B on board and so on. People who are comfortable with our service, reputation and value for money will naturally opt for our ancillary business.

By having an improved fare management system, we were able to improve load factor to the more popular destinations while continuing to develop new routes.

Our sister company, Thai AirAsia, has achieved its first quarterly profit despite the tsunami disaster and bird flu outbreak.

Finally, 3?years of hard work paid off. AirAsia is the first LCC to be publicly listed. The inclusion of AirAsia in the MSCI Emerging Market Index on March 1 was a further boost to our aggressive expansion.

The encouraging debut of our JV in Indonesia, AWAIR, on Dec 8, 2004, has come at the right time. Already we are enjoying high load factors to several of our Indonesian routes. Also, the Indonesian Minister of Transport has since restricted new airline applications.

StarBiz: What are the trends in the industry or economy that are having a positive impact on your business?

Fernandes: The Malaysian economy is blessed with sound fundamentals as depicted by sustained strong economic growth, a low unemployment rate, prudent fiscal management and relatively low debt levels. The economy has been achieving real GDP growth since 1999 at modest inflation rates.

With real GDP growth, subsequently more spending power and cheaper air fares, a new trend can be seen developing in terms of how people are now travelling more often than before. A research by AC Nielsen back in 2002 showed that only 6% of Malaysians fly once a year! Fast forward to today, the market has grown significantly with the emergence of AirAsia. Given that we had 3?years to educate the market about the fundamentals of LCCs, AirAsia has indeed become a household brand.

Malaysia is never short of qualified, hard working and dynamic people. Malaysians by nature are a disciplined and very competitive bunch. I'm proud to say our employees are in-built with such attributes; the passion and desire to succeed is prevalent among all AirAsia staff. This enables us to be very productive and efficient in our operations . As long as Malaysian workforce maintains their high standard of etiquette, discipline and passion, we will continue to enjoy the competitive advantage that sets us apart from other countries.

StarBiz: Do you foresee or expect any unfavourable occurrences or events that could have an impact on your business in the near future?

Fernandes: The airline business is a very unpredictable industry. AirAsia has weathered the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and bird flu outbreaks, oil wars and natural disasters. And yet, we continue to grow and expand our business.

Moving forward, are you likely to be still expanding your business or the scope of your business ties?

Fernandes: Absolutely! Only three years old and scope for growth is amazing, with many places in Asia still waiting to be uncovered.

In Malaysia, we will continue to boost frequency to existing destinations while expanding the popular routes, introduce new routes and develop more secondary hubs. The same goes with our associates in Thailand and Indonesia, with more frequencies, new routes and destinations, and campaigns to capture the volume from the local markets.

We will be getting our brand new Airbus by December. With these state-of-the-art aircraft, we will be able to improve the service level and customer satisfaction. We are also going to enjoy better economics with the Airbus since it is designed to be extremely efficient and cheaper to operate.

On a personal level, what has been the happiest moment for you so far this year as CEO or your company?

Fernandes: Nothing beats the news that AirAsia will soon have a place to call home ?the new LCC Terminal is scheduled to be completed by early 2006. The terminal is fundamental in our growth as the region‘s leading low fare airline.
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Old June 18th, 2005, 10:37 AM   #176
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18 June 2005

AirAsia may take over some Malaysia Airlines domestic flights - report

KUALA LUMPUR : National carrier Malaysia Airlines may pass on most of its loss-making domestic flight routes to budget airline AirAsia Bhd, the News Straits Times reported on Saturday.

The newspaper quoted unidentified sources as saying that MAS would probably concentrate on flights to major cities - Penang, Langkawi, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu - and give the rest to AirAsia.

The deal is likely to be announced by the end of the month, the New Straits Times said.

AirAsia chief executive Tony Fernandes did not confirm the reported deal but told the Times that he supports the idea.

"Consumers will benefit from the ability to get services at a cheaper rate for domestic routes...and have more choices in terms of cheaper fares," he was quoted as saying.

AirAsia currently serves 15 destinations within Malaysia. It also flies to China, Indonesia, Macau, Singapore and Thailand, and is planning flights to Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.

It carried 1.8 million passengers in 2003, an estimated 3.2 million passengers in 2004 and expects passenger numbers to rise to 6 million in 2005. - CNA

Copyright © 2005 MCN International Pte Ltd
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Old June 21st, 2005, 02:37 PM   #177
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Business Times - 21 Jun 2005

MAS, AirAsia to cooperate on domestic services

KUALA LUMPUR - Flag carrier Malaysia Airlines and Asia's top budget carrier AirAsia will cooperate on certain domestic routes as part of an industry rationalisation, Transport Minister Chan Kong Choy said on Tuesday.

'We are going to rationalise the domestic routes. We want them to cooperate. There is a lot of room for cooperation in the interests of the country and the aviation industry,' he told AFP.

Newspaper reports have said that the proposal involves AirAsia taking on some of Malaysia Airlines' less profitable routes but Mr Chan declined to elaborate on the details, saying that both the carriers were holding talks on the plan.

Malaysia Airlines last month said net profit fell 29 per cent to RM326.1 million (US$86 million) in the year to March due to higher fuel costs, which more than offset record international traffic growth.

The airline currently flies to 88 international and 32 domestic destinations.

AirAsia, which launched as a budget carrier in December 2001 with just two aircraft, has become a significant player in the industry and has been imitated by startled national carriers along with a host of new low-cost entrants.

It is now South-east Asia's biggest low-cost carrier in terms of fleet size and derives much of its business within Malaysia. It also operates in Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and China.

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old June 23rd, 2005, 08:11 AM   #178
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AirAsia Selects CFM56-5B To Power A320s In RM2.85 Bln Order
June 14, 2005 15:15 PM



KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 (Bernama) -- AirAsia, the leading low-fare airline in South East Asia, has unveiled its engine choice for its 100-aircraft Airbus A320 order, of which 60 are firm order and 40 purchase rights.

The airline has selected CFM International's CFM56-5B engine to power the A320s scheduled to begin joining the AirAsia fleet as early as December this year.

The purchase agreement for the firm engine order, which covers a total of 120 engines plus nine spares, is valued at about US$750 million (RM2.85 billion) at list price, AirAsia said in a statement.

An official signing ceremony was held between both parties at one of largest aerospace events of the year, the 2005 Paris Air Show at Le Bourget.

The purchase agreement was signed between CFM president and chief executive officer Pierre Fabre and AirAsia Bhd group chief executive officer Tony Fernandes.

The ceremony was witnessed by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Abdul Razak and Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy.

"The decision (by AirAsia) reaffirms the CFM56-5B's position as one of the most reliable engines in the world," Fabre said.


CFM, a joint venture company between Snecma and General Electric Company, is the world's leading supplier of commercial aircraft engines, with more than 15,000 in service worldwide.

"We believe in aligning ourselves with the best. While cost is of an essence to the nature of our business, there's no denying that the beauty of the CFM56 engines lies not only with its high reliability and long on-wing life, but also its ability to complement the A320," Fernandes said.

"These attributes, coupled with CFM's reputation as one of the leading suppliers of commercial aircraft engines, would only serve to drive AirAsia's cost structure downwards and effectively give consumers a very good product and value for their money," he said.

More than 1,700 CFM56-5B engines have been delivered to date, and the fleet is growing at a rate of about 20 engines per month.

AirAsia operates a fleet of 26 Boeing 737-300s powered by the CFM56-3 engines, serving more than 51 domestic Malaysian and regional routes.

The new A320-200s will support the its aggressive growth and expansion, the airline said.

AirAsia, due to become the single largest Airbus A320 operator in the Asia-Pacific region with its recent aircraft order, will operate a mixed fleet during the transition from Boeing 737-300s to the Airbus A320.

The 180-seat A320s will enter the fleet from 2005 until 2011.

-- BERNAMA
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Old June 23rd, 2005, 08:12 AM   #179
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AirAsia buys into GE unit as part of US$1.5b deal
23-06-2005



BURSA Malaysia Bhd main board-listed AirAsia Bhd is acquiring 19 per cent stake in engine overhaul provider GE Engine Services Malaysia Sdn Bhd (GEESM) as part of a massive US$1.5 billion (US$1 = RM3.80) 20-year package it has signed for the maintenance, overhaul and repair of the CFM56-5B engines for its A320 Airbuses.

GEESM, which is part of GE Transportation ¡X Aircraft Engines, a division of the General Electric Co (GE), will dilute its shareholding in the Malaysian operations to 51 per cent while the remaining 30 per cent will be held by Malaysia Airlines (MAS).

GEESM, which operates an engine workshop at the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang, specialises in the overhaul and repair of the CFM56 and PW4000 engines. It currently overhauls engines for MAS and other Asia-Pacific airlines.

At the recent Paris Air Show in Le Bourget, the low-fare no-frills carrier announced the US$750 million purchase of the 129 CFM56-5B engines from CFM International, which is a joint venture between GE and Snecma of France.

AirAsia chief executive Tony Fernandes said the company is extending its commitment to GE as ¡§we believe in strengthening partnerships that work well for our business¡¨.

AirAsia also signed the OnPoint Solution engine service agreement with GE. Under the agreement, AirAsia¡¦s CFM56-5B engines, which will be installed in the airline¡¦s fleet between December 2005 and 2011, will be maintained and overhauled at GEESM¡¦s engine service facility.

¡§In the airline business, engines are one of the important elements. If we exercise all our options, and I dare say we would, we are going to have 200 engines. We would be providing work for the shop,¡¨ Fernandes told journalists at the air show.

AirAsia has firm orders of 60 A320s and options for 40 more.

This is the third agreement AirAsia is signing with GE. In 2002, AirAsia signed a five-year materials agreement with GE to support the airline¡¦s CFM56-3B engines powering its fleet of B737-300s. Last year, it inked another nine-year materials agreement with GE to maintain 16 CFM56-3B2 engines valued at more than US$50 million.

The OnPoint Solution agreement allows AirAsia to design its own engine service needs.

The solution maximises asset value and utilisation and improves operating efficiency. It includes overhaul, on-wing support, new and used parts, component repair, technology upgrades, engine leading and diagnostics.
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Old June 24th, 2005, 04:44 PM   #180
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Skytrax Ranks Malaysia Airlines Amongst The Best In The World
June 23, 2005 12:18 PM
By Manik Mehta



NEW YORK, June 23 (Bernama) -- Adding one more feather to its cap, Malaysia's national carrier Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has been admitted to the most exclusive group of world airlines: it has received the ranking of a "5 Star" airline by the aviation rating organization, Skytrax.

Including Malaysian Airlines, there are now only four airlines in the world which have been given the 5-Star ranking, the other three being Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways and Qatar Airways.

The Skytrax world airline star-ranking programme applies quality assessment to more than 375 airlines in the world, rating the standards of each airline's front-line product and service, predominantly based on international flight operations.

"To achieve 5 Star airline status is the highest achievement for the airline," said Peter Miller, Director of Marketing, Skytrax.

"A 5 Star rating bears testimony not only to the quality of product Malaysia Airlines provides to customers, but is greatly influenced by the very high standards of staff service.

Malaysia Airlines cabin staff service is renowned as one of the world's best - known for its efficiency, but what sets it apart is a most distinctive charm and character of service that is so reflective of the Malaysian culture."

The New York based area vice president (East Coast) of Malaysia Airlines, Malkit Singh, recently made a strong pitch before a gathering of representatives from the travel industry and international media in New York for the national carrier of Malaysia, highlighting its low air fares, quality ground service and fantastic on board treatment.

Malaysia Airlines is also undertaking a "total cabin redesigning" of its fleet of 34 Boeing 747 and 777 aircraft.

This upgrading was actually initiated last year and is expected to be completed by mid-2006, according to Malaysia Airlines sources in the United States.

Some of the upgraded aircraft might possibly be ready for use by the end of 2005 for flights to and from the United States.

Malaysia Airlines currently operates eight flights a week to and from the United States - five times from Los Angeles (California) and thrice from Newark (New Jersey).

The airline has, meanwhile, ordered five Airbus aircraft of the A380 type.

Malaysia Airlines representatives claim that it is the largest passenger carrier in South East Asia, flying to more than 100 destinations in six continents.

Recognized for its exemplary in-flight service, Malaysia Airlines has won Skytrax's world's best cabin staff award for three consecutive years and numerous international awards for best signature dish, best airline lounge, best business class and overall best airline.

Malaysia Airlines currently offers five flights per week from Los Angeles (California) and three from Newark (New Jersey) to Kuala Lumpur.

-- BERNAMA
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