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Old January 25th, 2010, 07:33 AM   #1901
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AirAsia X undertakes major seat refurbishment exercise
20th January, 2010



Azran (background left) and Esso Malaysia’s Retail and Business Director
Faridah Ali in a group photo with winners of “Discover Asia With Smiles”
Programme Partnership” programme held at the LCCT in Sepang.


SEPANG: AirAsia X is undertaking a major refurbishment exercise to upgrade all economy and business class seats on board its long-haul aircraft.

Chief Executive Officer Azran Osman-Rani said the first aircraft will be refurbished by Feb 1, 2010.

The entire exercise, to be done in stages, would be completed by June and provide a more valuable experience for our customers, he said.

Besides the economy seats being refurbished to a more comfortable level, business class travellers will also enjoy a pleasurable journey.

“AirAsia X will have lie flat beds for business class passengers, first of its kind for long-haul aircraft to replace XL seats. There will be 12 lie flat beds in A330 and 18 lie flat beds in A340.

“After taking into consideration complaints (on leg room), we believe the new seats will be more comfortable and relaxing to our customers,” he added.

Azran told this to reporters after launching ExxonMobil’s “Discover Travel @ Asia” promotion in conjuction with Esso and Mobil’s latest Smiles Driver Rewards promotion here yesterday.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 05:07 PM   #1902
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MAS investors approve RM2.7b rights issue
Published: 2010/01/25

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has received shareholders' approval for a proposed rights issue to raise an expected RM2.67 billion to fund its future fleet growth and expansion, chairman Tan Sri Dr Munir Majid said today.

He said the shareholders also approved the proposed acquisition of six A380s and proposed Boeing aircraft bundling comprising four aircraft from Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd for about RM3.19 billion.

The rights issue and aircraft acquisition are expected to be completed by the first quarter of this year, he told reporters after the company's extraordinary general meeting in Subang.

The rights shares will be offered to shareholders on the basis of one rights share for every one share at a date to be announced later.

At RM1.60 each, the rights shares are priced at a 32.1 per cent discount to the theoretical ex-rights price of about RM2.36 based on a five-day volume weighted average market price up to and including Dec 21, 2009.

Munir said the rights issue would give MAS a strong and sustained platform for growth as it transformed from a 100 per cent leased fleet to owning at least a third of its aircraft.

"Leasing provides flexibility but imposes additional costs.

Typically, airlines do not need to have management flexibility for more than two thirds of their fleet. With the new strategy of owning and leasing our aircraft, we will be able to improve our cost structure," he said.

MAS' new fleet will comprise up to 55 B737-800, 25 A330-300 and six A380s. It will start receiving its new aircraft this year with the delivery of three B737-800s.

By 2016, all the aircraft ordered will be in and MAS expects to have one of the youngest, most fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly fleet in Asia.

On whether MAS will need other rights issues in the next two years, managing director and chief executive officer Tengku Datuk Azmil Zahruddin said it might consider other fund-raising measures for certain business transactions.

"Based on our projection of all aircraft ordered, we do not need another rights issue either this year or next year. We will cover that purchase with this rights issue," he said.

"But we can''t tell, the industry is very dynamic. Maybe there will be some other transactions that may require us to go back to shareholders. So, we cannot rule out further fund raising for other purposes," he added.

The possible transactions as mentioned regularly was consolidation, Tengku Azmail said, adding that however at this point of time, MAS did not have any plan. -- Bernama
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Old January 26th, 2010, 12:38 PM   #1903
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AirAsia outlines priorities for future expansion

By Ghim-Lay Yeo - Flightglobal.com - 26 Jan 10

Malaysia's AirAsia expects to receive another 16 aircraft this year as it seeks to grow its network. The 16 aircraft will be mostly Airbus A320s, says AirAsia's regional head of commercial Kathleen Tan. The rest will be Airbus A330s for long-haul operator AirAsia X, she adds. "We will be a very high-growth airline this year. Last year, we launched 35 new routes," says Tan.

The carrier is looking at launching flights to link its other hubs in the region instead of just flights from Kuala Lumpur, she adds. "We have four hubs in Indonesia now and we have also built up Penang and Phuket. It's not just about Kuala Lumpur," says Tan.

AirAsia X previously disclosed it was interested in starting flights to Sydney, but Tan says it is unlikely to happen soon. "There's been some protectionism going on, some airlines are lobbying against it. But we are very patient," she says, adding that the idea is still on the table. The carrier, meanwhile, had secured rights to fly to Paris' Orly airport, but Tan says Paris is "not a priority for now". "Our focus is India and Southeast Asia, and we will also focus on adding frequencies on existing routes," she says.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 12:41 PM   #1904
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AirAsia firms plans for launch of more services to India

By Ghim-Lay Yeo - Flightglobal.com - 26 Jan 10

Malaysia's AirAsia group plans to start six new routes to India in this year's first quarter.

The six new routes are: Penang-Chennai from 28 April, Kuala Lumpur-Chennai from 17 May, Kuala Lumpur-Bangalore from 20 May, Kuala Lumpur-Hyderabad from 20 July, Kuala Lumpur-Mumbai from 6 May and Kuala Lumpur-New Delhi from 4 August. All six routes will be operated daily, except Kuala Lumpur-Mumbai, which will be four times a week. AirAsia will operate Airbus A320s for Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad; while its long-haul operator AirAsia X will launch the Mumbai and New Delhi services with Airbus A330s.

AirAsia group, which already flies to four Indian cities, will operate 148 weekly flights to India and aims to carry two million passengers to India and back this year, says group CEO Tony Fernandes. "AirAsia has well-arrived in the Indian market to change the very definition of low-cost airlines as the India market is booming," he adds.

The airline already operates to Kolkata, Kochi, Trichy and Trivandrum. "We've worked to cover China with our network over the last three years, and now that we've done that, it's time to focus on India, which is a huge market as well," says AirAsia's regional head of commercial Kathleen Tan. "There is a lot of demand for low-cost fares from India. Before this, many Indians were already flying to Bangkok and Indonesia to connect to our routes," she adds. AirAsia has associate carriers in Thailand and Indonesia.
The carrier hopes that travellers will fly to Kuala Lumpur and from there, connect to AirAsia's over 130 routes, says Tan.

Going forward, AirAsia is studying launching flights from Amritsar to Bangkok, she adds."We are in the process of getting feedback to see what else people want," she says.

Despite the growing Indian aviation market and reports of Indian low-cost carrier SpiceJet's plans to start international operations, Tan says there is room for competition. "India is such a big market and competition is healthy. We have such a big network, we can cross-promote our flights to India in China and other countries that we already serve," she adds.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 07:30 PM   #1905
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'MAS needs to control cost, improve revenue'
Published: 2010/01/26

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) still needs to control cost and find ways to improve its revenue, says MIDF Research.

At the Extraordinary General meeting (EGM) yesterday, MAS shareholders voted to proceed with the 1:1 rights issue announced recently.

Shareholders also approved the purchase six undelivered Airbus A380, two Boeing B777 and two Boeing B747s, for a total consideration of about RM3.19 billion.

With the above purchases, MIDF Research said, MAS will effectively revert from a "virtual" airline, to a version of its former self (pre-widespread asset unbundling Days).

MIDF Research also stated that the MAS management expects to gain operational efficiencies and reduce lease payments to Penerbagan Malaysia Berhad (PMB).

However, it added that any lasting gain in economic competitiveness, remains to be seen.

MIDF Research also explained that it is still uncertain as to how MAS will be reporting in terms of its operation in the fourth quarter 2009 (4Q09).

For 3Q09, MAS had improved operationally with load factors up to 76.7 per cent and an increase in revenue by 16 per cent.

With an improvement in economic conditions in 4Q09, it can be expected that this will translate to a better result,MIDF Research noted. -- BERNAMA
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Old January 27th, 2010, 06:34 AM   #1906
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AirAsia Targets Two Million Passenger To India By 2011
Jan 26

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 26 (Bernama) -- Budget carrier AirAsia, which will start services to five more Indian cities starting April, has targeted two million passengers to India by 2011, its group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes on Tuesday.

"We are proud to position Kuala Lumpur as the gateway to India and at the same time it is India's gateway to Asean," Fernandes said after the launch of the new services by Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat.

The airline will start daily flights to New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai in the second and third quarters of this year.

It will fly from Penang to Chennai on April 28 and from Kuala Lumpur to Mumbai (May 6), Chennai (May 17), Bangalore (May 20), Hyderabad (July 20) and New Delhi (August 4).

Ong said with the new routes, Air Asia and and its long-haul carrier Air Asia X would be able to leverage on the fast economic growth of India.

"I hope that AirAsia and AirAsia X will continue to go forward and open up even more destinations in India and across the world to give Malaysians the oppportunity to visit new places and more importantly providing Malaysia's companies and businesses an avenue to go into new markets and explore new economic opportunities," he said.

The flights to India will become more important as Malaysia has longstanding relations to India that are expected to improve further after the recent visit by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to India, Ong said.

"Both Malaysia and India have agreed for the contentious problem of visas to be reviewed thoroughly in order not to be an impediment to bona fide tourists," he said, adding that in 2009, the total number of tourists from India to Malaysia was 589,838.

Ong said AirAsia had carried 237,367 passengers to the four India cities of Trichy, Kochi, Trivandrum and Kolkata, the first cities it flew to.

"In this regard, the government will continue to facilitate the industry in its efforts to achieve its vision," he said.

Sales for the new routes have started from as low as RM199 for bookings from Jan 27 to 31 to travel between April 28 and Oct 30 this year.

-- BERNAMA
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Old January 27th, 2010, 06:47 AM   #1907
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MAS’ shareholders approve RM2.67b rights issue
26th January, 2010

SUBANG: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has received shareholders’ approval for a proposed rights issue to raise an expected RM2.67 billion to fund its future fleet growth and expansion, chairman Tan Sri Dr Munir Majid said yesterday.

He said the shareholders also approved the proposed acquisition of six A380s and proposed Boeing aircraft bundling comprising four aircraft from Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd for about RM3.19 billion.

The rights issue and aircraft acquisition are expected to be completed by the first quarter of this year, he told reporters after the company’s extraordinary general meeting here.

The rights shares will be offered to shareholders on the basis of one rights share for every one share at a date to be announced later.

At RM1.60 each, the rights shares are priced at a 32.1 per cent discount to the theoretical ex-rights price of about RM2.36 based on a five-day volume weighted average market price up to and including Dec 21, 2009.

Munir said the rights issue would give MAS a strong and sustained platform for growth as it transformed from a 100 per cent leased fleet to owning at least a third of its aircraft.

“Leasing provides flexibility but imposes additional costs. Typically, airlines do not need to have management flexibility for more than two thirds of their fleet. With the new strategy of owning and leasing our aircraft, we will be able to improve our cost structure,” he said.

MAS’ new fleet will comprise up to 55 B737-800, 25 A330-300 and six A380s. It will start receiving its new aircraft this year with the delivery of three B737-800s.

By 2016, all the aircraft ordered will be in and MAS expects to have one of the youngest, most fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly fleet in Asia.

On whether MAS will need other rights issues in the next two years, managing director and chief executive officer Tengku Datuk Azmil Zahruddin said it might consider other fund-raising measures for certain business transactions.

“Based on our projection of all aircraft ordered, we do not need another rights issue either this year or next year. We will cover that purchase with this rights issue,” he said.

“But we can’t tell, the industry is very dynamic. Maybe there will be some other transactions that may require us to go back to shareholders. So, we cannot rule out further fund raising for other purposes,” he added.

The possible transactions as mentioned regularly was consolidation, Tengku Azmail said, adding that however at this point of time, MAS did not have any plan.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 06:48 AM   #1908
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MAS open to consolidation
Written by Joy Lee Tuesday, 26 January 2010 11:09

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) is open to the possibility of consolidation, said its managing director and CEO Tengku Datuk Azmil Zahruddin Raja Abdul Aziz, as it is an inevitable process in the industry.

“We do not have one that we are planning at the moment but I cannot rule that out. Having said that, consolidation is important. These things are very dynamic. Consolidation is something that the airline industry has to go through,” he told reporters after the company’s EGM yesterday.

Tengku Azmil said consolidation in the industry was not done out of growth aspirations but rather out of necessity.

He noted that the national carrier’s proposed purchase of six A380s and four Boeings from Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd (PMB) for RM3.19 billion, which was approved by shareholders at the EGM, would provide MAS with some organic growth.

“We had no jets that came in last year. We only have jets coming in at the end of this year and we have only a lot of deliveries coming in for the next year and the year after that.

“So, organic growth has a right time and at the right price. However, consolidation is something that is inevitable in the industry. We don’t do it for growth, we do it because it is necessary,” he said.

The airline industry is going through its worst crisis with no fewer than 14 carriers declared bankrupt in 2009 alone. This year, Japan Airlines, the biggest airline in Asia in terms of fleet, has been declared bankrupt. US-based Delta Air is said to be likely to step in and help with the restructuring of JAL.

In Malaysia, MAS went into the red last year while AirAsia Bhd has remained profitable. MAS is generally owned by the government with Khazanah Nasional Bhd having a majority stake while AirAsia’s major shareholder is Tune Air Sdn Bhd.

Last year, MAS held high-level talks with Qantas for a merger but it did not materialise. As for AirAsia, it recently tied up with JetStar, the low-cost carrier of Qantas, to procure spare parts and even planes together, in an effort that could save the two carriers up to A$300 million (RM922.75 million) a year.

At the EGM, shareholders also approved MAS’ proposed rights issue to raise some RM2.67 billion to fund its fleet expansion.

The acquisition of the six A380s from PMB is part of MAS’ fleet renewal programme. In addition, the flag-carrier has placed orders for up to 55 narrow-body B737-800s and 25 A330-300s, the delivery of which will begin this year.

The rights shares are priced at RM1.60 apiece, or a 32% discount to the theoretical ex-rights price of about RM2.36 based on the five-day volume-weighted average market price up to and including Dec 21, 2009.

The rights shares will be offered to shareholders on the basis of one rights share for one share held. The counter closed unchanged at RM2.75 yesterday, with 292,500 shares done.

“There is strong shareholder support for the proposed acquisitions and for the proposed rights issue. We have taken into account all the orders that we have made, and according to our projections, we do not need another rights issue this year or next year and so on. According to our projections, that should cover our funding,” Tengku Azmil said.

The first of the Boeing aircraft is scheduled for delivery early next year while the first Airbus will arrive in August 2011.

However, Tengku Azmil said MAS did not rule out another fundraising for “other purposes” although it had no plans for such an exercise at present.

“If we were to participate in the consolidation, in some cases, we may need to go to shareholders (to raise funds). So, in those circumstances, we may need to. But we don’t have any at this point in time.

“The industry is a very dynamic industry. Some other transactions may require us to go back to the shareholders. If those things happen, then we might have to do so. But with regard to these aircraft deliveries, we do not expect to take another (fund-raising exercise),” he said.

The amount to be raised from the rights issue is enough to meet MAS’ immediate aircraft financing needs. “But again, it is a very dynamic industry. If anything interesting happens, then we may need funds for some other stuff, we don’t know,” he said.

The new fleet will put MAS on a good platform to service key growth areas in Asia. Tengku Azmil said while markets like Europe and US were fairly mature with fairly low growth rates, the high growth rates were in Asia.

“The A330 and the 737-800 will give us very good aircraft going into domestic, Asean, India, China, Middle East, Australia, Japan, Korea and so on.

“Those are what we see as the engines of global economic growth and we are very excited and lucky because we are in the middle of it. And these aircraft will give us an opportunity to take advantage of this growth as the global economy starts to recover,” he said.
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Old January 31st, 2010, 12:47 PM   #1909
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MAS offers six more UK, Ireland destinations online
2010/01/31
NST Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Sun: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is offering six more United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland destinations online where passengers arriving at or departing from Aberdeen, Belfast, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester can now book their flights at www.malaysiaairlines.com.

Malaysia Airlines senior general manager, Network and Revenue Management, Dr Amin Khan said MAS already served these routes through a code-share with British Midlands (Bmi) but previously, these tickets could only be purchased from ticketing offices or travel agents.

"Purchasing and flying are now seamless and hassle-free. We fly to London twice daily while Bmi offers many daily flights to these destinations.

"We will soon make available online all the European destinations that we are code sharing currently with Klm," he said in a statement here, today.

Dr Amin said this was also in line with the MAS hub-and-spoke strategy to improve feeder traffic into their trunk routes.

"We expect to generate more than RM10 million annually through the partnership with Bmi," he added.
He said MAS offered two daily flights from Kuala Lumpur to London, departing at 10.45am and 11.55pm.


Bmi connects to Glasgow 27 times weekly, Aberdeen 24 times, Dublin 21 times, Belfast 20 times, Edinburgh 19 times and Manchester 17 times weekly. -- BERNAMA
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Old February 1st, 2010, 03:20 PM   #1910
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AirAsia aiming for Indonesia next
Wednesday, 27 January 2010



KUALA LUMPUR - After India, it’s hello Indonesia.

Fresh from announcing AirAsia’s foray to India yesterday, Tony Fernandes is now setting his sights on the sprawling Indonesian archipelago.

“ Indonesia has vast tourism potential,” said the budget carrier’s maverick boss.

“ There can always be a flight to Indonesian routes. The country has many natural and historical attractions.”

Think Bandung and Medan

Bali may be the main attraction but other Indonesian gems are waiting to be discovered.

“Bandung is catching up fast. So are Medan and Surabaya,” said Fernandes.

And just like India, there are more than economic reasons that tie Malaysia to Indonesia.

“AirAsia is just scratching the surface. There is a lot more to unearth.”

He said one of his goals is to have a direct flight from Medan to India and making the Sumatran city the hub for AirAsia in Indonesia.

“We are as much Indonesian as we are Malaysian.

Bullish

“ I am very bullish about the prospects for the Indonesian routes. It would be wonderful if we could dominate the Asian niche, especially now that we have flights to China and are set to fly to India.”

AirAsia yesterday announced that the Penang-Chennai route on April 28 would mark its entry into the Indian subcontinent.

This would be followed by the Kuala Lumpur-Chennai route from May 17. It will also fly to Bangalore and Mumbai in May, and to Hyderabad in July and Delhi in August

Fernandes said he has set a target of two million passengers annually for the India market.

The carrier has waethered the worst of the global economic storm and its outlook is brighter from hereon, he said.

“In fact we are hiring more people when others are terminating their staff.”

Talking India

Indian authorities have allowed Air Asia to offer 10,402 seats per direction per week for the time being and Fernandes is confident the passenger volume would grow further.

“India is a burgeoning market just like China. It has one of the highest populations in Asia and is said to be one of the economic giants.

“The potential for growth is immense. Besides the economy, many Malaysians have a religious or family ties with India.”

By May 2008, the airline had flown 55 million cumulative passengers. AirAsia is currently the largest single customer for the Airbus A320[/QUOTE]
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Old February 1st, 2010, 03:55 PM   #1911
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AirAsia X suspending Abu Dhabi service
Published: 2010/02/01

DUBAI: Long-haul budget airline AirAsia X is suspending
its Kuala Lumpur-Abu Dhabi service after Feb 21 for commercial reasons.

"We'll resume it later once we're able to have a more economical aircraft to service this route," the carrier said in response to queries about its Abu Dhabi flights posted on the Facebook social networking website.

The airline, nonetheless, said "we remain optimistic about the potential of Abu Dhabi".

"And we believe (that) with the right aircraft, the economic upside can be very promising, especially if we can pair up Abu Dhabi with another onroute destination," said AirAsia X.

The company deploys the four-engine Airbus A340 for the service which started in November 2009 with five flights per week.

Meanwhile, The National daily quoted a spokesman for Abu Dhabi Airports Company (Adac) as saying that AirAsia X had confirmed that from late February 2010, the airline would temporarily suspend its current service to Abu Dhabi.

"Adac looks forward to the airline recommencing its service to Abu Dhabi International Airport in the near future," he said.

Adac advised passengers to contact AirAsiaX directly for further details.

AirAsia X said affected passengers could request for a full refund of their flight tickets.

They could also opt to re-route to other AirAsia X destinations. - BERNAMA
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 04:52 AM   #1912
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are they planning to launch flights to Korea/Japan?
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Old February 3rd, 2010, 02:39 AM   #1913
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They are planning for Japan on the 2nd half of 2010. 6 Japanese staff are currently under training in KL.
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Old February 3rd, 2010, 07:21 PM   #1914
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AirAsia X in MRO deal with Lufthansa unit
Published: 2010/02/03

AIRASIA X, the low-cost long-haul airline, today appointed Lufthansa Technik Philippines (LTP) as its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services provider.

Both parties signed an agreement on the sidelines of the Singapore Airshow at the Changi Exhibition Centre today for the LTP to provide MRO services for AirAsia X's fleet of eight Airbus aircraft comprising A330s and A340s for three years beginning next month.

The services will be provided at the LTP facility in Manila. The LTP is the subsidiary of Hamburg-based Lufthansa Technik AG, the world's largest MRO provider.

AirAsia X is an affiliate of short-haul carrier AirAsia, Asia's leading and largest low-cost airline.

"With the LTP on board to provide us expert MRO services, we are able to continue to provide safe flights as well as ensure that our aircraft are kept in an optimum condition," said AirAsia X Engineering Head Anaz Ahmad Tajuddin.

He said this would lead to cost-efficiency, thus enhancing AirAsia's ability to continue offering super low fares.

AirAsia X had previously worked with the LTP when its A340 underwent a 40-hour layover involving the main landing gear seal change at the LTP facility in Manila last month.

Bernama
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Old February 4th, 2010, 08:30 AM   #1915
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AirAsia X confident of landing maiden profit
By Presenna Nambiar Published: 2010/02/04



AirAsia X is upbeat about making a small profit for the year 2009 after being in operations for almost three years

AIRASIA X (5099) chief is optimistic that the airline will make a small profit for the year 2009.

"We tripled our business in the first nine months of 2009, a few routes saw 75 per cent growth despite numbers of other airlines shrinking, and we had a phenomenal December. We are happy we survived," Azran Osman-Rani said.

This will be the first time the airline will make a profit after being in operations for almost three years.

Azran said its numbers are yet to be audited, but the performance of the carrier in the first three quarters was promising.
"I believe that once the numbers are tallied, we will prove that we really do have the lowest unit cost per available seat kilometre at three US cents in 2008 and 2009 ..., even with fuel being what it was," Azran said.

Its low unit cost has been key to the airline's ability to survive, with all the challenges airlines have been facing in filling up planes.

The year 2009 is seen as a growth expansionary year, with AirAsia X growing its fleet size to eight planes and nine destinations by the end of the year.

On his plans for this year, Azran said one thing the turbulence in 2009 had taught him was to be flexible.

"We started the year (2009) with many plans, but what 2009 taught us was we really needed to be nimble and flexible. Which is why we now have not only plan A, but also B and C," he said.

The long-haul budget carrier is expecting another four A330s this year, bringing its fleet up to 12 by the end of 2010.

The deliveries for the planes are expected to start in June.

On financing for the four planes coming in this year, some proposals have been received and the airline is looking at a mix of financing possibilities, Azran said.

Besides export credit agency-backed financing, airlines can also finance aircraft purchases via conventional loans, and sale and leaseback of planes.

While Azran declined to reveal the amount of financing the airline would need, earlier reports had put the price of three planes at RM2.16 billion.

Recently, AirAsia X announced that it will be suspending its KL-Abu Dhabi route this month as it is realigning its fleet and adding another five destinations in India from May 2010.
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Old February 5th, 2010, 04:02 PM   #1916
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyprince View Post
They are planning for Japan on the 2nd half of 2010. 6 Japanese staff are currently under training in KL.
will this be for airasia X?
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Old February 6th, 2010, 09:04 AM   #1917
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Quote:
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will this be for airasia X?
yes!
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Originally Posted by rizalhakim View Post
AirAsia X eyes Japan after Tokyo eases visa rules
Published: 2009/01/12

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

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

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

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

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

The three destinations are to the north (Hokkaido), Osaka and Fukuoka, he said. - AFP
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Old February 6th, 2010, 09:05 AM   #1918
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AirAsia resumes flight to Tianjin
Published: 2010/02/06

BUDGET airline AirAsia Bhd resumed its Kuala Lumpur-Tianjin flight on Monday, following the temporary suspension of its services in November last year due to adverse weather conditions in north China.

The five times weekly flights use the A330, with two-class configuration of 28 premium seats and 355 economy seats.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 10:02 AM   #1919
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AirAsia X Increases Frequency To Hangzhou
February 10, 2010 15:21 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 10 (Bernama) -- AirAsia's long haul affiliate, AirAsia X, will increase its frequency to Hangzhou, the gateway of Shanghai, with direct daily flights starting March 28, 2010.

"The response has been extremely good as we are running past 80 per cent load factor for the Hangzhou-Kuala Lumpur routes," said AirAsia Regional Head of Commercial Kathleen Tan.

In a statement Wednesday, she said the airline always positioned Hangzhou as its eastern gateway into the Yangtze Delta region as it took only 75 minutes to Shanghai by bullet train.

Hangzhou is one of the most popular tourist attractions in China, famed for its West Lake, Longjing Tea Fields and Six Harmonies Pagoda.

The AirAsia X flight to Hangzhou is serviced by Airbus A330-300 with 383 economy seats including 28 premium seats.

AirAsia X will depart from Kuala Lumpur at 8.10am and arrive in Hangzhou at 1.10pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and at 5.20pm to reach its destination at 10.20pm every Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday.

The flight from Hangzhou will depart at 2.10pm and arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 7.10pm every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and at 11.20pm to arrive here 4.20am every Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday.

AirAsia has 198 flights weekly flying from various destinations in Asean to nine destinations in China including Hong Kong and Macau.

-- BERNAMA
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Old February 11th, 2010, 10:13 AM   #1920
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AirAsia buys stake in VietJet
AFP - February 11, 2010

Budget carrier AirAsia said it has purchased a 30 per cent stake in VietJet Aviation, allowing it to establish a Vietnam-based low-cost airline. The carrier will be known as VietJet AirAsia, AirAsia said in a statement late on Wednesday. It did not reveal how much it paid for the acquisition.

'The birth of VietJet AirAsia contributes to the diversification of the aviation market in Vietnam, providing more options to meet the air travel needs of people in Vietnam and in the region,' VietJet said in the statement.

AirAsia said the venture will operate both domestic and international flights, allowing it to expand its reach in Vietnam and open the country as another gateway in Southeast Asia. It said Vietnam's transport ministry approved the share acquisition on Feb 9. AirAsia said the new venture will make Vietnam its fourth country base, following Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

AirAsia, launched in Dec 2001 with just two aircraft, is now the region's fourth-largest carrier.
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