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Old November 27th, 2008, 11:20 AM   #201
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Bombardier Consortium Awarded Contract for Expansion of Automated People Mover in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
November 24, 2008 — Berlin

Kuala LumpurInternational Airport Expands High Performing Bombardier CX-100 System

Bombardier Transportation and its local partner Hartasuma Sdn Bhd have signed a contract with Malaysia Airport Holdings Berhad (MAHB) to expand the existing Bombardier-supplied automated people mover system at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), Malaysia. The contract, which includes a spur line extension to the new Operations, Maintenance and Storage Facility (OMSF) and three BOMBARDIER CX-100 vehicles, is valued at approximately 45 million euros ($57 million US / 209 million MYR). Bombardier’s share of the contract is valued at approximately 27 million euros ($35 million US / 126 million MYR).

Bombardier Transportation will be responsible for the design and supply of the three driverless vehicles and modifications to the existing 6-vehicle fleet; automatic train control, power distribution and communications systems; supply and integration of a central control centre in the new operations and maintenance storage facility; as well as project management, systems engineering and integration, and test and commissioning. Hartasuma Sdn Bhd will be responsible for the civil works. The new spur line to the OMSF is scheduled for completion in 2011.

Eran Gartner, President of Bombardier Transportation’s Systems Division said: “We are very appreciative of the long-term relationship that we have enjoyed with KLIA over the past decade and of our contribution to the Airport’s outstanding success. He added: “We are proud to be part of the Airport’s present and future standing as a regional hub. Since the opening of the Airport in 1998, the CX-100 APM has provided exceptional service for riders and we remain committed to helping MAHB achieve its goals.”

“We are extremely pleased” said Dr. Abdul Rahman Abdul Halim, the Managing Director of Hartasuma Sdn. Bhd., “that our strategic alliance has been contributing positively, and we hope to continue playing a meaningful role in the Malaysian Government’s drive in further enhancing and transforming the transportation infrastructure landscape. We are also proud of the trust and confidence that MAHB has placed in the Consortium and truly grateful for its strong support.”

The highly reliable automated people movers from Bombardier Transportation have served commuters in major cities and international airports around the world for over 35 years. These include Beijing, China; Frankfurt, Germany; Rome, Italy; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Singapore; Madrid, Spain; London, United Kingdom; Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Seattle-Tacoma, Tampa and San Francisco, USA. Bombardier Transportation is currently implementing APM systems for Atlanta, Las Vegas, London Gatwick and Sacramento Airports, an extension to the existing system at Houston Airport, as well as an urban APM system in Guangzhou, China.

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Old November 27th, 2008, 02:34 PM   #202
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Labuan Airport

Labuan Airport is an airport that serves the federal territory of Labuan in Malaysia. The airport is 8 km from Labuan Town(Victoria). It was planned for Labuan Airport to be a regional hub for connecting flights within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) but this plan was postponed due to logistics and unsuitability.

At present, this airport is being expanded to accommodate larger aircraft such as the Boeing 777 and the Airbus A330, with 3 aerobridges. In 2005, the airport handled 642,582 passengers, 9,292 aircraft movements and over 3,000 metric tonnes of cargo. The airport is able to handle over 1.2 million passengers per year.

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Old November 27th, 2008, 08:50 PM   #203
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MAHB earnings soar 61pc
Published: 2008/11/28 BusinessTimes

MALAYSIA Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) (5014) saw a 61 per cent rise in its third quarter net profit, helped by the reversal of provision for doubtful debts.

The group said it had completed discussions with the government on the proposed corporate and financial restructuring of MAHB and is awaiting the government's decision.

"The financial performance for 2008 financial year may be determined by the outcome of the above-mentioned proposal," MAHB told Bursa Malaysia yesterday.

MAHB registered a net profit of RM89.9 million for the financial period ended September 30 2008, against RM55.7 million the year before.
Revenue grew by five per cent for the quarter under review at RM369.1 million compared to the year before.

The improvement on overall revenue was reduced by higher staff related costs, repair maintenance and depreciation charged during the period, it said.

MAHB expects growth on passenger movement to outperform International Air Transport Association (Iata) forecast for international passenger movement.

Iata had forecast a 2.8 per cent growth in international passenger movement globally and 3.3 per cent in Asia Pacific.
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Old November 27th, 2008, 08:59 PM   #204
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AirAsia X Weighing Options For Europe
November 27, 2008 23:50 PM
From Muin Abdul Majid

LONDON, Nov 27 (Bernama) -- Malaysia's long-haul budget carrier AirAsia X is weighing its options for Europe following the London Stansted-Kuala Lumpur (KL) service which is set to take off on March 11, 2009.

"The big question is whether we put all our efforts into London and this becomes the hub for Europe, and from there (London) people can go off to France, Germany or other destinations, or whether we eventually have one place in central Europe, one place in eastern Europe, for example," said AirAsia group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes.

"That's to be debated. (AirAsia X chief executive officer) Azran (Osman-Rani) and his team will look at it," he said at the London-KL route launch, with fares starting from 99 pounds each way.

Fernandes said he personally had mixed feelings about the matter.

"I think sometimes it's good to have a lot of frequency in one place and then farm it out. But it would be nice to say we're going to fly to Rome, Prague and so on. What makes financial sense will drive us," he said.

The airline chief said the next step would be to have daily flights between KL and London, and possibly introducing two flights a day for the sector.

AirAsia X is scheduled to fly five times weekly between the two cities using the Airbus A340 from Air Canada.

Meanwhile, Azran said he would definitely introduce daily flights to London if he could get a second A340 plane.

To a question, he expressed hope that the load factor for the London sector would hover in the 83 to 84 percent range.

"It works for us if it's in the mid-70s in terms of breaking even. Eighty percent is really good, but 84 and beyond is what I'm hoping for," he said.

Azran said Germany was a potential destination for AirAsia X.

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Old November 28th, 2008, 11:23 AM   #205
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Passenger volume lifts MAHB earnings
Friday November 28, 2008 By LEONG HUNG YEE TheStar

Petaling Jaya: Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) has reported a 61.3% jump in net profit to RM89.9mil in the third quarter ended Sept 30 on a 5% growth in revenue to RM369.1mil against RM351mil in the previous corresponding period.

Pre-tax profit rose to RM128.7mil from RM88.1mil before while earnings per share climbed to 8.18 sen from 5.07 sen.

For the nine months to Sept 30, the group’s pre-tax profit surged 28.8% to RM339.5mil from RM263.6mil on a 12.3% increase in turnover to RM1.15bil. Net profit rose to RM247.9mil, or 22.54 sen per share, for the period under review.

The board has declared an interim dividend of four sen for the third quarter.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, MAHB said the improvements were mainly due to an increase in total passenger movements which also contributed to stronger commercial sales.

“The improvement in overall revenue, however, was reduced by higher staff-related costs, repair maintenance and depreciation charged during the quarter and financial year to-date under review,” it said in the notes accompanying its financial results.

MAHB managing director Datuk Seri Bashir Ahmad attributed the increase in revenue and pre-tax profit to improved contributions from both airport and non-airport operations.

“Total passenger volume (in the nine months) at all airports reached 35.39 million, supported by a 7.26% growth in domestic passenger volume to 19.6 million and a 7.43% growth in international passenger volume to 15.79 million,” he said in a statement.

OSK Research head of research Chris Eng said MAHB’s results were in line with the brokerage’s expectation.

“Traffic growth can be quite volatile given the slowdown in air travel at the moment. However, in terms of profits, airport operators will see less volatility compared with airlines,” he said.

Although there were contractions in 2001 and 2003, air travel rebounded sharply, Eng said, adding: “We still like airports. We are maintaining our ‘buy’ call on MAHB.”
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Old November 28th, 2008, 10:02 PM   #206
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Airlines in Malaysia take earnings hit
By Goh Thean Eu and Jeeva Arulampalam Published: 2008/11/29 BusinessTimes

MALAYSIA'S two listed airlines yesterday reported third quarter results that highlighted a difficult business environment but both were optimistic of doing well in 2009.

AirAsia Bhd (5099) and Malaysia Airlines (3786) had to contend with high fuel prices and slower demand for travel in the July to September 30 period.

Budget carrier AirAsia made its first net loss since it was listed in 2004, mainly due to one-off provisions for contracts tied to fuel hedging and trades held by now-bankrupt investment bank Lehman Brothers.

Net loss was RM465.5 million in the third quarter. Third quarter revenue jumped 43 per cent to RM658.5 million.

It was hit by a RM215 million charge to unwind contracts made to lock-in the price of fuel. The price has dropped sharply, in tandem with the oil price, and this has forced many airlines to report hedging losses.
"We have to deal with short-term pain for long-term gains," said chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes, who expects to recover its hedging losses as early as January next year.

Without these provisions, the company would still have made an operating loss of RM76 million, as it did not raise fares quick enough when fuel prices surged.

Its load factor also fell from 76 per cent in the second quarter this year to 75 per cent, while average fares eased to RM195 from RM198. It carried 3.02 million passengers during the quarter, about 7 per cent more than the 2.82 million passengers it carried in second quarter.

As for MAS, third quarter net profit plunged 90 per cent to RM38.1 million as its fuel bill rose 56 per cent to RM1.9 billion.

"The world economy is going through a downward spiral so next year will be tough," managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Idris Jala said at a media briefing on its third quarter results at Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

He expects MAS to remain profitable next year.

Revenue was maintained at RM4.11 billion for the three-month period ended September 30 2008, attributed to its operating performance and non-fuel expenses which fell by 14 per cent to RM2.2 billion.

While Idris said that MAS will not change is profit target, the airline has its work cut out to achieve the RM400 million-RM500 million initial target by year-end.

For the nine-month period, MAS has achieved cost efficiencies of RM900 million, on track to its RM1 billion target for 2008.

Idris said it did not have individual plans to cut capacity as it had done so progressively in the last two years.

"We will take delivery of three leased 737-800 planes next year which we will use to add frequencies for key regional routes such as Bangkok and Jakarta where there is high demand from business passengers," he added.

MAS would not expand its manpower except to cater for its new fleet expansion under Firefly and also for its maintenance, repair and overhaul division, said Idris.
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Old November 30th, 2008, 10:03 PM   #207
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SkyPark set to inject new life into Subang Terminal 3
By Azlan Abu Bakar Published: 2008/09/22 BusinessTimes

SKYPARK Subang Terminal will be a dominating landmark at the refurbished Terminal 3 of the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang, Selangor, when it rolls out a new frontage that accentuates the airport as a modern and contemporary icon.

Armed with an overall investment of RM300 million and a 59-year lease, the transformation of Terminal 3 is carried out in stages over three years.

The first phase of the redevelopment of Terminal 3 is almost complete, with the launch of SkyPark fixed-base operation and the RM40 million refurbishment of Terminal 3, which will be completed in October this year.

Work on Phase 2 of the redevelopment will start soon. It will entail the creation of a regional aviation centre with maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities, a dedicated hangar and corporate aviation-related industries.

Subang SkyPark Sdn Bhd chief operating officer Janardhanan Gopala Krishnan said SkyPark Subang will bring back life to Terminal 3, which has long been regarded as a tired old airport after all passenger jet operations shifted to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang.

"Subang has been quiet for the last 10 years, but we plan to put it back on the world aviation map," he told Business Times in Kuala Lumpur recently.

He said once completed, SkyPark Subang Terminal will not only be utilised by air travellers, but people around the area as a shopping haven.

The entire set-up of the facility is aimed at creating a trend-setting destination that is tourism lifestyle-centric and a distinction for today's discerning travellers and consumers alike.

Elaborating on the whole scheme concept of the new terminal, Arcradius Sdn Bhd project director Kamal Hussin Abdul Hamid said the company had developed a scheme to retain the existing fabric enclosure of the 110,000 sq ft terminal - by building "boxes in a box", while transforming the interior.

In the main terminal, spaces are rearranged by consolidating and creating new mezzanine planes opening into a well-lighted two-storey single-volume atrium with internal garden conservatory.

On the one-million-sq-ft commercial nexus to be located opposite the terminal, HL Design Group director Martin Haeger said it will house world-class facilities such as a boutique hotel, an aviation-themed park, gourmet restaurants and cafes, food court, and retail and service outlets.

"We will link the terminal with the commercial nexus via an elevated bridge. Elevated car parks with 1,600 parking bays are also provided to enable passengers and customers enjoy a seamless shopping experience," he said.
Works to modernise Subang airport impress ICAO
Published: 2008/12/01 BusinessTimes

THE International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) council has given the modernisation works at Subang airport, Selangor, the thumbs up during a technical site survey visit of the airport.

Speaking during his recent visit to Kuala Lumpur in conjunction with the 45th Conference of Directors General of Civil Aviation, Asia and Pacific Regions, ICAO president Roberto Gonzalez said SkyPark Subang Terminal has all the modern trappings of an international world-class airport for a community airport of this size.

"I am impressed. SkyPark Subang Terminal is heading for glory as a destination discerning travellers would enjoy," he said.

Gonzalez was given a full technical site survey of both the SkyPark Subang Terminal and the new corporate jet fixed base operation SkyPark FBO Malaysia.

Also present were Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) managing director Datuk Seri Bashir Ahmad and senior general manager of corporate planning, Datuk Mahat Samah.

"SkyPark FBO Malaysia is also one of the finest and largest I have seen for a fixed base operation," Gonzalez added.

SkyPark Subang Terminal will be a new dominating landmark at the refurbished Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang when it rolls out a new design that accentuates the airport as a modern and contemporary icon under an urban rejuvenation programme.

"The overall goal is to transform the airport, maximising on assets through design intervention, into a vibrant destination point for travellers," said Subang Skypark Sdn Bhd executive director Datuk Ravindran Menon.

The main infrastructure of SkyPark Subang Terminal is being refurbished at RM40 million, while refurbishment by the tenants is estimated at another RM5 million.

"The refurbishment is geared to cater to the initial 2.5 million passenger traffic anticipated in 2009. We are working closely with MAHB to meet passenger expectations and delights," said Ravindran.

SkyPark Subang Terminal is made up of Skypark FBO Malaysia, corporate aviation facilities and community airline facilities.

The refurbishment works of SkyPark Subang Terminal are slated to be completed early next year.
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Old November 30th, 2008, 10:04 PM   #208
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Dutch group to bring aviation firms to Malaysia
By Kamarul Yunus Published: 2008/12/01 BusinessTimes

IMPRESSED with the progress of the Malaysian aerospace industry, the Netherlands Aerospace Group (NAG) aims to encourage Dutch aerospace and aviation-related companies to make Malaysia their potential investment destination in the region.

NAG managing director Frank Jansen said although the Netherlands is Malaysia's fourth largest investor, there has yet to be any investments coming from Dutch companies involved in the aerospace and aviation industries.

"But, I am confident that there will be more cooperation between Malaysian and Dutch companies, following my visit to Malaysia.

"Things will change once I brief NAG members based on what I see and experience during my visit to Malaysia," he told Business Times at the end of his five-day visit to Malaysia on November 9.

Jansen was in Malaysia on an invitation by the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (Mida). This follows the visit by a Malaysian delegation, led by Mida to the Netherlands in September.

During Mida's visit, Jansen said a number of Dutch companies have voiced their interest to set up operations or collaborate with the local companies in the aerospace industry in Malaysia.

"At least two Dutch companies have shown their keen interest to cooperate with Malaysian companies to invest in the aerospace industry. I will file in a report (after his visit) and send them to every NAG member, particularly to the two companies that have conveyed their interest to invest in Malaysia," he said.

Jansen said he was impressed with the rapid development of the aerospace industry in Malaysia, particularly the development of the Subang airport in Selangor.

He also had an opportunity to visit companies, among others Eurocopter Malaysia Sdn Bhd, SME Aerospace Sdn Bhd, Airfoil Services Sdn Bhd, Upeca Engineering Sdn Bhd and CTRM Aero Composites Sdn Bhd as well as education centres such as Universiti Kuala Lumpur Malaysian Technology, Malaysian International Aerospace Centre, and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia in Johor.

He also met officers from the Malaysian Industry-Government Group of High Technology, the Dutch Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian Dutch Business Council and Mida itself.

NAG is the national trade association encompassing aero- space companies and organisations engaged in education, research and development, engineering, manufacturing and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of civil and military systems and equipment.

Members, comprising 75 companies and 10 institutions and organisations, improve their business positions by being part of an active association that clusters over 95 per cent of the Dutch aerospace sector.

Notable Dutch aerospace companies in NAG include ADSE B.V, Akzo Nobel Aerospace Coatings, Amsterdam Airport Area, Driessen Aerospace Group NV, DutchAero B.V., KLM Aerospace Logistics, KLM Engineering & Maintenance, Stork Aerospace Group, Stork Materials Technology B.V. and Struik & Hammerslag.
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Old November 30th, 2008, 10:11 PM   #209
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New head for SkyTeam’s Malaysian market panel
Published: 2008/12/01 BusinessTimes

AIR France-KLM country manager for Malaysia Estee Ng has been appointed chairman of the Malaysian Market Coordination Committee for the world’s second largest airline alliance, SkyTeam.

Her duties will include ensuring its smooth operation, while executing and leading its marketing action plan.

Ng takes over from Korean Air’s Vincent Kow.

“With Malaysia as a key market and regional hub for business, investment and tourism, it is imperative that SkyTeam’s promise of ensuring customers a consistent level of service, an extensive network, seamless connections and an overall hassle-free travel experience is maintained at the highest level,” said Ng in a statement.

Launched in June 2000, the alliance comprises 11 members — Aeroflot, Aeroméxico, Air France, Alitalia, China Southern Airlines, Continental Airlines, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, KLM, Korean Air and Northwest Airlines — and three associate carriers Air Europa, Copa Airlines and Kenya Airways.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 09:21 PM   #210
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Daily KL-S’pore flights soar
Tuesday December 2, 2008 By B.K. SIDHU TheStar

PETALING JAYA: From yesterday, air travellers on the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore route can choose 14 daily flights from low-cost carriers and more than 15 from full-service carriers.

This is a huge jump in choices from a year ago, which saw only Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines plying the route.

In February, low-cost carriers had begun launching limited flights.

But from Dec 1, all airlines in Malaysia and Singapore can launch flights between the two capital cities.

The change has come a month ahead of the liberalisation of the Asean Open Skies for capital cities.

Both AirAsia and Tiger Airways, which are flying seven and three to four flights respectively on the route, are eager to increase the frequencies.

AirAsia Bhd group chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes told StarBiz yesterday that he wanted to add an additional flight by next month when the airline took delivery of more aircraft.

“My target is to have 12 daily flights for stage one. Eventually we would like to have 24 flights daily or every half-hourly flight,’’ he said.

The response had been “fantastic’’ for the KL-Singapore route even though it was just day one of the sector’s full liberalisation, he said.

The budget airline sees its load factor averaging 75% on the route.

Tiger Airways chief executive Tony Davis told StarBiz from Singapore that the carrier had seen huge demand for its flights and would increase its frequency to five daily flights from three or four now on weekdays.

“Our loads are very good and we see strong consumer demand. We just saw our 3.30pm flight took off from Singapore to KL and there were only two empty seats out of the 180 seats in the aircraft,’’ Davis said.

National carrier MAS commercial director Datuk Abdul Rashid Khan, believes the Singapore-KL route has always been a springboard for connecting flights from KL International Airport (KLIA) to its global destinations such as outbound traffic from Singapore and likewise, for the return via KLIA.

“We will continue to leverage on (our) partnerships to remain competitive as well as profitable on this route,’’ he said in an e-mail response.

An SIA spokesman, in an e-mail reply said the opening of the sector was good for consumers and the airlines. Competition would force airlines to be more cost effective and innovative in the product and service offerings, he added.

“We offer competitive fares. The Singapore-KL route will now function like most other markets in the region. There will be price competition and fares will vary in line with demand,’’ the spokesman said.

MAS and AirAsia mount seven daily flights each on the route, SIA and SilkAir, four flights each, Tiger, three or four flights and JetStar, three.

Malaysia’s Firefly is still hoping to ply the route from Subang and is still awaiting the Government’s response, according to managing director Eddy Leong.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 10:35 PM   #211
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Firefly launches new Medan–Subang route

MEDAN: Firefly, the wholly owned subsidiary of Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS), started direct flights between Subang and Medan in Indonesia yesterday.

The aircraft departed from Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, Subang at 2.15pm and arrived at Polonia Airport, Medan, at 2.30pm (the local time in Medan). Daily scheduled flights depart from Subang at 2.15pm and the return flight from Medan arrive here at 5.05pm, according to a statement by Firefly.

In the ceremony to mark the inaugural flight, the Governor of Medan H Syamsul Arifin SE said Firefly’s direct connectivity from Subang-Kuala Lumpur to Medan is unique and is very much welcomed by the citizens of Medan.

"Its unique feature is in its airport location, which is only 20 minutes away from the city,” he said.

Firefly's managing director, Eddy Leong said the airline's network expansion into Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand is proceeding at full speed and is on track.

“In fact by the end of the first quarter of 2009, we will be introducing many more new destinations in this growth triangle. We have also started marketing our Sumatra routes for stopovers to long-haul travellers and with the launch of Firefly’s code share with our parent company, Malaysia Airlines, in early 2009, Medan can definitely expect an exponential growth of visitors."

By August next year, Firefly is expected to operate with 10 ATR72-500 aircraft, which are turbo prop planes, serving both domestic and regional routes. The airline is also keen to start routes into other Sumatran provinces such as Jambi, Padang, Bengkulu and Pangkal Pinang, as well as Pulau Batam and Thailand by next year using three hubs –- Subang, Penang and Johor Bahru.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 10:56 AM   #212
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Etihad wins hearts in Malaysia

SINCE Etihad Airways launched its services in Malaysia early last year, it has been working hard to capture a bigger share of the market and establish itself as a popular airline for business and leisure travel.

The airline, which is constantly improving its services, recently introduced its latest A340-600 aircraft – the longest Airbus airliner in operation with an overall fuselage length of 75.3m and a range of 7,750nm./14.360km.

The aircraft has a seating capacity of 286 – 12 passengers in Diamond first class, 30 passengers in Pearl business class and 244 passengers in Coral economy class.

The passengers can enjoy world-class cuisine, award-winning flat beds in premium cabins and the widest seat in economy, as well as more than 500 hours of on-demand in-flight entertainment, said its newly-appointed country manager, Adam Phillips.

"In just 18 months, Etihad has established itself as one of the popular airlines operating in the country and we hope to maintain the leading position in Kuala Lumpur," Phillips told reporters during a familiarisation trip on board the aircraft at KL International Airport (KLIA) recently.

Currently, the aircraft is used on the Abu Dhabi-Toronto and Abu Dhabi-London routes but will be added to the Melbourne, Chennai, Moscow and Beijing routes by year-end.

Phillips said Etihad is on target to carry six million passengers this year, up by 4.6 million passengers from last year, or a 67% year-on-year increase, as the airline continues to expand its global network and add new aircraft to its fleet.

He said the airline is confident of achieving its target by running various marketing efforts, such as promoting its flights at the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) Fair and ExpatExpo, apart from advertising in selected traditional mediums.

Meanwhile, Etihad has signed a new codeshare agreement with Malaysia Airlines, expanding its global network by providing passengers with greater access to destinations in Asia.

It will place its ‘EY’ code on Malaysia Airlines’ flights between Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi, Penang, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching.

In turn, Malaysia Airlines will place its ‘MH’ code on Etihad’s services between its home of Abu Dhabi and the Gulf region’s Bahrain, Doha and Muscat.

Etihad currently has codeshare agreements with Jet Airways, Yemen Airways, Saudi Arabia Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Sri Lankan Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, Philippine Airlines, Middle East Airlines and the UK-based airline, bmi.

"The codeshare arrangement with Etihad is timely as Malaysia is a favourite destination for visitors from the Middle East, as well as an ideal transit country, when they travel to our destinations from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the Orient, Australia and New Zealand," said Malaysia Airlines managing director Idris Jala.

“It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.”
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Old December 4th, 2008, 05:52 PM   #213
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VistaJet expects M’sia ops to post 70% revenue rise
04-12-2008: by Yantoultra Ngui Yichen theedgedaily

SUBANG: VistaJet International Ltd, Switzerland-based business jet services firm, expects its Malaysian operations to post a 70% increase in turnover and generate 2,600 flight hours next year despite the slowing global economy, said its chief commercial officer Eric Weisskopf.

Speaking to reporters after a media test flight of its new Learjet 60XR here yesterday, he said the Malaysian economy remained resilient and sustainable because of its strong fundamentals.

“The market potential here is best demonstrated in our increasing fleet size. We originally plan to have only two jets (Bombardier Challenger 605 and Challenger 850) here, but due to strong customer demand and requests, we are adding a new one (Learjet 60 XR),” he said.

According to Weisskopf, VistaJet’s Malaysian operations had recorded a 100% jump in revenue for the past nine months since starting operations here.

He also said VistaJet had received bookings from customers to travel in its new Learjet 60 XR, which could accommodate up to six passengers only.

Learjet 60 XR mainly caters for short-haul flights of less than two hours. On the other hand, the Challenger 605 (which can accommodate up to 10 passengers) and Challenger 850 (up to 14 passengers) mainly cater for long-haul flights of up to seven hours.

For VistaJet’s Malaysian operations, short-haul flights constitute 40% of its total flights hours. The ratio between business and leisure travel currently stands at 80:20.

In terms of the group, VistaJet aims to expand its total fleet size to 94 jets by 2012 with a total investment of some US$2 billion (RM7.26 billion). For next year alone, the company plans to allocate US$300 million to US$350 million to add another 12 jets to its fleet.

VistaJet has a total of 22 jets, three of which are based in Malaysia, three in the Middle East and the rest in Europe. Weisskopf said VistaJet planned to expand its footprint into the Far East and targeted to bring two jets into Hong Kong next year.

He said the group would be able to achieve a 50% increase in revenue this year and expected to generate some 80,000 flight hours by 2012.
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Old December 5th, 2008, 09:37 PM   #214
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MMC To Pay RM250 Mil Less For Senai Airport
December 05, 2008 20:31 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 (Bernama) -- The MMC Corporation Bhd will pay RM1.7 billion for the entire stake of the Senai Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd, RM250 million lesser than the original RM1.95 billion announced earlier.

The acquisition will be paid in cash instead of a share issue, the company said in a statement, Friday.

The new RM1.7 billion acquisition price comprises RM580 million for airport operations and RM1.1 billion for its 1,087.2 hectares of freehold land to be developed into a logistics city.

The company said the vendors had asked for a lower price for the new MMC shares to be issued as payment for the acquisition following the slide in MMC's share price from RM2.80 at the time the deal was announced in August to the current RM1.29.

They said the current share price was not reflective of MMC's inherent value which now trades at a multiple of about 0.7 times book value per share of RM1.94.

Under the original deal, MMC was to issue 696 million new shares priced at RM2.80 per share, which would have increased its share base by 22 percent.

"Issuing twice the number of shares for the acquisition of SATS would enlarge our share base significantly and reduce our earnings per share.

"It would also substantially dilute the shareholding of MMC's other shareholders. Having considered all factors, the board decided to negotiate for payment in cash in return for a discount of 12.8 percent in the acquisition price," MMC chief executive officer Malaysia Hasni Harun said.

He said the cash consideration would eliminate earnings dilution resulting from issuing a sizeable number of shares at the current depressed price.

The company would finance the acquisition via internally-generated funds including, inter alia, the disposal of assets.

It said negotiations relating to the disposal of assets have reached an advanced stage and an announcement to the stock exchange will be made once they are finalised.

The company would pay a deposit of 20 percent upon signing of the agreement and the balance 80 percent within three months of fulfillment of all conditions precedent.

The acquisition is a strategic move as the airport provides the group with a competitive advantage in the transport and logistics businesses, one of MMC's three core businesses.

With this acquisition, MMC would be the only company which owns a private airport in the country.

Besides that, the acquisition would enable MMC to expand its transport and logistics business into the area of air logistics, in addition to the company's existing port operations and land-based logistics business.

This will allow MMC to offer its customers an integrated logistics solution and multi-modal connectivity via its sea, land, air transportation and logistics business.

The Senai airport, which handled 1.6 million passengers in 2007, is currently served by three major airlines providing wide connectivity to regional airports within three to four hours' flight time.

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Old December 5th, 2008, 09:38 PM   #215
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Federal Govt urged to develop Ipoh airport
Published: Friday December 5, 2008 MYT 4:13:00 PM

IPOH: Perak is urging the Federal Government to fulfil its promise to improve and expand the under-used Sultan Azlan Shah Airport here.

State Education, Local Government, Housing and Public Transport Committee chairman Nga Kor Ming said the development plan was a promise made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Nga insisted that Abdullah had pledged it during a trade exposition opening here in June last year.

“A promise is a promise, and the Federal Government should fulfil its duties to allocate the funds for the development as soon as possible,” Nga told a press conference here on Friday.

He said the airport upgrades and extension of the runway would cost about RM170mil, which should be borne by the Federal Government.

“Otherwise, give us the authority and we are ready to do it if the Government is incapable of developing the airport,” he said.

The Pakatan Rakyat state government, said Nga, would find the means to develop the airport and would also consider having it privately financed.

Nga said he had brought up the matter in Parliament but it was shot down by Transport Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat.

“Instead, he announced that the ministry had plans to build an airport in Negri Sembilan, which is not reasonable,” he said, adding that the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and the Low Cost Carrier Terminal were about 25km from Nilai.

Nga also called on the Government to get Firefly, a subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines, to offer its services here.

Perak lacked an efficient airline cargo system and was losing out on foreign investments, said Nga who noted that representatives from India, Australia, Britain and Japan had expressed interest.
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Old December 5th, 2008, 09:39 PM   #216
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MAHB urges review of airport charges
By Kang Siew Li Published: 2008/12/06

MALAYSIA Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) (5014) says it will continue to pursue an upward revision of its charges at the 39 airports it operates in the country despite the global economic downturn.

The airport operator is still waiting for a response from the government to its proposal.

It seeks an increase to its aircraft landing and parking fees, aerobridge charges and airport tax, also known as the passenger service charge (PSC).

"We believe that our charges, which have remained unchanged for many years, should still be reviewed (by the government). This is something that we have been asking for for the last five years and we are maintaining that position," MAHB managing director Datuk Seri Bashir Ahmad said in an interview.
The proposal is part of the group's overall financial restructuring plan aimed at allowing MAHB to operate on a commercial footing. It includes a plan to repay the RM856.7 million it owes the government.

Asked whether the proposed increase in charges may be lowered given that airlines are turning in less profits or making losses, Bashir said: "It could. It is up to the government. However, we have not changed our proposal since the submission five years ago. The proposal is overdue. If at all, it (increase) should be higher."

MAHB has maintained that its airport charges are among the lowest in Asia. The airport tax was last raised in June 2002 and its aircraft landing and parking fees, 1975.

"Airport charges constitute only four per cent of overall airline costs. In the case of the KL International Airport, it is less than four per cent. This shows that our charges are very low," Bashir said.
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Old December 5th, 2008, 09:39 PM   #217
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MAHB upbeat on profit
By Kang Siew Li Published: 2008/12/06

Malaysia Airports is expected to post record net profit and revenue for the year to December 2008, driven by growth in passenger traffic, retail optimisation and better ad revenue

MALAYSIA Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) (5014), the operator of Malaysia's 39 airports, said it hopes to remain profitable next year, even though passenger traffic growth may slow to 1-2 per cent.

"We do not expect passenger growth for the next one to two years to be as high as it has been for the last five years. For 2009, we believe we will still see some growth but it would probably be marginal between one per cent and two per cent," MAHB managing director Datuk Seri Bashir Ahmad said in an interview.

"Although we are expecting a drop in overall passenger numbers for next year, we have plans in place that will enable us to remain profitable," he added.

The International Air Transport Association is expected to announce a decrease in its earlier 2009 estimate for passenger traffic growth in Asia Pacific next week. It had originally projected a 3.9 per cent growth for 2009.
Bashir said the forecast was derived on the back of a year-on-year contraction in passenger traffic through the KL International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang for September and October 2008, hit by the global economic slowdown.

Nevertheless, the airport operator remains confident of achieving a five per cent passenger growth at all its airports for full-year 2008, thanks to strong growth during the first seven months.

"The growth (in the remaining months of the year) could come on the back of the liberalisation of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore route this month and domestic traffic growth," he said.

MAHB is expected to deliver another record net profit and revenue for the year to December 2008, driven by growth in passenger traffic, retail optimisation and better advertising revenue.

Last year, it posted a net profit of RM236.3 million on revenue of RM1.4 billion.

"I think so, looking at our third quarter performance which came in better than the year-ago quarter. We believe that we are still able to achieve our headline KPIs (key performance indicators), mainly due to our conscious efforts to diversify our revenue streams," said Bashir.

This year's profit will also be driven by cost-cutting efforts, where the group had put a freeze on recruitment activities in certain divisions since 2006 and continues to cut down on internal costs.

Bashir said total cost increase has been at "a manageable five per cent on average" over the last five years.

"In our budget for 2008, we have estimated about RM70 million in both cost savings and revenue improvement. Of this total, RM60 million is from cost savings and RM10 million is from revenue enhancement," he added.

MAHB has also kept borrowing costs at almost zero.

"We have hardly any borrowings and the credit is always available to us. But moving forward, because we are in a strong position, we can afford to have some gearing," he said, without elaborating.

Bashir also said that airports were still largely unscathed by the financial crisis because of their diversified portfolios.

"Globally, airports derive a large portion of their revenues from commercial or non-aeronautical operations. Heathrow, Singapore and Hong Kong airports, for instance, derive over 50 per cent from these sources.

"As such, we will continue to focus on developing our commercial revenue sources (such as concession, retail, oil palm plantation, advertising, car park and hotel facilities) to ensure that we remain profitable.

"We expect commercial revenue to constitute 50 per cent of the group's total revenue by the end of this year, two years ahead of target, and the rest to be generated from aeronautical sources like aircraft landing and parking, aerobridge and passenger service charges," he said.

Commercial revenue contribution is expected to increase to 60 per cent by 2013.
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Old December 8th, 2008, 08:09 PM   #218
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Tiger ready to pounce in freer skies
By Presenna Nambiar
Published: 2008/12/09

The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore traffic could increase to the extent of challenging the likes of Sydney-Melbourne and Barcelona-Madrid routes

THE liberalisation of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore sector could see it becoming one of the world's busiest air routes alongside Sydney-Melbourne and Barcelona-Madrid.

Tiger Aviation Pte Ltd group chief executive officer and president Tony Davis said the entry of more players could see the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore traffic increasing to the extent that it rivals the likes of trunk routes like Sydney-Melbourne.

"Its development was restricted before due to the monopoly by Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Malaysia Airlines, but now it could enter the top 10 ranking of global markets," he told Business Times in a phone interview from Singapore.

In September last year, Barcelona-Madrid was cited the world's busiest air passenger route with 971 flights a week.

Other high-density routes include Sydney-Melbourne.

Davis said the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore route was important for Tiger Airways as it expected travel between the two countries to accelerate.

"The route will remain profitable (to Tiger Airways)," he said.

Tiger Airways, a budget carrier 49 per cent owned by SIA, is increasing its daily frequencies to five times a day from this month.

It will mount flights next to Kota Kinabalu from Singapore in March next year, after launching its Singapore-Kuching flights last month.

"We are getting more and more requests to fly to Peninsular Malaysia, in particular Penang, and we definitely see potential there (in Malaysia)," Davis said.

He added that Malaysia stood to benefit from the current problems in Thailand as travellers, put off by the situation in that country, might well opt to holiday in neighbouring destinations instead.

On Tiger Airways' network expansion, Davis said it would push ahead with plans to increase capacity.

It is eyeing 40-60 per cent capacity growth next year.

Tiger Aviation announced last week group profit of S$9.9 million (RM24 million) for the financial year ended March 31 2008.

As an unlisted entity, Tiger Aviation does not need to reveal its profit numbers.

Tiger Aviation posted 59 per cent gross revenue growth in the quarter ended September 30 2008.

The number of passengers it carried was 58.8 per cent higher, while capacity rose 61.8 per cent.

Other Tiger Aviation Group shareholders include Indigo Partners LLC (24 per cent stake), the investment firm founded by Bill Franke; Irelandia Investments Ltd (16 per cent), the private investment arm of Tony Ryan and family; and Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd (11 per cent).
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Old December 9th, 2008, 03:33 PM   #219
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LCCT international arrival hall ahead of schedule
Tuesday December 9, 2008 By GEETHA KRISHNAN

THE new international arrival hall at the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) at Sepang in Selangor will open for operation on Dec 15, weeks ahead of its original scheduled date.

The hall is part of the RM160mil new wing constructed under the LCCT expansion plan.

The whole wing is also expected to be fully ready for operation earlier than the original completion date of March 15 next year.

According to Malaysia Airports Bhd (MAB) senior general manager (operations) Datuk Azmi Murad, the extension would add 32,000sq m of additional floor space to the existing 28,000sq m available.

“The check-in counters will be increased from 72 to 117 for a smoother passenger flow. The counters usually handle 600 passengers per hour but will soon be able to handle 2,200 passengers an hour,” Azmi told StarMetro.

“The grand total of six baggage carousels will save passengers’ time,” he said.

“With the additional floor space, we will accommodate more retail and F&B outlets, and shower and surau facilities,” Azmi said.

The expansion was implemented following the tremendous increase in passenger load at the LCCT soon after its opening in 2006.

By last year, the LCCT was operating beyond its originally planned capacity of 15 million passengers a year.

Azmi said the new wing could help cope with the 34% growth because once it was fully operational in March next year, the extended terminal could serve 30 million passengers a year.

Besides the AirAsia domestic flights and the AirAsia X international services to Thailand, Indonesia and Australia, the LCCT also caters for the Cebu Pacific Airways of the Philippines and the Tiger Airways of Singapore.

“We handle 30,000 passengers daily on regular days but during festivals and school holidays, there is an increase of 30% in passenger load. With the new wing, we can cater for more airlines,” Azmi said.

AirAsia X, meanwhile, is scheduled to start operating the London Stansted-Kuala Lumpur route from the LCCT in March next year.

According to LCCT-KLIA manager Raghbir Singh, measures taken to cope with the surge in travellers during peak seasons include extending the waiting area at the present terminal.

“By taking up the service road previously used by taxis, we have a 3,000sq m frontage for a bigger waiting area with 600 seats,” Raghbir said.

According to Azmi, to ease congestion at the present departure hall, passengers are only allowed to check in once their respective counters are opened. The others have to wait at the seating area.

As for public transport, eight bus companies link the LCCT to Kuala Lumpur, Klang, Shah Alam, Seremban, Malacca, Ipoh and Genting. There are also ample taxi services.

At present, the MAB is toying with the idea of a mechanical carpark because parking bays will soon be limited once the new wing is fully open.

With air fares increasingly becoming cheaper and competitive, resulting in the healthy increase in passenger load, Azmi does not discount the possibility of his company building a permanent and larger LCCT.

“Our holding company Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad (MAHB) owns 100sq km of land in Sepang. So we have enough space for a permanent terminal.

“We have a few locations in mind,” he said.

He also said if AirAsia did succeed in building its own low-cost carrier terminal, the present LCCT could be converted into a cargo warehouse or for other purposes.
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Old December 9th, 2008, 03:34 PM   #220
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MAHB Expects To Remain Profitable Next Year
December 09, 2008 17:41 PM

SEPANG, Dec 9 (Bernama) -- Airport operator Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd expects to remain profitable next year despite a marginal growth forecast in passenger numbers of between one and two percent.

"There will be a drop in passenger numbers but we will see a marginal growth following a slowdown in economic growth," managing director Datuk Seri Bashir Ahmad told reporters at the launch of the new East Zone satellite building and the second phase of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) shopping campaign here today.

He said MAHB has forecast a five percent growth in passenger numbers for this year after achieving seven percent last year.

Bashir said its profits would be partly boosted by the retail business and the reduction in cost.

MAHB operates and manages 39 airports in Malaysia, with five international, 16 domestic and 18 short take-off and landing (STOL) ports.

MAHB senior general manager operations Datuk Azmi Murad said the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) will handle an extra 5,000 passengers following completion of its extension exercise in March next year.

This will increase the total handling capacity to 15 million passengers from the current 10 million, he said.

Azmi said the investment involved in the extension work was RM130 million.

He said the facilities for international arrivals at the LCCT will be operational on Dec 15.

On the new East Zone, Bashir said work had started in May this year, taking five months to be completed and providing the area with a more contemporary look.

In conjunction with this, the KLIA shopping campaign also featured a special opening promotion designed to make shopping more attractive at the area.

Under the campaign, there are RM2.7 million worth of prizes to be won. -- BERNAMA
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