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Old December 9th, 2008, 03:35 PM   #221
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Airline all set for the future
Saturday December 6, 2008

FIREFLY is looking ahead to become the official airline for the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT).

Managing director Eddy Leong said that the network expansion into Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand was proceeding at full speed.

He said the company had already submitted a request and there would be a meeting to discuss the matter soon.

“As an official airline, we are also asking for more destinations in Sumatera.

“However, there are only a few international airports, so we are asking for immigration facilities to be set up at more airports.

“We also want them to be more lenient on traffic ride arrangements between cities in the IMT-GT region.

“In early 2009, Medan can expect an exponential growth in visitors with the launch of Firefly’s code share with our parent company Malaysia Airlines.

“We have 5 aircraft and are getting another five next year, so we are slowly progressing,” Leong said when greeting Firefly’s inaugural flight from Subang to Medan on Dec 1 at Polonia Airport.

He also said that they would be introducing many more new destinations in the growth triangle like Padang, Jambi, Palembang and Batam.

Selangor Tourism Action Council Chairman Datuk Subahan Kamal and his team from the Malaysia Tourism Office made their way to Medan via the first direct flight from Subang.

Subahan was welcomed by Leong as well as representatives from the North Sumatara Tourism Board in Medan, Malaysia Tourism Board, North Sumatra Chamber of Commerce and Medan governor Syamsul Arifin SE.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 03:59 AM   #222
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Give S’wak special ‘sky’ treatment: Manyin
Monday, November 3, 2008

KUCHING: Sarawak and Sabah can benefit from the open sky policy if the two states are treated in such a manner that their capitals, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu, are made separate entities away from Kuala Lumpur, said Urban Development and Tourism Minister Datuk Michael Manyin.

Manyin said under the present arrangement, direct flights into the country could only land at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) because the normal practice in the open sky policy is that international flights connect only capital cities of nations, in the case of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.

Sarawak and Sabah could not reap the maximum out of the open sky policy because they are only states within Malaysia, therefore, Kuching International Airport (KIA) and Kota Kinabalu International Airport do not enjoy KLIA’s status.

“Normally open sky policy only applies to capital city to capital city (of countries). But hopefully Sabah and Sarawak will be treated differently so that we can engage open sky policy by 2009,” he told a press conference here after receiving passengers from AirAsia’s inaugural Singapore-Kuching flight Saturday night.

Manyin said the state government had made such request to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and the Ministry of Transport and hoped that the federal government would meet the request.

Open sky policy could only boost the state’s tourism if KIA was allowed to link directly with foreign destinations, he said, adding that Sarawak was striving to do more in the way of attracting tourists, including doubling the number of hotel rooms by end of next year.

He said the government was currently working on to have AirAsia to fly between Miri and Singapore.

Manyin said the inaugural Kuching-Singapore-Kuching flight received encouraging response with a load of about 85 per cent.

He said the route was important as Sarawak hoped to lure a potential number of tourists from the republic to the state.

Speaking on Singapore’s tourism, Manyin said between January and September this year, the republic registered 7,581,551 arrivals. Of this, 1,155,337 were land arrivals, 972,823 sea arrivals and 5,450,391 air arrivals.

“By air into Singapore, the Asian market tops the list with 3,628,180,” he said adding that this was followed by Europe at about 820,000, Oceania (Australia, New Zealand) about 620,000, America about 320,000 and Africa about 55,000.

He said visitors in Singapore often travelled by land or air to states in Peninsular Malaysia including the capital city of Kuala Lumpur.

“With the direct flight, we will be able to get a certain percentage of foreign tourists (from Singapore) and increase the number of arrivals to Sarawak,” he said.

He said if the flight could continue to have 85 per cent passenger load and higher, the state could have better justification to request for more landing rights from the federal government.

Permanent secretary to the Ministry of Urban Development and Tourism Akit Sebli said the current Kuching-Singapore flights by Malaysian Airlines and Silk Air was one of the best routes.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 03:06 PM   #223
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New retail outlets set to boost MAHB growth
By Zuraimi Abdullah
Published: 2008/12/10

MALAYSIA Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) (5014) has completed the first phase of its satellite retail optimisation project (SROP) at the KL International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang, which began in May this year and due for completion end-2009.

With the completion of the East Zone, the airport operator will continue to work on the West, South and North zones soon.

The East Zone boasts more than 12 new outlets at the satellite building, including Choc Shop International, Dome, Eraman Malaysia, Harrods and Pusrawi Medicare.

The launch of East Zone yesterday also marked the start of the second phase of the KLIA Shopping Campaign, which offers RM2.7 million of prizes at the KLIA and the low-cost carrier terminal LCCT.
MAHB managing director Datuk Seri Bashir Ahmad said the company is expecting a one to two per cent growth in passenger arrivals at all 39 airports it operates in the country in 2009.

"The growth will partially be attributed to the availability of more retail space and reduced operating costs," Bashir told reporters after the launch of the East Zone retail units.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 11:12 PM   #224
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Kuching International Airport, Sarawak
Departure Hall
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Old December 10th, 2008, 11:20 PM   #225
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Sultan Mahmud Airport (NEW)
Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu
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Old December 10th, 2008, 11:21 PM   #226
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MMC buys Senai airport for RM1.7b cash
Saturday December 6, 2008

Senai Airport

MMC Corp Bhd is buying the entire stake in Senai Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd (SATS) for RM1.7bil which is RM250mil below the earlier proposed price of RM1.95bil.

MMC said yesterday the RM1.7bil cash deal would be financed via internally generated funds and might include the disposal of some assets. The earlier proposed RM1.95bil would have involved a share issue.

“The new acquisition price of RM1.7bil comprises RM580mil for airport operations and RM1.1 bil for SATS’s 1087.2ha of freehold land slated for development as a logistics city (equivalent to RM9.45 per sq ft currently compared with RM11.39 per sq ft previously),” it said.

MMC said following the fall in MMC’s share price from RM2.80 when the proposed acquisition was announced in August to RM1.29 currently, the vendors requested a lower price for the new MMC shares to be issued as payment for the acquisition.

“The current share price is not reflective of MMC’s inherent value which now trades at a multiple of approximately 0.7 times book value per share of RM1.94. The cash consideration will eliminate earnings dilution resulting from issuing a sizeable number of shares at the current depressed price,” it said.

MMC share price closed at RM1.25 yesterday, down 55.4% from RM2.80, when the deal was announced in August. As of at Sept 30, the company had deposit bank and cash balances at about RM4bil.

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%.

If MMC was to issue new MMC shares at RM1.40 per share, which was more reflective of the current market price, it would have to issue twice the number of shares, enlarging MMC’s share base by 45%.

MMC chief executive officer Malaysia Hasni Harun said issuing twice the number of shares for the SATS acquisition would enlarge its share base significantly and reduce 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,” he said in statement yesterday.

The company will deposit 20% of the total upon signing of the agreement and the balance 80% within three months of fulfillment of all conditions precedent.

The acquisition of SATS would be a strategic fit for MMC as the airport provides the group with a competitive advantage in the transport and logistics businesses, one of MMC’s three core businesses.

Hasni said this acquisition would be earnings accretive and contribute sustainable future earnings for the group.

The deal will make MMC the only company which owns a private airport in the country.

Also, MMC would be venturing in air logistics, in addition to its existing port operations and land-based logistics business.

MMC owns 70% of in Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) and owns the entire stake of Johor Port.

“This acquisition will enable MMC to exploit SATS’s potential in becoming a regional cargo and logistics hub under a free zone flagship. The airport is also well-positioned to benefit from the growth potential of Iskandar Malaysia,” added Hasni.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 11:25 PM   #227
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Nationwide airport security to be beefed up next year
Updated: Wednesday December 10, 2008 MYT 5:50:24 PM

IPOH: Airport security nationwide will be beefed up next year with an addition of 799 personnel.

Bukit Aman management director Commissioner Datuk Abdul Razak Bokhari said focus would be on international airports.

The deployment of the personnel, he said, came after a three-month intensive course at the General Operations Force (GOF).

"The graduates will be given a week off, after which they will be sent to the various airports in the country," he told reporters after witnessing the passing out parade of the personnel at the GOF camp in Ipoh on Wednesday.

"They will don the GOF uniform and be armed with HK MP5 submachine guns," he added.

Comm Abdul Razak said prior to their training in the GOF, the personnel had also undergone policing courses on public order and crime prevention in Kuching.

At present, there are about 400 personnel stationed at the Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Langkawi, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching international airports.

"Safety at these airports has improved significantly.

"The public, too, feels safer with these personnel around," he added.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 12:41 PM   #228
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Very nice thread i had no idea to the extent to which Malaysia had developed its airport structures , i know MAHB also own Delhi airport so we are in safe hands i will be waiting for 2010 when T2 will open in Delhi.
The Athletes' Village for the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi has been officially opened and described as "better than the Beijing Olympics" by Craig Hunter, the Chef de Mission for England's team.
The dates for the Games are 3 - 14 October 2010, inclusive of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Weather wise the city experiences an October mean temperature of a minimum 17.2 degrees centigrade and maximum 31.3 degrees centigrade with humidity ranging from 31 to 78% for the October and November months.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 10:53 AM   #229
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Old December 13th, 2008, 08:12 AM   #230
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Competition up, air fares down
Saturday December 13, 2008

Open-skies are bringing air fares down rapidly in Asean which is good news for consumers but worrisome for airlines as margins are squeezed in the battle for market share

AFTER years of travelling back to Kuala Lumpur from Singapore by coach and car, Rita Kaur decided to take her family to the skies. She checked out the cheap fares to Kuala Lumpur in the Singapore newspapers and found what she wanted. Last Monday, she flew into KL with her husband, two daughters and their domestic helper at just S$150 (RM360).

“I think it is a pretty good price to pay for five people. My daughters enjoyed the trip. In fact, they were thrilled to be flying back to Kuala Lumpur rather than sitting for hours in a car or bus. We flew AirAsia,’’ she says.

Rita is a Malaysian and her husband a Singaporean. She comes back to visit her parents at least eight times a year. She is used to travelling by coach and pays S$30 (RM72) to S$50 (RM120) for a one-way trip per person.

“It was a promotional fare and a good offer because we pay about the same amount by coach. Time makes all the difference as we are in KL in 45 minutes,’’ she says.

She is not alone. Anna Lai was one of the passengers on the AirAsia flight AK 131 from Singapore to KL on Dec 2. She paid RM90 for a one-way trip with her son.

They are examples of how air travel is being revolutionised by a convergence of factors that are increasing competition within Asean. First, there was the advent of low-cost airlines. That was followed by the opening up of the skies and increased capacity coupled with potentially declining demand for air travel.

All of that, and the looming impact of lower oil prices, will have the effect of bringing prices down and making competition intense, a great advantage for consumers but a worrisome development for airlines in the region.

The latest round of competition comes from the recent opening up of the much-protected KL-Singapore route on Dec 1. And it will heat up even more as the date draws closer for the Asean capital cities’ air liberalisation by the target date of Dec 31. The focus will be on the KL-Singapore route first as problems are ironed out for the liberalisation of air-travel between Asean capital cities.

In both instances, low-cost carriers or LCCs are expected to be the big beneficiaries because the full-service airlines have had more access to these routes before. New entrants are going to slash prices to win customers.

Among the most successful of the LCCs is Malaysia’s own AirAsia Bhd, which has been on an aircraft buying binge. It is buying 175 planes up to 2013 of which it has taken delivery of 50. A crucial part of its success in the future would be its ability to fill up these planes as they are delivered. While the number of passengers it carried has increased, the load factor – a measure of capacity usage – has been decreasing.

AirAsia group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes is optimistic. “It is the pent-up demand that we are serving. The KL-Singapore route has been worst in terms of undeveloped routes for years. There is a lot of affinity between Malaysia and Singapore and this is a new beginning. We have not seen the peak (in load factors) yet.’’

From the 20 daily flights shared between Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and Singapore Airlines (SIA) in the previous duopoly, this route is now served by nearly 30 flights daily. Consumers have more choices and fares have dropped from the steep RM840 for a round-trip to as low as under RM100 for one-way trips. Fares will come under greater pressure as the carriers battle for market share.

Singapore-based Tiger Airways chief executive Tony Davis said in an interview in Singapore recently that flights are a good alternative to coaches and trains as fares come down.

“We see the KL-Singapore route in the same vein as the Los Angeles-San Francisco or the Sydney-Melbourne routes,” he said.

The hot route

MAS flies seven to eight times daily on this route, while SIA and its sister company, SilkAir, will do eight flights jointly. AirAsia has planned for seven flights and Tiger up to five and Jetstar three for now. SilkAir is the new bird plying this route since Dec 1.

Asean capital cities may open their skies to more carriers by Jan 1 and see capacity increase but the KL-Singapore air sector will remain a hot route.

“The excitement is really on the KL-Singapore route for the time being and that is what the low-cost carriers are focusing on,’’ Standard & Poor’s Equity Research analyst Shukor Yusof says from Singapore.

For that reason, even the smallish carrier FireFly wants to be part of the action. Its managing director Eddy Leong is counting the days when the government will give him the freedom to fly the Subang-Singapore route. He says the route will fit nicely into the carrier’s network plan and provide the connectivity its passengers need.

Both Fernandes and Davis say their airlines enjoyed load factors of over 60% in the first week of the opening of the KL-Singapore sector for the prized route and their “forward booking numbers look good.’’

Their target are the holiday-makers. The political upheaval in Bangkok has forced many holiday-makers to change their destinations and both Malaysia and Singapore are benefiting from that.

Even many Singaporeans have re-routed their plans to fly into Malaysia instead of Thailand, says Shukor.

He believes that despite the many carriers, the major winners on the KL-Singapore route will be MAS and AirAsia.

The opening up of the KL-Singapore sector is part of a bigger plan to liberalise Asean skies for a unified air services market by 2015.

The Asean Roadmap for Integration of Air Travel Sector stipulates timelines when markets will open to competition. The capital cities’ liberalisation is the first step in that direction which comes into effect by Dec 31.

Malaysia and Singapore are in the forefront of the liberalisation and have fast-tracked the opening of the KL-Singapore route to Dec 1 from Dec 31.

For decades, MAS and SIA enjoyed a duopoly on the KL-Singapore route. This was one of the most expensive routes in the world for a 45-minute flight. Return fares were as high as RM840 and the airlines raked earnings of RM400mil each year. In February, the route was partially opened to competition to allow three low-cost carriers to ply it.

“The opening of the KL-Singapore sector is a major milestone in the roadmap. I believe this route will be the trend-setter and it would be the most lucrative route among the capital cities,’’ Shukor says.

The Asean playground

The next date to watch out for is Jan 1 when routes connecting Asean capital cities are fully opened for competition. All the major full-service carriers are already plying these routes while the LCCs have limited capacities on most of these.

One thing that is pending is the green light to begin plying the route. Unlike the other capital cities, KL and Singapore told their carriers well in advance that the route was to open on Dec 1. The carriers took advantage of that to plan their marketing blitz.

“There is not going to be any Big Bang come Jan 1,’’ Shukor says. And Davis agrees.

What is holding back this grand opening?

The multilateral agreement on air services signed by nine of 10 Asean Transport Ministers in Manila on Nov 6 is yet to be ratified. Thailand did not sign the agreement because it needed to take it to parliament first. Given the current political upheaval, it is unclear at what stage this process is in. The Asean Secretariat did not respond to queries.

The nine countries that signed the accord are Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, the Philippines, Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines director-general Andrew Herdman says the process may take some time.

“Assuming the agreements are not ratified by Dec 31, the bilateral agreements between countries remain,’’ Herdman says. “This means airlines cannot mount flights freely.”

“We support the liberalisation. It is a right approach to have a roadmap as it gives confidence to the marketplace. But we hope the timeline can be met.”

Davis of Tiger says: “Up to now, we have not received word from the authorities to add more frequencies to the capital cities. We would like to do that.”

Jetstar chief executive officer Chong Phit Lian says that until she gets the take-off signal she is not planning to add new capacity to what is already in the system.

“It really depends on the landing slots we can get. We would not mount flights (immediately) and whatever we do will depend on the country and the opportunities there,’’ Chong adds.

It may be a technical glitch but Malaysia’s Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat is of the view that the timeline “is still intact’’.

“It is subject to the member countries ratifying the agreements before Jan 1, 2009. The ratification is based on the ‘Asean minus X’ principle where a minimum of three Asean member countries are needed for the arrangements to be effective among the ratified Asean countries.’’ Ong said in an e-mail response.

To Ong, the signing itself “marked the opening of the Asean capital cities by 2009.’’


Whether it is Jan 1 or a little later, Asean skies will get busier and Shukor believes that airlines will add capacity if they can make money.

They will even slash rates and competition will intensify over time.

Historically, this air sector has been highly regulated where issues of national ownership and protectionist policies persisted. Getting landing rights had been a big hurdle for many carriers with huge ambitions.

The liberalisation provides opportunities to expand markets and, at the same time, it is a threat to carriers’ existing markets. There will be winners and losers. But with the competition, airlines that are efficient, flexible and responsive to customer needs are best placed to benefit regardless of their size.
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Old December 15th, 2008, 07:26 PM   #231
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MMC’s latest RM1.7bil deal irks investors
Saturday December 13, 2008 By JAGDEV SINGH SIDHU TheStar

But the company sees good future for Senai Airport

Once again, Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary has proposed to flip one of his private assets to a listed flagship company which he potentially stands to gain handsomely from while raising the ire of investors. This time, it involves a deal to sell Senai Airport to MMC Corp Bhd for RM1.7bil cash.

Analysts have been no less vocal about the proposed sale of the airport and the surrounding 1,087.2ha of oil palm estate to MMC. Originally, when it was announced in August, it was proposed that MMC would issue 696 million shares at RM2.80 each to buy Senai Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd (SATS) for RM1.95bil.

The market didn’t conceal its protest and MMC shares, which were suspended for the announcement, plunged 22% to RM2.12 the following day when they resumed trading.

Over the week, when MMC revised the terms into a cash deal with a value of RM1.7bil, it almost seemed like deja vu but this time, the counter took a smaller beating as the stock was already at a multi-year low.

“People did not like the deal when it was first announced. Now the deal is changed to all-cash and it’s even worse,’’ says a fund manager.

To add insult to injury, a few days later, MMC announced that it was selling a minority stake in its prized asset Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) to fund the acquisition of Senai Airport and the surrounding land.

MMC says it was in an advanced stage of negotiations on the stake sale and the likely buyer is Khazanah Nasional Bhd or the Employees Provident Fund.

“The premium paid for SKS Power or even PTP can be justified. Cashflow and profits from Tanjung Bin could be seen because of the power purchase agreement with Tenaga Nasional and PTP’s potential was there when the deal was made,’’ says the fund manager, adding that: “Land is not the same as a power project.’’

Essentially, the hardest part to swallow in the Senai Airport deal is that in buying a loss-making business, MMC needs to sell a piece of its profitable business.

For the year ended June 30, SATS posted an unaudited loss of RM24.8mil on revenue of RM28.8mil. In contrast, according to a report, PTP posted a pre-tax profit of RM148mil for its 2007 financial year.

MMC defends the deal

An artist’s impression Senai Airport’s Aero Mall,
which is scheduled to be completed at end-2009

While investors, analysts and fund managers have poured scorn on the deal, MMC believes it’s a commercially justifiable deal.

“MMC’s acquisition of SATS is a strategic fit as the airport provides us with a competitive advantage in our transport and logistics businesses, as one of MMC’s core pillars,” says MMC CEO, Malaysia, Hasni Harun in an e-mail reply.

Breaking down the acquisition, Hasni says SATS will complement PTP and Johor Port, which have been operating since 2000 and 1976 respectively, and enables MMC to expand its transport and logistics businesses into the area of air logistics, in addition to the company’s existing port operations and land-based logistics activities.

He also envisages the airport playing a major role in the transport and logistics sector within Iskandar Malaysia as about one million TEUs of Malaysian cargo go through Singapore annually.

Hasni says the acquisition cost of SATS was also reasonable as the airport was acquired in the early stage of its growth cycle. The valuation of RM387 per passenger, based on the flow of 1.5 million passengers, is much lower than the historical airport transactions average of RM680 per passenger.

SATS’ performance, he adds, was comparable to Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd on a revenue per passenger and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) basis (RM19.76 versus RM25.91 and RM5.89 versus RM6.15).

While there has been doubts over the high price of the freehold land around SATS which was acquired at RM9.45 a sq ft, Hasni points out that independent research has put that valuation to be cheaper than big tracks of land in other major business/development areas in Johor such as Nusajaya, PTP, Tanjung Langsat and Pasir Gudang. The long-term lease rates at Nusajaya was RM30 to RM35 per sq ft and at Pasir Gudang, it was between RM16 and RM18 per sq ft.

“The completion of the RM93mil Aero Mall by IJM at the end of 2009 will increase retail space four-fold to 8,500 sq m, providing potential for higher non-aeronautical revenue,’’ he says.

Aiding the development of SATS will be the potential growth of non-hub services arising from market liberalisation, the rise in traffic from the low-cost carriers, and the increase in point-to-point services.

“The airport’s capacity of four million passengers per annum against traffic of 1.5 million leaves ample room for growth without additional capital expenditure,’’ he says.

The completion of the runway extension to 3.8km by the first quarter of 2009 will allow fully-loaded long-haul aircraft and the largest planes, such as the Airbus A380, to land at Senai.

Hasni says ebitda margin has improved to 30% in 2008 from -8% in 2006 and is poised to increase above 50% with full impact of airport upgrading, cargo revenue and Logistics City.

Logistics City is an ambitious plan by MMC to convert the land around the airport into high-tech, cargo and logistics parks and a Customs, Immigration and Quarantine complex that would also have commercial and residential buildings. The gross development value of Logistics City is forecast at RM9.5bil.

Infrastructure costs could be offset against future land sales.

MMC says the Government has allocated funds to develop SATS’ cargo business and has committed to give incentives to MMC, like those currently enjoyed by several sectors in Iskandar Malaysia’s Node 1.

With such plans in store, Hasni says SATS has the potential to become a cargo hub for Iskandar Malaysia within 5 years.

MMC also defended its track record from previous related party transactions, saying it has created shareholder value over time.

Hasni says the value creation from acquisition of PTP and Johor Port (including the Tajung Bin land) is RM4.8bil, or RM1.58 per share, against investment cost of RM3.5bil.

“MMC has enhanced PTP and Johor Port’s net profit by a compounded annual growth rate of 15% and 16% respectively since the acquisition,’’ he says.
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Old December 15th, 2008, 07:27 PM   #232
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MAS To Open Ticketing Office At Subang SkyPark
December 15, 2008 13:58 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 15 (Bernama) -- Malaysia Airlines (MAS) will open a ticketing office at the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport's Subang SkyPark by February next year to cater to the needs of customers, particularly those in the suburban areas.

"The new office will offer all services for MAS, Firefly, MASWing and many more," said MAS chairman Tan Sri Dr Munir Majid.

Construction work will start next week, he said at the airline's newly upgraded ticketing office at KL Sentral here today.

MAS currently has ticketing offices at Putrajaya, KL Sentral and the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Operations at its former head office in Jalan Sultan Ismail here will be closed down.

On the new upgraded office, Munir said its was part of the airline's plan to consolidate its ticketing operations in the Klang Valley.

The KL Sentral office, which is currently serving more than 20,000 customers a month, is operating daily from 4.30am to midnight daily.

Asked about target sales after the upgrading exercise, Munir said: "Sales will increase not just by having the office, but having products that attract people to come to our outlet."

"For example, sales have increased tremendously when the Everyday Low Fares promotion was introduced," he said.

Munir said low fares campaign resulted in a 150 percent increase in online bookings.

"In Australia, online ticketing sales increased by 1,700 percent," he said.

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Old December 16th, 2008, 11:13 AM   #233
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Firefly Removes Fuel Surchage For All Flights
December 16, 2008 15:10 PM

PETALING JAYA, Dec 16 (Bernama) -- The country's community airline, Firefly, has completely removed fuel surcharge for all its destinations, both domestic and international, from Tuesday.

Managing director Eddy Leong said the removal of fuel surcharge was in line with the recent drop in the global oil prices.

"On top of this, our new aircraft, the ATR72-500, has proved its efficiency in fuel usage," he said at a media briefing on the"un-fare" and "un-fuel surcharge" programmes at the Malaysia Airlines complex in Subang today.

The airline had previously charged RM27 in fuel surchage for domestic flights while the charge for international routes varied depending on the location.

For its "un-fare" programme, Firefly from tomorrow will offer deals that allow people to buy a ticket from as low as RM35 for one-way trip.

"All inclusive, no extra charges but the public is advised to make bookings at least 21 days ahead," Leong said.

During the off peak season, the airline will be offering its lowest fares with discount of up to 80 percent or even zero fare, he said.

It will also offer attractive and value-for-money packages during the high peak season such as festive seasons, and school and year-end holidays, he added.

Leong said the programmes were to reward loyal customers and was also a good catalyst to attract people to travel.

"This initiative acknowledges the current economic situation and the need to provide more affordable and transparent air fares for business and leisure travellers," he said.

The average load factor for the airline is currently at around 70 percent.

Firely has five aircraft at present and will be getting another five by April next year and onwards.

It plans to introduce more new destinations with additional flights in the Growth Triangle like Padang, Jambi, Pelambang and Batam.

On the Singapore route, Leong said the airline was still hoping to operate the route and waiting for the government's response.

The airline operates under FlyFirely Sdn Bhd, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines.


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Old December 16th, 2008, 11:42 AM   #234
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The country's community airline, Firefly

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Old December 17th, 2008, 10:25 PM   #235
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Zero airfare promotion from Firefly
Updated: Tuesday December 16, 2008 MYT 5:56:22 PM

PETALING JAYA: Travellers will be able to enjoy zero airfare for unutilised tickets put on sale by Firefly under its ‘Totally Un-fare’ promotion.

Firefly managing director Eddy Leong, who said there was an average of 40% of surplus tickets in any one flight, added that travellers would have to book their tickets at least 21 days in advanced to enjoy the promotion. However, those who travelled during peak periods, including festive seasons, and school and year-end holidays would have to pay the normal fares.

“This new fare structure is to encourage people to travel during off-peak seasons to regional and domestic destinations,” he said at a press conference here on Tuesday.

Leong said the surplus tickets would be made available based on the company’s forecast and market feedback. The cheapest deals start from RM35 one way from Subang to Penang, Kota Baru, Kuala Terengganu and Langkawi. The fare is inclusive of administration fee and airport tax.

Travellers can start booking their tickets from today till Dec 23. The travel period will be between Jan 1 and April 30.

Leong also announced the removal of the fuel surcharge on tickets to all of Firefly’s destinations, both domestic and international.

Travellers are expected to save RM27 one way on fuel surcharge for domestic destinations while the fuel surcharge savings varies for international destinations.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 10:27 PM   #236
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Firefly will continue flying to present destinations
Wednesday December 17, 2008

Fir efly’s destinations are still lucrative as it caters to people who travel to
nearby places for holiday, meeting relatives or for university students

PETALING JAYA: Firefly will continue to service the Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand markets despite the current global market slowdown, says FlyFirefly Sdn Bhd managing director Eddy Leong.

“So far, we have not been affected by the slowdown. We will proceed with our strategy to cater only to these countries for the moment as demand is still high,” he told a press conference to announce the Firefly Totally Un-Fare travel discount programme yesterday.

Firefly’s destinations were still lucrative as it was catering to people who wanted to fly to nearby places for holiday, meeting relatives or for university students, Leong said.

He said travelling by road and rail had been the only mode of affordable travel for the public masses for a long time. But now, it was no longer the case as Firefly had made it much more economical to fly.

“With affordable ticket prices, we are pushing for more domestic travel too as Malaysia has a lot of interesting places to go for holiday. This is part of our effort with Tourism Malaysia to boost local tourism,” he said.

At the recent announcement in the World Travel Mart in London, Firefly said it would serve the long-haul stopover travellers to Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.

With an estimated 20 million tourist arrivals to the country next year, the airline was dedicated to encourage travellers from around the world to extend their holidays to Firefly’s destinations, he said.

Currently, Firefly has five European-made ATR72-500s aircraft, flying from Subang and Penang.

Another five new planes will be added next year in its business expansion plan to include new destinations in Singapore, Sumatra and Thailand.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 10:28 PM   #237
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Firefly already cash positive
17-12-2008: by Joy Lee May Yen

SUBANG: FlyFirefly Sdn Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines System Bhd (MAS), is already operating as a cash positive entity and expects to grow profitability next year, said its managing director Eddy Leong.

“We have broken even from a cash perspective. But from a profit and loss standpoint for this year and last year, we had marginal losses. But we have no problems cash flow-wise,” Leong said after its media briefing on the “un-fare” and “un-fuel surcharge” programmes yesterday.

“We aim to make a profit next year and we are driving our revenue through these programmes and also through our new aircraft. So, it is definitely achievable,” he said.

Firefly, which was launched in April 2007, has removed fuel surcharge for all its destinations in line with the drop in global oil prices. As for its “un-fare” programme, Firefly would offer deals that allow people to buy tickets from as low as RM35 for a one-way trip.

Leong said the removal of fuel surcharge would not affect its earnings as it would be offset by higher sale of seats with the lower ticket prices. Currently, Firefly’s average load factor is about 70%. Leong does not foresee any drop in its load factor next year.

He also said Firefly did not expect any slowdown in business amid the financial crisis as its flights were not solely catered to those on leisure trips.

“It is because of our network. Our passengers are people like business people and students. So, we are quite insulated from the slowdown. The slowdown mainly affects leisure but people are flying closer to home now. So, actually we have benefited from it,” he said.

On top of that, Firefly’s new aircraft, the 72 seat-ATR72-500, has proved its efficiency in fuel usage and would increase its revenue potential by 44% due to its additional 22 seats compared with its Fokker F50 planes previously, Leong said.

It has five aircraft at present and would be getting another five by April next year. On the Singapore route, Leong said the airline was still hoping to operate the route and was waiting for the government’s response.

It also plans to expand its base to Kota Kinabalu in 2011 and Johor Bahru depending on the development of Iskandar Malaysia. Firefly currently flies from two hubs, Penang and Subang.

It would introduce more destinations next year with additional flights to Padang, Jambi, Palembang and Batam in Indonesia.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 10:57 PM   #238
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New look for KLIA’s East Zone
Thursday December 18, 2008

Come on in: Bashir taking a tour of the L’Occitane boutique.

THE first phase of the 14-month Satellite Retail Optimisation Project (SROP) at the KL International Airport (KLIA) was officially launched last week.

The SROP, a shopping experience at the satellite building, is being carried out with a phase-by-phase approach to minimise disruption to the airport’s operations.

There are four zones under the project – East Zone, which was opened recently, the South Zone that is currently under renovation, the North Zone and the West Zone.

The transformation of the East Zone began in May and was completed as scheduled on Oct 17.

The opening of the East Zone is focused on making the shopping experience at KLIA more exciting.

Choc Stop International, Dome, Eraman Malaysia, Harrods, Made in Malaysia, Sports and Luggage, Tie Rack and new additions to the commercial family at KLIA – L’Occitane, My Gadgets and Pusrawi Medicare – are some of the outlets at the newly opened East Zone.

“The launch of the new East Zone also signals the start of the second phase of the ongoing KLIA Shopping Campaign launched in August, which offers up to a total of RM2.7mil worth of prizes to shoppers at both the KLIA and the LCCT-KLIA,’’ Malaysia Airports managing director Datuk Seri Bashir Ahmad said.

He said the KLIA Shopping Campaign and SROP were aimed at rewarding shoppers while providing them with a competitive retail experience that surpassed other airports in terms of variety and price.

Enthralled: Guests at the launch having
a closer look at the chocolate-making process.

“With the special promotions and, especially, the increase in the variety of offerings, shoppers at KLIA will have a more exciting and enriched shopping experience,’’ Bashir said.

He said during the renovation period of the new East Zone wing, outlets there were temporarily relocated so that they could carry out their daily operations at the satellite building as usual.
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Old December 19th, 2008, 08:29 PM   #239
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LCCT to handle 15m passengers per year: MAHB
Published: 2008/12/20

THE new international arrival hall at the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) will be able to handle 15 million passengers per annum once it is fully operational in March next year.

In a statement in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) said the hall, which was operational since December 15, would allow international passengers to experience a better and more spacious area.

It said the new arrival hall was part of the RM160 million new wing constructed under the LCCT-KLIA expansion plan.

The new wing is expected to be completed in March next year, it said. MAHB senior general manager, Datuk Azmi Murad, said the expansion was in line with MAHB’s objective to continuously improve its services and facilities to provide better airport experience for passengers and airport users.

LCCT-KLIA currently houses AirAsia, Thai AirAsia, AWAIR, AirAsia X, Cebu Pacific Airways and Tiger Airways. — Bernama
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Old December 20th, 2008, 08:13 AM   #240
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Ong: No space for Ipoh airport extension
Saturday December 20, 2008 TheStar

IPOH: The runway of the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport cannot be extended due to the lack of space, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat.

The airport, currently under-utilised, was surrounded by mountains and adjacent to densely-populated residential areas, said Ong.

“If we talk about extending the airport runway, do you have the space for the extension? We certainly can’t extend it vertically,” he said.

Speaking to reporters after attending the Ipoh Timur MCA division’s 59th anniversary dinner on Thursday, Ong said the Federal Government was not facing financial constraints nor did it lack commitment in extending the airport runway.

Earlier this month, Perak executive councillor in charge of transport Nga Kor Ming had reportedly urged the Government to fulfil its promise to improve and expand the airport.

Ong, who is also MCA president, stressed that his ministry had never held the view that Ipoh be bypassed in whatever development plans.

“In fact, Ipoh was chosen as a key destination for our railway transportation,” he said, citing the double-tracking railway project as an example.

“Now we are on the threshhold of bringing new changes to Ipoh and Kinta Valley. Hopefully, by the time the double-tracking project is completed, Perak people can reap more economic returns,” he added.

On Nga’s suggestion that the Government hand over the authority of the airport if it was incapable of developing it, Ong said Nga was playing populist politics.

“The way he spoke and presented the argument shows he is ignorant of the basic requirement of an airport,” he said, adding that any extension of the airport runway needed to be International Civil Aviation Organisa- tion (ICAO)-compliant.

Ong noted that while there were airlines flying into the airport not too long ago, the services were stopped abruptly.

“It’s not that we didn’t try. The airlines stopped and pulled out as there was not enough passenger and cargo load,” he added.

Last edited by nazrey; December 20th, 2008 at 08:27 AM.
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