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Old March 11th, 2009, 01:10 PM   #341
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Airport plan to boost Penang hub role
Published: 2009/03/11

THE proposed expansion of the Penang International Airport in Bayan Lepas received the thumbs up from both the Malaysian American Electronics Industry (MAEI) and the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (northern region).

“We hope the expansion plan will allow the existing airport to double up as a terminal for low-cost carriers as these tend to prosper during economically hard times,” FMM northern branch chairman Datuk O.K. Lee said.

MAEI chairman Datuk Wong Siew Hai said the expansion will enhance the state’s position as a logistics hub.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 01:12 PM   #342
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New LCCT ready in 2nd half of 2011
Published: 2009/03/11

The new Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) is slated for completion by the second half of 2011, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Bashir Ahmad said today.

He said the new LCCT is expected to handle 30 million passengers a year vis-a-vis 15 million currently.

"We've found the location and will be announcing it at the right time. It will be near the main terminal. It's a very good location. The new terminal should be ready by the second
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Old March 11th, 2009, 01:13 PM   #343
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A welcome relief for aviation industry players
By Presenna NambiarPublished: 2009/03/11

AVIATION industry players say the government's move to halve landing charges for all airlines over the next two years is a "welcome relief" to an industry already fraught with trouble.

"This is wonderful news. It's great that the government is stimulating demand in areas such as aviation that has a high multiplier effect on the country's economy. This is positive for the economy," Malaysia Airlines group managing director Datuk Seri Idris Jala said via email yesterday.

A study done by Khazanah Nasional Bhd and Bain Consulting shows that aviation has a multiplier effect of 12.5. This means a ringgit spent generates RM12.5 for the economy.

Jala said the government could help further by increasing advertising and promotion efforts overseas and by reintroducing stop-over allowances.

AirAsia Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes said via a phone interview that he appreciated the government's initiative and looks forward to more incentives to attract more airlines to operate from Malaysia.

Air France-KLM country manager for Malaysia Estee Ng suggested that the government looks at maintaining passenger service charges (PSC) for travellers.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd's approved restructuring plans have renewed fears the government may raise PSC charges this year.

On the government's announcement that MAHB would spend RM2 billion to build a new low-cost carrier terminal at Kuala Lumpur International Terminal and RM250 million to expand Penang International Airport, Fernandes said he hopes the government will develop regional airports such as Langkawi.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 01:16 PM   #344
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Malacca gets nod for RM65m runway extension
By Vasantha GanesanPublished: 2009/03/11

THE Malacca state government has received the green light from the federal government to extend the runway at Batu Berendam Airport, which is slated for completion in six months.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Mohd Rustam said that the extension at the airport, which will be renamed Malacca International Airport, will cost RM65 million.

The extension is to accommodate larger carriers like Boeing B737 and Airbus A320, in line with its goal of making the historical state a top tourist destination.

"The runway will be extended to 2,200m from 1,800m now. It will cost RM65 million and the state will take a loan from the federal government for this," Mohd Ali said.

This is in addition to the RM135 million grant given to renovate and refurbish the airport, which is operated by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd.

Mohd Ali said budget carrier AirAsia has indicated that it will fly to three destinations in Sumatra, Indonesia, namely Pekan Baru, Bukit Tinggi and Medan, from Malacca, once the runway is ready.

"After that, AirAsia plans to fly to Penang and Langkawi and a year after that to Jakarta, Palembang, Balik Papan and Kuching (from Malacca)," he said after witnessing an agreement-signing ceremony between Casa del Rio (M) Sdn Bhd and Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Bhd, and Sin Seong Hin Sdn Bhd.

"Firefly will also be coming in. We now only have Riau Airlines (operating at the airport)," he said, adding that he hopes other charter flights will also operate out of Malacca International Airport.

Mohd Ali said the state recorded a total of 7.2 million tourists last year, of which 6 million were domestic tourists. In the first two months of this year, Malacca has already welcomed 600,000 visitors.

He added that some 70,000 foreign patients sought medical treatment at the state.

"This is only 0.1 per cent of the 7 million rich people who are staying in Sumatra. We need to focus more on Sumatra ... with the new Malacca International Airport, we hope more patients will come here," he said.
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Old March 12th, 2009, 04:11 PM   #345
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A shot in the arm for Penang
Published: 2009/03/12

The RM250 million allocation to expand the Penang International Airport, part of the RM60 billion fiscal stimulus package announced on Tuesday, will serve as a shot in the arm for the island-state during these trying times.

The state's economy, anchored on technology and tourism, has received a beating of late via numerous announcements of layoffs by multinational companies operating in its manufacturing sector.

And just as Penang began to train its focus on the tourism sector to insulate the blow from the job cuts by technology giants, national turboprop operator Firefly dropped a bombshell that it is temporarily suspending several flights operating out of the Penang airport.

Flyfirefly Sdn Bhd managing director Eddy Leong said the move is part of the company's network rationalisation, in view of the current economic times.

He gave his assurance that the airline is committed, in the long run, to connect Penang to a region of 70 million people (covering Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Southern Thailand and Singapore) and to provide feeder services to all airlines operating medium- and long-haul flights from and into Penang.

The expansion of the Penang International Airport is also a component of the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) blueprint, launched two years ago.

The proposed expansion is to enable the airport in Bayan Lepas to become the premier air cargo hub within the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle, supporting industrial parks and creating premium overseas markets for perishable high-value pro-ducts.

According to the blueprint, the planned expansion of the airport's facilities will include developing new passenger and cargo terminals and the addition of a new runway to cater for increased traffic.

"We are very happy with this announcement since it helps us with efforts to transform Penang into a logistics hub," Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) senior vice-president for manufacturing and industry Chris Tan said.

He said the NCIA and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) were the two agencies which have been rooting for the Penang airport expansion project, since it complements MAHB's masterplan for Penang.

Once the project is completed, Penang will not only be able to boast of superior airport infrastructure to transport its high-technology exports, but also perishable food like high-value seafood items and agriculture products from the northern states.

In expanding air links to bring in more international visitors into the NCER, the airport expansion can also accommodate the needs of low-cost carriers.

"We hope the expansion plan will include provisions where the existing airport can double up as a terminal for low-cost carriers, since low-cost airlines tend to prosper during economically-hard times," FMM northern branch chairman Datuk O.K Lee said.

"Firefly hopes the Penang airport will be modified to better suit the operations of turbo-prop aircraft," said Leong, "and we believe that keeping airport operators independent of airlines is the correct way forward."

Apart from Firefly, other carriers using the Penang airport include MAS, AirAsia, Cathay Pacific, Thai Airways International, Lion Air, Singapore Airlines, China Southern Airlines, China Airlines, Kartika Airlines and Sriwijaya Air.

The Penang International Airport was expanded in 2001 to accommodate an annual capacity of five million passengers.

In reality, the airport can accommodate only slightly more than three million passengers a year because space meant for transit passengers has been leased to duty-free shops.

The state can also thank Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for announcing the 50 per cent rebate on landing charges (for two years effective April 1) to all airlines that operate from Malaysia, since this incentive can now be dangled in welcoming more international arrivals into the NCER.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 01:25 PM   #346
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MAS may operate at new LCCT
Published: 2009/03/14

Malaysia Airlines is not ruling out the possibility operating at the newly proposed Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) to be built by Malaysia Airports Holdings.

“We will see. There is a long time to come, and in fact there is a long time to build it. In the meantime, we’ll have to look at all (aspects),” said its managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Idris Jala.

He was met on the sidelines of the GLCs Transformation Progress Review March 2009 meet yesterday.

He was asked whether MAS would consider operating at the new LCCT which is expected to start construction by middle of this year and completed by the thirdquarter of 2011.

On whether MAS would be involved in LCC operation, Idris said, “We will eventually venture into LCC operations. That is something we may consider in the future but not at the moment.”

“You never say no to things in the future. We always look at options,” he added.

"Whatever makes commercial sense for us, we will look at them favourably."

Asked if MAS might operate at the new airport as LCC could cut operations cost, Idris said, “We will have to see because they have not built it so we don’t know what is the charges they will put at the new LCCT.

“We have not seen the design. They haven’t told us what charges will be put on...landing and parking charges, we do not know.”

Idris said only after the airport operator has produced the blueprint for the new terminal, and the details are provided, MAS will be able to respond accordingly.

Whether MAS has a wish list for the new LCCT, he said: "We didn’t give the wish list. All we know is it is important to have level playing field.”

It was reported that a wish list been given by AirAsia Bhd, the LCC, to MAHB.

Idris noted that Firefly, a LCC unit of MAS, would continue operating in Subang Airport.

“That is the current plan and it will continue to operate there.”
Firefly Sdn Bhd is a wholly owned subsidiary of the national carrier. - Bernama
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Old March 14th, 2009, 01:28 PM   #347
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Work on new LCCT to start in mid-year
Saturday March 14, 2009
By YVONNE TAN



Datuk Seri Bashir Ahmad briefing the media on the new LCCT-KLIA.

MAHB expects RM2bil project to be completed in 2011

Construction of the new RM2bil low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) is expected to commence by mid-year for completion in the third quarter of 2011, says builder and operator Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB).

MAHB managing director Datuk Seri Bashir Ahmad says the project will be funded by the company via loans.

“We have no debts so it is no problem to raise funds,” he said at a media briefing in Subang yesterday.

To this end, Bashir says the company already has the offer letters.

Contracts to build the new terminal will be tendered out over the next few months, he adds.

The new LCCT, to be built near the KL International Airport (KLIA), will be able to handle up to 30 million passengers when operational, with the potential for 45 million passengers per annum.

Low-cost carrier AirAsia Bhd and Sime Darby Bhd’s proposal to build a new LCCT costing RM1.6bil in Labu, Negri Sembilan, was rejected by the Government last month.

Bashir says the current LCCT will be converted into a cargo terminal.

As for possible lower charges at the new LCCT, Bashir says: “All aeronautical charges will be decided by the Government.

“Our charges are not related to the cost of the new terminal. They (charges) do not go up automatically when we build new terminals.”

To a question on why the cost is higher than the originally proposed RM1.6bil by AirAsia and Sime Darby, Bashir says this is because the terminal will be “bigger” and with more facilities.

“The design of the terminal, to be located 1.5km away from the main KLIA terminal, will have to be worked out but the construction of the new runway can start immediately.

“We are talking to the airlines and finalising the design,” he says, adding that the terminal can be used by both low-cost and full service carriers.

“AirAsia has seen the location of the new LCCT and is happy with it. It has made it clear that it doesn’t want to use aerobridges. We will take its views into consideration but will also be talking to other airlines which may want to use aerobridges. We will see how we can provide that.”

To a question, Bashir says MAHB is in discussions with Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd to extend its current connection to the new LCCT.

On the 50% rebate in landing charges as announced in the mini budget earlier this week, Bashir says it will not affect the company’s bottomline. “We are working with the Government on a revenue-sharing basis for the landing charges,” he says.

MAHB currently makes RM180mil to RM200mil a year from landing charges.

Responding to another question, Bashir says MAHB had in August 2007 appointed the joint-venture company of Netherlands Airport Consultants BV and KLIA Consultancy Services for the preparation of a National Airport Masterplan for the country, which included the development of a LCCT.

“It took us 16 months to study this (LCCT plan). We did it professionally,” he adds.

Separately, he says he anticipates “0% growth” this year for its airports, owing to the economic slowdown which will affect passenger movement. “We do expect to remain profitable.”

Other than KLIA and other domestic and international airports in Malaysia, MAHB also owns stakes in several foreign airports, including India’s Delhi International Airport. It also has other businesses, such as retail.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 01:31 PM   #348
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New LCCT to be fully funded with loans
By Jeeva ArulampalamPublished: 2009/03/14

[IMG]http://www.**************/show/2009/03/14/01/31/2812612_410x304.jpg[/IMG]

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) (5014) will fully fund the construction of the new permanent low cost-carrier terminal at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang with borrowings.

The airport operator is confident it can complete the new terminal and a new runway within two-and-a-half years and not exceed the estimated cost of RM2 billion.

"Under normal circumstance, we can build a runway and a terminal within three years. So we target to be fully operational by (third quarter of) 2011," managing director Datuk Seri Bashir Ahmad told a media briefing on the development of the new permanent LCCT held in Subang yesterday.

Bashir said MAHB has received loan offer letters for its funding needs and could also use its RM950 million loan from CIMB Islamic Bank.

The permanent LCCT will be located to the west of the main KLIA terminal building, roughly 1.5km in distance.
The new terminal building will be 150,000 square metres and can hold up to 30 million passengers per year, with the capacity for expansion of up to 45 million passengers per year.

Some of its features include a multi-storey car park of 6,000 bays, aircraft parking apron of 70 bays, land-side connection to the main terminal building, and an integrated transport hub inclusive of taxi stations and a bus terminal.

"We have had discussions with (Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd) to extend the line to the new LCCT and they have expressed interest (to undertake the line extension)," said Bashir, adding that this would be a separate cost from the RM2 billion estimated.

Construction on the proposed third runway (Runway 3) will begin by middle of this year and will be 4km in length. The average cost to build a runway is RM500 million.

MAHB is also building full parallel taxiways for Runways 2 and 3 for quick aircraft turnaround time.

MAHB said another site across the new LCCT had been identified if the need for expansion arises in future. That can handle another 25 million passengers.

On the new aeronautical charges, which include landing, parking and passenger service charges, Bashir said the fees will be decided by the government and announced in due course.

"Any increase or decrease in landing charges will be decided by the government. But it is not related to the cost of the building or the runway. If landing charges go up, it will do so across the board because maintenance fees have increased," he said.

Bashir said the decision to build the new LCCT was under its National Airport Master Plan, which was being prepared by its appointed consultants over the last 16 months.

Airlines that currently operate out of the temporary LCCT include AirAsia, AirAsia X, Tiger Airways and Cebu Pacific.

Bashir said that the new LCCT will be open to other carriers seeking to use the facility.

"Low-cost airlines such as Silk Air or JetStar that fly to the main terminal can also use the new LCCT," he said.

Once the new LCCT is developed, the temporary LCCT will be used for cargo operations.

Bashir said the new permanent LCCT was costlier in comparison to AirAsia Bhd's proposed RM1.6 billion KLIA-East project due to the size of the facility.

"AirAsia was looking at 90,000 square metres. Also, we are having additional features such as the taxiways," Bashir said, adding that the cost of a terminal was determined by the comfort level and cost per square metre.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 01:32 PM   #349
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New RM2b LCCT to be ready by Q3 2011
Published: 2009/03/13

THE newly proposed Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) to be built by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd is expected to start construction by the middle of this year and completed by the third quarter of 2011.

The airport, which will cost RM2 billion, is expected to be fully operational after that and would be able to cater to 30 million passengers per annum (mppa), with the potential to expand to 45 mppa, MAHB managing director Datuk Seri Bashir Ahmad said today.

He said the full cost of the project, of which its construction would be done via open tender, would be borne by MAHB via loans.

"We will be funding it via loans as we have no debt right now. We have received letters of offer (for loans)," he told reporters at a briefing in Petaling Jaya.

The current LCCT would be converted into a cargo terminal, he added.

He said the cost of the LCCT included a 150,000 sq m new terminal building located 1.5 km west of the main terminal, 70 bays of aircraft parking, a proposed third runway which will be situated only 1.5 km from the second runway, and full parallel taxiways for quick turnaround between both runways.

Bashir said the airport operator was in talks with AirAsia Bhd about the project and added that the low-cost airline was pleased with the progress.

"AirAsia will enjoy greater operational efficiency with the second and proposed third runway just 1.5 km apart. The proposed new runway is also big enough for a B747 to land," he said.

He added that they were also in talks with Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd to extend the connection to the new proposed LCCT, although it would not be included in the total cost of the project.

Asked on why MAHB's cost was bigger than the one proposed earlier for the Labu LCCT, Bashir said this LCCT was bigger and has taken into account passengers comfort in the long-term.

If needed, an adjacent parcel of land to the proposed site could be used for further expansion and could cater for another 25 million passengers.

He added that the soft ground on which the new terminal was to be built was also not a cause for concern as both the existing runways and Bunga Raya Complex were also located on soft ground.

Basir also denied that the issue of Labu LCCT had prompted MAHB to speed up the progress of this new LCCT.

"It took us 16 months to study this and the deadline for it was last December. We did it (study) professionally," he said.

On another note, Bashir said MAH had also proposed to the government the 50 per cent rebate on landing charges as announced in the recent Second Stimulus Package.

He said the rebate, applicable to all airlines, would be of help as the airline industry was going through a difficult time.

"However, this won't affect our bottomline as we are working with the government on a revenue sharing basis for the landing charges," he said.

MAHB makes about RM180-200 million annually from landing charges.

Asked if the airport operator would be reducing other costs such as airport tax since the proposed terminal was for low-cost business, Bashir said aeronautical charges (such as landing and parking fees and tax) would be decided by the government.

He also anticipated that all airports operated by MAHB would have zero per cent growth this year due to the current economic slowdown that has affected passenger movement generally.

However, Bashir expects MAHB to remain profitable following other businesses such as retail. - Bernama
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Old March 14th, 2009, 01:35 PM   #350
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LCCT plans unveiled
New LCCT will handle 45 million passengers yearly
Saturday March 14, 2009
By LESTER KONG

[IMG]http://www.**************/show/2009/03/14/01/35/2812641_350x272.jpg[/IMG]



PETALING JAYA: KL International Airport’s new Low Cost Carrier Terminal, located about 1.5km from the main terminal, will be able to handle 45 million passengers yearly.

A new 4km runway will also be built with the LCCT, which is expected to be operational in the third quarter of 2011.

Unveiling Malaysia Airports Holding Bhd’s (MAHB) plans for the new LCCT, its chief executive officer Datuk Seri Bashir Ahmad said work on the RM2bil project would begin in June.

“It will be designed to handle up to 45 million passengers a year and be connected to the main terminal via an extended Express Rail Link (ERL) and a new side road,” Bashir said at a press conference yesterday.

“With the new LCCT, KLIA would be able to handle up to 90 million passengers a year.”

The present LCCT would then be reverted into a cargo handling terminal.

The new LCCT, spread over 150,000 sq metres, would be larger than the main terminal with retail and food outlets to ensure passenger comfort.

There are plans for a 6,000-vehicle parking complex, parking bays for 70 planes and an integrated transport hub for buses and taxis.

“We are also taking the views of various airlines into account,” Bashir said, adding that AirAsia had requested at least 95,000 sq metres for the new LCCT.

Bashir said 10,000 sq metres of the space would go towards setting up AirAsia’s headquarters, which would be sited away from airport operation areas.

He said landing and aircraft parking fees and airport tax would most likely remain unchanged.

“The Government decides on all aeronautical charges and airport tax, not us,” he said, adding that MAHB would fund the project through loans.

“We have received letters of offers from several sources,” he said, adding that tenders would be called in the next few months.

Bashir added that KLIA’s master plan took into account long-term use of infrastructure and land to handle up to 120 million passengers annually. Currently, only 30% of the entire complex and land are used.

A joint proposal to build a new low cost carrier terminal in KLIA [email protected], Negri Sembilan, by Sime Darby and AirAsia was rejected.

Bashir said the plan to build the new LCCT near the main terminal was part of the National Airport Master Plan for Malaysia to strategically develop all 24 airports in the country over 50 years.

“This is to ensure KLIA will grow into a significant regional hub.”
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Old March 14th, 2009, 01:48 PM   #351
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Malaysian Airport
by nckeeys
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nckeey/3350893141/

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Old March 14th, 2009, 01:49 PM   #352
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Cut in landing charges won't affect MAHB bottom line
By Jeeva ArulampalamPublished: 2009/03/14

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) (5014) says the 50 per cent cut in landing charges at all 39 airports it operates in the country will not affect its bottom line.

Landing fees are paid by airlines and vary according to aircraft weight.

"In a year, we get about RM180 million to RM200 million in landing charges. But under the restructuring arrangement with the government, there is a formula in which we can offset (the income loss) against the revenue contribution," said its managing director Datuk Seri Bashir Ahmad, but declined to reveal the workings of the formula.

He was commenting on the incentive announced in the mini-budget on Tuesday, designed to help ease airlines' burden as the aviation industry is hit by the global economic crisis.

This is not the first time Malaysia has come in and help ease pressures on airlines. In April 2003, the government had slashed landing and parking charges at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang by half, for one year, as the aviation industry was hit by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome outbreak.
Bashir said this time, the move to cut landing fees for two years from April 1 2009 was initiated by the airport operator.

"We spoke to the government and said that since the airline industry was going through a difficult time, we should provide support to the aviation industry. The best way to lend support in an equitable manner was by reducing landing charges," Bashir told a media briefing on the development of the new low-cost carrier terminal in Subang yesterday.

Meanwhile, MAHB has revised downwards its figure for passenger traffic through its 39 airports this year, predicting growth to be flat, from the previously forecast 1 to 2 per cent, due to the economic slowdown which has caused travellers to tighten their belts and reduce air travel. Passenger growth for January was two per cent.

"While low-cost carrier AirAsia Bhd may see growth, the full-service carriers are seeing a dip (in traffic). So, we are expecting zero growth for all our airports," said Bashir.

However, he said MAHB will remain profitable driven by its non-aeronautical revenue like retail activities.
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Old March 17th, 2009, 03:27 PM   #353
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MAHB Hopes To Recoup LCCT Investment In 2 Years
March 17, 2009 18:35 PM

SEPANG, March 17 (Bernama) -- Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) hopes to recoup its investment on the low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) in two years, supported by rising passenger traffic and demand for retail as well as food and beverage, said its senior general manager Datuk Azmi Murad today.

The company spent RM108 million to set up a 35,290 square metres LCCT in Sepang and allocated another RM124 million for the expansion of international departure and arrival halls, including public concourse, government offices, curbside and parking area.

Scheduled to be completed in April this year, the expansion programme would enable the handling of 15 million passengers a year from the current 10 million.

"We believe that the passenger traffic, especially on the international flights will continue to grow as the low cost carrier operator continues to mount for new destinations and increase flight frequencies, and thus will encourage more retail and food and beverage activities," he told reporters during a media tour of the international departure hall in LCCT, today.

"We are also bringing in more retail outlets and restaurants here via the expansion programme, and with more revenue collection from airport charges and landing charges, it would help to recover our investments," he said.

Azmi said MAHB expects the LCCT passenger traffic to grow by 30 percent this year while the aircraft movement to reach 300 flights per day.

In 2008, the airport operator handled around 10.139 million passengers, of which 5.088 million passengers were from international flights.

Asked whether there was interest from other low cost carriers to have an operation in LCCT, Azmi said the terminal was open to any no-frills airlines and MAHB was on the look out for opportunities.

Located 20 kilometres away from the KL International Airport Main Terminal Building, the LCCT was opened for familiarisation on March 9, 2006 and was fully operational by March 23, 2006.

It is managed and operated by Malaysia Airports (Sepang) Sdn Bhd.

-- BERNAMA
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Old March 18th, 2009, 03:45 PM   #354
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Senai airport to woo more cargo operators
Published: 2009/03/18

THE Senai Airport Terminal Services (SATS) will aggressively court more air cargo companies to set up operation at Malaysia's southernmost airport and along with it increase Senai's connectivity.

Its deputy chief executive officer, Shahrull Alam Shah, said increased connectivity at the Senai airport will enable Malaysia to address the longstanding problem of cargo leakages to neigbouring country.

He said more than 30 per cent of Malaysia's cargo was shipped overseas through the neighbouring country's airport and port.

"Many shippers are still sending their cargoes through the neigbouring country, but as we (SATS) increase the connectivity at Senai airport, we can entice them to use our airport instead.

"As we develop our connectivity, hopefully we can plug the (nation's cargo) leakages," he told reporters after the signing of an agreement between SATS and United States-besed Logistics Air Inc in Johor Baru today.

The agreement was for the relocation of the company's main overseas base from RKT International Airport in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Senai airport. - Bernama
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Old March 18th, 2009, 03:46 PM   #355
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MAHB: Investment in temporary LCCT to be recouped in mid-2011
By Jeeva ArulampalamPublished: 2009/03/18

AIRPORT operator Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) (1171) hopes to recoup the RM124 million it invested to expand the temporary low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) in Sepang by mid-2011.

The return on investment will be driven by growth in passenger traffic and more commercial revenue due to additional retail and food and beverage outlets at the LCCT.

MAHB senior general manager of operations Datuk Azmi Murad said the expansion, carried out over the last 11 months, will double the terminal's floor space to 64,067 square metres to cater for some 15 million passengers per annum.

The areas affected by the expansion include the international departure and arrival halls, the public concourse, government offices' curbside and the parking area.
"We have seen bigger passenger growth for international flights as opposed to domestic flights. This is why we are focused on expanding the international halls," Azmi said at a press conference to announce the opening of the LCCT's new international departure hall in Sepang yesterday.

Utilisation of the new international departure hall will start today.

Azmi said the international passenger growth was driven by an increase in international flight frequencies and new long-haul routes introduced by low-cost carrier AirAsia.

Overall passenger traffic at the LCCT is expected to grow some 30 per cent this year, from 10.1 million passengers in 2008. There is an equal spread between international and domestic passengers at the terminal, but Azmi said the former was growing far quicker.

"International growth is rising. Historically, passenger movement grew some 33 to 35 per cent at the LCCT but we anticipate a slower growth in domestic travel this year," he said.

The temporary LCCT was in dire need of capacity expansion as it had outgrown its initial capacity of 10 million passenger per annum by last year.

With some RM124 million spent on improving the LCCT, its total development cost now stands at RM232 million.

Azmi added that another RM40 million will be spent on an inline baggage screening facility by August to allow for efficient baggage screening for international flights.

MAHB has roughly two years to recoup its additional investments in the temporary LCCT as the new permanent LCCT is due to be operational by third quarter of 2011.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 02:35 PM   #356
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SATS to woo more cargo operators to Senai airport
Published: 2009/03/19



SENAI Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd (SATS), the operator of Senai International Airport, will aggressively court more air cargo companies to set up operation at Malaysia's southern most airport, and along with it, increase its connectivity.

Deputy chief executive officer Shahrull Alam Shah said increased connectivity at Senai airport will enable Malaysia to address the long-standing problem of cargo leakages to its neigbouring country.

Currently, he said, more than 30 per cent of Malaysia's cargo is shipped overseas through Singapore's airport and port.

"Many shippers are still sending their cargoes through the neigbouring country, but as we (SATS) increase the connectivity at Senai airport, we can entice them to use our airport instead.

"As we develop our connectivity, hopefully we can plug the (nation's cargo) leakages," he said after signing an agreement between SATS and US-based Logistics Air Inc in Johor Baru yesterday.

The agreement, signed with Logistic Air's owner, Kevin Cooyar, was for the relocation of the company's main overseas base from RKT International Airport in the United Arab Emirates to Senai airport.

Logistic Air is SATS' pioneer major customer for the multi- billion ringgit Senai Aviation and Airport City mixed development project announced and launched in June last year.

Shahrull said SATS is also approaching several air cargo operators to operate from Senai airport.

Under the agreement, Logistic Air will initially lease 1.4ha of land for the setting-up of its main base outside the US, with an option to further lease an additional 2.6ha for its future expansion.

According to Shahrull, the deal fits well into SATS' overall Aviation and Airport City development plan.

"Logistic Air's decision to choose Senai airport as its main overseas base clearly demonstrates the potential that they (the company) see in the airport and its location. It will definitely help expedite the development of the Senai Aviation and Airport City into a world-class maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) base," he said.

Meanwhile, Cooyar said the company's relocation to Senai airport was because it wanted to be close to an area of mass travel requirements and cargo activities.

Logistic Air plans to use the airport as its main base overseas for its B747 aircraft for cargo and passenger charters throughout the region. It is also eyeing the growing regional market for pilgrimage charters and United Nations' peacekeepers deployment.

"We foresee the potential of a significant amount of air cargo being generated in the near future from Iskandar Malaysia, which aims to develop the region into a manufacturing and logistics hub," he said.

Presently, Logistic Air owns nine B747 aircraft.

Cooyar said Logistic Air is also looking at the possibility of setting up a parts warehouse facility at Senai airport to service airlines in the region and provide wet and dry lease services and passenger charters.

He added that the company also plans to establish an MRO centre at the airport that is capable of performing aircraft checks and maintenance services. - Bernama
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Old March 20th, 2009, 09:21 PM   #357
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MMC wins shareholders nod to buy SATS
Published: 2009/03/20

MMC Corp Bhd has obtained a 97 per cent majority approval of its shareholders to acquire the Senai Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd (SATS).

The company had received significant resistance from its minority shareholders towards the acquisition, as they expressed concern over the price valuation.

"Although the board had given an assurance that they would be accountable for the valuation, the minority shareholders were not convinced, because of the current environment," Minority Shareholder Watchdog Group (MSWG) chief executive officer Rita Benoy Bushon told reporters today.

She was speaking to reporters after MMC's extraordinary general meeting.

"I expect the board to look at the price valuation again," she added.

In a statement released by MMC Corp, the completion of the acquisition would result in it owning a 100 per cent equity interest in SATS.

For the acquisition, MMC would pay RM1.7 billion in cash, comprising RM580 million for the Senai International Airport and RM1.12 billion for SATS's 2,718 acres of freehold land, slated for development as an Airport City.

"We are acquiring SATS now at an early stage of its growth cycle. The price MMC is paying for the airport operations translates to RM395 per passenger.

"It is 55 per cent lower than the average price transacted for airports of RM870 per passenger, for the past three years," MMC CEO Hasni Harun said.

He said with the acquisition, MMC would own the only privatised airport in the country and it would create value for the group's transport and logistics business.

SATS handled 1.46 million passengers in 2008 -- a 10 per cent growth over the 1.32 million passengers in 2007.

It expects continuing growth, attributable to increasing traffic, mainly driven by Iskandar Malaysia. - Bernama
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Old March 20th, 2009, 10:49 PM   #358
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MMC shareholders say Yes to Senai Airport deal
By Adeline Paul RajPublished: 2009/03/21

MMC Corp Bhd's (2194) shareholders approved its controversial plan to buy Senai Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd (SATS) for RM1.7 billion despite strong objection from minorities.

At an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) yesterday, which dragged on for four hours, minority shareholders were vocal, making it clear they were against MMC paying such a hefty price in the related-party deal.

MMC is owned by Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary, who is also a shareholder in SATS.

"The minorities were very unhappy and almost wanted to stage a walkout. But we managed to tell them not to do so, and vote," said Minority Shareholder Watchdog Group (MSWG) chief executive officer Rita Benoy Bushon, who attended the EGM.

Bushon said the MMC chairman had invoked his discretion to have a poll instead of a vote by hands and, in the end, 97 per cent voted in favour of the deal.
This was because minority shareholders were few in number. The majority of the non-interested parties who could vote on the deal comprised institutional investors.

MMC is to pay RM580 million for SATS' loss-making Senai Inter-national Airport and RM1.12 billion for land which will be developed as an "airport city".

"I'm not against them buying SATS; it's just the price. It's a valuation argument, that's all," a minority shareholder said.

He, and others, was irked that valuations were based on projected values rather than the current value.

Some felt that MMC, which has some RM20 billion debt, should be preserving its cash now that the economy was slowing down. Others felt that it should wait for a better price.

For MMC, the buy enables it to exploit SATS' potential to become a regional cargo and logistics hub.

MMC chief executive officer Hasni Harun did not face the press yesterday, but in a statement reiterated that the SATS purchase was commercially viable and in the long-term interest of the group and stakeholders.

"With this, MMC will own the only privatised airport in the country and it will create value to the group's transport and logistics business," he said.

Asked if she was happy the deal would go through, Bushon replied: "I had expected that the board would have somehow looked at the valuation again."

She said the board had given assurance, however, that it would be accountable for the purchase. The deal is expected to be accretive in two years.
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Old March 25th, 2009, 03:18 PM   #359
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AirAsia, Firefly given more routes to Singapore
By Marina EmmanuelPublished: 2009/03/25

Malaysia's two low-cost carriers (LCCs) have been granted rights to fly to Singapore from several domestic destinations, including Subang and Penang.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat said that the Cabinet had granted permission to turboprop operator Firefly to fly to Singapore from Subang, Penang, Kuantan and Terengganu.

It also allowed AirAsia (5099) to fly to Singapore from Penang in addition to Langkawi, Sandakan and Tawau.

"Based on the applications submitted by both airlines, I felt it was only right and fair to present both to the Cabinet," Ong told Business Times in a telephone interview.

He did not give a time-frame as to when the two airlines could begin servicing the new sectors.
Malaysia has to negotiate bilateral air service agreements with its Singaporean counterpart before the carriers are granted access to the routes.

Ong said that apart from the Penang-Singapore route, AirAsia has also obtained the go-ahead to fly from Kuala Lumpur to four Indian cities: Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkatta and Bangalore.

Sister long-haul low-cost carrier AirAsia X, which has been flying from Kuala Lumpur to some destinations in Australia and, more recently, London, has been granted approval to fly from Kuala Lumpur to Delhi and Mumbai.

It has also been given approval to service additional destinations in China, including Chengdu and Xian.

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Old March 29th, 2009, 06:55 AM   #360
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Kuching International Airport (KIA), Sarawak
by qulay_11

image hosted on flickr


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