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Old March 13th, 2011, 02:51 PM   #781
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Aero Mall to liven up Senai airport
By Business Times



Developments at the Senai International Airport in Johor are expected to accelerate following the set-up of the Aero Mall, a stand-alone and external airport mall.

"There are now RM2.5 billion worth of ongoing projects at the airport area," Senai Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd (SATS) chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Sidik Shaik Osman told Business Times in an interview.

They include the RM2 billion Senai High Tech Park and the Free Zone Logistics and Aerospace Industrial Park.

Sidik said the Aero Mall, which will open on July 1, will set a new wave of development for SATS, which has 1,120ha surrounding the Senai airport.

The RM80 million, 173,338 sq ft mall is an integrated lifestyle complex adjoining the airport. It has 29 retail outlets and 30,000 sq ft piazza area. Some 70 per cent of the lots have been taken up for shopping, entertainment and dining facilities.
Sidik said that there are also plans for a cineplex and a digital complex.

"When we took over the airport in 2003, it was just a building to service passengers flying to Kuala Lumpur. We have expanded service to include flights to Penang, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching, and other facilities.

"Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia operate some 220 flights a week (out of the airport) and we hope that will be increased as we work to grow air traffic and passenger volume," Sidik said.

"Passenger traffic at the airport is now more than two million, including meeters and greeters. We expect this to double in the next three years."

Sidik expects new developments in Iskandar Malaysia in the state to contribute to the airport's growth.

Ongoing projects at Iskandar Malaysia include Legoland, premium factory outlets, universities and hospitals, targeted to be ready by 2012.

"Iskandar is expecting some four million visitors a year. We think this will increase air traffic and passenger volume. The airport can handle up to 4.5 million passengers a year before it requires any expansion."

On the Senai High Tech Park and the Free Zone Logistics, Sidik said that SATS might undertake a fund-raising exercise, in the form of internal funds and loans, to get the projects moving.

He is ambitious about both projects and is confident that they will attract investors.

The high-tech park has drawn interest from investors in the US, Europe and China who are in various sectors, including semiconductor and solar energy.

There are confirmed investments from China's EQ Solar Technology International Sdn Bhd, which will invest US$500 million (RM1.6 billion) to produce solar modules, and leading industrial gas provider MOX-Linde Gases Sdn Bhd, which plans to set up an industrial gas separation plant.

"We have incentives to attract investors. Those who come into the Iskandar region will enjoy low income tax, among other things," Sidik said.

Still, SATS may face stiff competion from Singapore, the KL International Airport and the Port Klang Free Zone, which are also aggressively attracting investors through various incentives.
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Old March 29th, 2011, 05:27 AM   #782
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Kelantan in China-direct flights talk
Published: 2011/03/28
http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_New...cle/index_html

The Kelantan government has entered into a collaborative agreement with a private airline to mount direct charted flights to China in an effort to expand the state's tourism industry.

State Economic Planning, Finance and the Welfare Committee Chairman Datuk Husam Musa said the maiden flight would take off on April 28.

"At the exco meeting today, we have agreed to collaborate with the private airline to have direct flights between Kota Baharu and Chengdu and Kota Baharu and Shichuan, China," he told reporters after the Kelantan state exco meeting chaired by Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat here today.

Husam said the direct flight from Kota Baharu to China will take three-and-a-half hours compared with a flight duration of four hours and 30 minutes from the Kl Internatonal Airport in Sepang. -- Bernama
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Old April 1st, 2011, 10:24 PM   #783
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construction of klia2
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Old April 1st, 2011, 10:25 PM   #784
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when is the completion of klia 2 ?
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 12:21 PM   #785
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by d end of 2012
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Old April 12th, 2011, 04:22 AM   #786
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Malaysia Airports to emphasise on safety, health and environment
Posted on April 12, 2011, Tuesday
http://www.theborneopost.com/?p=118507

KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia Airports Bhd (MAB) will continue with its effort in promoting to its staff the importance of valuing safety, health and the environment with the launching of the safety, health and environment campaign at Terminal One of Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) yesterday.

The campaign was launched by the general manager of MAB, Zainol Mohd Isa.

“MAB aims to improve its operations in a manner that protects the environment, the health and safety of its employees and the public.

“We encourage our workforce to be tactful in the performance of their daily tasks to ensure that they do not only benefit themselves but also ultimately their surroundings as a whole,” he said.

Zainol expressed that making the workplace safe is a joint responsibility of the employers and the workers and the training of employees is the key to achieving successful safety programmes and the management must be committed to invest in safety.

To effectively convey the message of the campaign, MAB has arranged a booth exhibition, a health talk and the planting of trees by its staff.

Present at the launching yesterday was Kota Kinabalu MAB manager Kamaruzzaman Razali.
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Old April 15th, 2011, 05:15 PM   #787
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FireFly negotiates for more ATR 72-500s
Published: 2011/04/15
http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_New...cle/index_html

FireFly is negotiating for additional ATR 72-500s to be delivered gradually till 2015 to fuel its expansion into more secondary routes to continuously strengthen its network, Managing Director, Datuk Eddy Leong said.

The community airline has now a total of 12 ATR 72-500 aircraft, after taking delivery of two recently, he said in a statement, today. - Bernama
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Old April 24th, 2011, 03:33 AM   #788
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Sibu Airport, Sarawak - Malaysia
http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.as...54&sec=sarawak
Way to Sibu airport

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/49678580

Sibu airport upgrade work

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/48800954

Sibu airport terminal (extension start)

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/46208036
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Old April 28th, 2011, 03:37 PM   #789
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MAHB to achieve RM1b earnings early
Published: 2011/04/28
http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_New...cle/index_html

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) may achieve its earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) target of RM1 billion earlier than 2014.

"We hope so, and it depends on this year's performance and next year's," managing director Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad Abdul Majid told reporters after the company's 12th annual general meeting today.

In MAHB's Annual Report 2010, he said commercial development would be the main driver to the group achieving its EBITDA target.

Under the plan, the company should have at least 60 per cent of its revenue come from commercial business through optimising current retail space and focusing on creating new commercial space to attract customers and drive sales.

The company would also provide incentives to attract new airlines to increase both aircraft and passenger related revenue in order to achieve RM3.2 billion in revenue by 2014, Bashir said.

Meanwhile, MAHB chairman Tan Sri Dr Aris Othman said the company was anticipating further changes in the industry landscape following the liberalisation of intra-ASEAN air services agreements and airlines' route expansion.

He said that with the growth of low cost airlines in the region, the company was already seeing increased flights in its airports to regional destinations in other countries.

"Therefore, our key challenge is to ensure that we provide adequate capacity at our airports to cater the expected growth in traffic," he said.

MAHB now expected passenger traffic to grow to 72 million by 2014 as its earlier target of 60 million could be achieved this year, he added. - Bernama
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Old April 29th, 2011, 05:11 AM   #790
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Sultan Azlan Shah Airport
Ipoh, Perak
Quote:
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RM24m saved in airport upgrade
By EDMUND NGO Friday April 29, 2011
http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.as...2854&sec=North

THE Transport Ministry and the Perak Government are expected to save at least RM24mil for the cost of the Sultan Azlan Shah airport upgrading project.

Perak Gerakan chief Datuk Chang Ko Youn said the first package of the project was awarded through an open tender to a company at just RM36mil as compared to the initial projected cost of RM60mil.

“I congratulate the ministry and the state government on being able to reduce the construction cost and start the construction work for the airport smoothly,” he told a press conference.

Work began at the airport this month and the project includes extending the airport’s runway by 200m from the present 1.8km and upgrading the terminal.

Chang said Ipoh needs a more advanced airport with better facilities in order to stimulate the state’s economy especially in the Kinta Valley.

“A better airport and more flights would support the state’s efforts in promoting tourism and getting more investors.

“There are high demands and even with flights from Ipoh to Singapore alone, the passenger-load factor is between 80% to 100%,” he said.

On a separate matter, Chang, who is also Gerakan’s deputy president, said Utusan Malaysia should not have made such racial statements which was against the 1Malaysia concept.

“I disagree with the statements made by Utusan as it increases racial disunity and is against the 1Malaysia concept mooted by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“We need to work towards uniting the people and decreasing racial disharmony and by making such statements, it does not help at all,” he said.
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Old May 11th, 2011, 09:19 AM   #791
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JHB - Senai International Airport (Johor Bharu)

from Nazrey

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/45622142


http://www.mmc.com.my/








http://www.panoramio.com/photo/50555096
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Old May 27th, 2011, 04:18 AM   #792
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MASwings Set To Fly To Brunei, Pontianak Soon
May 25th, 2011

KOTA KINABALU, May 25 (Bernama) -- MASwings, which currently operates within Sabah and Sarawak, is expected to commence flights to Brunei and Pontianak, Indonesia, soon.

Its managing director, Datuk Capt Mohd Nawawi Awang, said MASwings had already submitted the proposal to the Transport Ministry for approval.

"Based on the positive response from the ministry, I'm quite confident that the flights from Kota Kinabalu to Brunei and from Kuching to Pontianak (West Kalimantan) will take off on July 1 or in July," he said during a luncheon with the media here today.

He said if these flights were successful, MASwings planned to introduce flights from Kota Kinabalu to Tawau and Tarakan (East Kalimanan) and also from Kuching to Mulu and Brunei in October.

"Plans are also in the pipeline for other destinations within BIMP-EAGA region and we hope to provide flight services from Sabah and Sarawak to major cities such as Palawan and Mindanao in Southern Philippines as well as Manado in Sulawesi, Indonesia, in the future," he said.

BIMP-EAGA stands for Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), a subregional economic cooperation initiative in Southeast Asia.

Mohd Nawawi said MASwings was aware of the need to improve air connectivity within this region as it was constantly discussed among leaders of the BIMP-EAGA member countries at meetings of the grouping.

Apart from that, he said MASwings would also explore the possibility of embarking on international flights from Sabah and Sarawak with immediate focus being on the Kota Kinabalu-Kuala Lumpur and Kuching-Kuala Lumpur sectors.

"These are some of our future plans and we hope we will be able to make it a reality," he said.

On its domestic service, Mohd Nawawi said MASwings would continue its service to rural destinations for the benefit of the people in Sabah and Sarawak.

"We want MASwings to be the icon for Sabah and Sarawak.

"That's why 90 per cent of the almost 1,300 staff of MASwings are locals from Sabah and Sarawak. We operate in Sabah and Sarawak, and it's only fair that we recruit more locals to work for MASwings," he said.

-- BERNAMA
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Old May 27th, 2011, 04:22 AM   #793
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Flight connects Kuching, Jakarta
Posted on May 26, 2011, Thursday
http://www.theborneopost.com/?p=132802

KUALA LUMPUR: Kuching International Airport (KIA) will offer connectivity to Jakarta through Kal Star Aviation, which made its maiden flight to KIA on Monday.

Utilising their newly furnished Boeing 737-300, with the capacity to carry 148 passengers, the airline has commenced daily flights for the Jakarta-Pontianak-Kuching route, a statement from Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) said.

Managing director of MAHB, Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad, said the service from Jakarta with a stopover at Pontianak, would benefit passengers from Sarawak in terms of choices.

“Malaysia Airports is actively collaborating with the government to ensure that we maximise the effectiveness of our marketing investment to attract new airlines and establish new routes,” he said. —Bernama

This operation takes the total number of airlines operating at KIA to nine currently including Malaysia Airlines. — Bernama
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Old May 27th, 2011, 04:33 AM   #794
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Senai International Airport
image hosted on flickr

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tim_beil/5441217201/


Firefly to use JB for regional routes
Published: 2011/05/19
http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_New...#ixzz1Mn9ZzRyT

Firefly will start flying to regional destinations this year from its southern hub in Johor Bahru (JB), commencing with the flights to two Indonesian cities.

Its managing director, Datuk Eddy Leong, said Firefly would commence operations to Surabaya and Bandung from August and to Bangkok in the fourth quarter of this year.

"These routes are already on sale and the load factor looks promising," he said in a statement in conjunction with the launch of its inaugural flight from JB to Kuching.

Firefly’s FY816 took off at 7.30am from Senai International Airport with a load of 70 per cent and touched down at Kuching International Airport at 8.55am while its load factor on its return flight was 75 per cent.

He said additional domestic flights had also been scheduled between JB and Langkawi as well as JB and Penang in conjunction with the school holidays in the second quarter of this year.

"Johor is a significant part of Firefly’s growth plan as our target market will now expand to mass passengers from the southern region, Singapore, Batam and transit passengers in Sabah and Sarawak," he said.

He said the southern hub routes would also increase accessibility for tourists and business travellers into the commercial development of Iskandar Malaysia.

To date, Firefly has flown 3.6 million passengers with a target to fly one million passengers from the southern hub by end-2012. -- Bernama
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Old May 27th, 2011, 04:33 AM   #795
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Budget airline’s southern hub flies to Kuching
Wednesday May 25, 2011
http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.as...sec=southneast

JOHOR BARU: Budget airline Firefly commenced its inaugural flight from Senai International Airport to Kuching in Sarawak recently.

The twice-daily flight departs from Johor Baru at 7.30am and 6.35pm respectively while the flights from Kuching to Johor Baru are timed at 9.55am and 8.30pm.

The Johor Bahru-Kuching flight marks Firefly’s inaugural route from its southern hub.

From June 16, the airline will commence a twice daily return flight from Johor Bahru to Kota Kinabalu and both East Malaysian routes will operate using the Boeing 737-400 with a seating capacity of 162.

Firefly will go regional from its southern hub in August with flights to Surabaya and Bandung in Indonesia.

The company’s managing director Datuk Eddie Leong said tickets were already for sale and by the end of the year, the airline would commence flights from Johor Baru to Bangkok, Thailand.

“The introduction of Firefly’s services underline our commitment to develop Johor Baru as our southern hub, offering Johoreans more travel choices and contribute significantly to the rapidly developing opportunities in commerce and tourism.

“Johor is a significant part of Firefly’s growth plan as our target market will now expand to mass passengers from the southern region, Singapore, Batam and transit passengers in East Malaysia,” he said.

Additional domestic flights have also been scheduled between Johor Baru and Langkawi as well as Johor Baru and Penang in conjunction with the school holidays in the second quarter of this year.

At Senai, flight FY816 took off at 7.30am with a 70% passenger load and touched down at Kuching International Airport at 8.55am.

The travel trade and media from Johor were among those onboard this inaugural flight.

They were greeted at the airport by children from Pertubuhan Kebajikan Anak-Anak Yatim Negeri Sarawak and Salvation Army Kuching Children’s Home.

Sarawak Tourism Board’s CEO Datuk Rashid Khan led the welcoming party and children who greeted the passengers.

“I am pleased to welcome passengers from Johor Baru to Kuching.

“At the same time, I also look forward to travel with Sarawakians to Johor Baru on Firefly’s return flight,” said Rashid.

To date, Firefly has flown 3.6 million passengers. From its southern hub, the airlines is targeting to fly one million passengers by the end of 2012.
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Old June 16th, 2011, 06:10 PM   #796
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Jetstar to connect more Asian cities, including M’sia
By B.K. SIDHU Thursday June 16, 2011
http://biz.thestar.com.my/archives/2...chongqtcht.JPG

PETALING JAYA: Jetstar Asia plans to add more frequencies and fly to new destinations in Malaysia in the long term in a bid to expand its route network.

“Whatever we do in Kuala Lumpur depends on our long-haul strategy, the growth in passenger loads between cities, and demand.

“Our growth plans will also depend on when we can get the new aircraft, the slots and airport deals,” chief executive officer Chong Phit Lian told StarBiz in an interview in Singapore recently.

“Certainly we want to grow and tap opportunities in this region. We want to connect more cities in China, South Korea and Japan (from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur),” she added.

However, Chong could not say how many flights would be added to the carrier's Malaysian destinations.

Jetstar Asia is part of Australia's Jetstar Group which offers low fares to fly to South-East Asia's most popular leisure destinations. It operates 12 A320 aircraft and has two A330 based in Singapore.

The airline flies to 23 destinations in the Asia-Pacific. It flies to the KL International Airport and Penang from Singapore.

Travellers from Malaysia can fly long haul with Jetstar Asia, but with a stop in Singapore (or Australia) to Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Hobart, Sydney, Launceston, Adelaide, Shantou, Manila and Bali.



“The plan is to add frequency to some destinations that have proven to be popular for connectivity to our long-haul business. So we are exploring new destinations in the region. What we see as popular destinations are Phuket, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Saigon,'' Chong said.

She said its KL-Singapore route was popular as many Singaporeans and Malaysians had relatives and friends on both sides of the border. Jetstar Asia “enjoys strong 70% load capacity”' system wide for this route.

Chong said preload bookings for the second half of the year were “a few percentage points higher than last year”. “For June, we have seen strong single-digit growth,'' she added.

She attributed the growth to the “value that Jetstar Asia provides”.

“Low-fare travel, especially for destinations within the five-hour range, is increasing and so is long haul. The connectivity the airline provides keeps travellers coming back to fly with us,'' she said.

While Chong remains bullish about the airline's outlook, she is also mindful of the competition that would arise following Singapore Airlines' plan to set up a long-haul low-cost carrier in a year's time.

“This confirms what we have done is correct ... it confirms that we have a sustainable (low-cost long-haul) model. We are a few steps ahead.

“No doubt high fuel prices will have an impact on the industry and so will competition, but we will continue to compete to bring value and guarantee low fares,'' she said.
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Old June 17th, 2011, 06:52 AM   #797
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MAS and AirAsia may order 220 new aircraft at Paris Air Show next week
By B.K. SIDHU Friday June 17, 2011
http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story...8&sec=business

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is set to announce new aircraft orders at the Paris Air Show next week, but rival AirAsia is aiming to conclude negotiations so that it can make a landmark aircraft order to double its fleet at the same show, sources said.

Those in the know claim that MAS will likely exercise its option to buy up to 20 B737-800s and the announcement will be made on Tuesday. Based on catalogue prices, each of this new generation aircraft which uses 15% less fuel is priced at US$80.8mil and MAS being a long-term customer may be get discounts. At catalogue prices, the 20 will cost MAS US$1.6bil.

Whether or not MAS will exercise its option to buy 10 more A330-300s is not clear, but a visit to the Airbus plant in Toulouse in France has been planned after the Paris Air Show to view the first of the six A380 aircraft that has gone into the final assembly process.

MAS also plans to order 30 aircraft for its low-cost unit Firefly but details of when it will make that order is unclear.

MAS first ordered 35 B737-800s with an option for 20 more in 2008. Thus far it has taken delivery of four B737-800s and they are being deployed for certain routes. Subsequently it ordered 15 A330-300s with 10 options and has thus far taken delivery of two such aircraft.

MAS managing director Tengku Datuk Azmil Zahruddin said yesterday that “... we may find that we need more planes more quickly'' (given its collaboration with OneWorld airline group and the growth in demand for air travel expected in Asia).

The airline said it would have the youngest fleet by 2015 but to achieve that it needs to exercise its option and place new orders for Firefly pretty soon or it would not get its deliveries on time.

By 2015, MAS wants to have 55 B737-800s, 25 A330-300s and six A380s. Firefly will have 30 B737-800s and six ATRs then.

Its current fleet is a mix of aircraft that is about 15 years old and its challenge is to compete with peers that have the latest generation of aircraft including the A380.

Reports from Europe said AirAsia boss Tan Sri Tony Fernandes was likely to order as many as 200 Airbus jets in a landmark deal shaping up to dominate the Paris Air Show.

“The team is in Europe negotiating the deal for the new aircraft order and the announcement would depend on how fast they can conclude the negotiations. If they are unable, then the announcement will be made after the Paris Air Show, but the aim is to announce it at the air show. They are talking about a big order and it involves the A320neos,'' said a source.

A report said: “Such a deal would be worth US$14bil to US$18bil at list prices, depending on the exact model of aircraft involved, though big plane orders tend to generate significant discounts.''

Fernandes had earlier said he was set to double the size of the nine-year-old airline to rival Southwest Airlines' fleet of more than 500 jets. AirAsia has already ordered 175 of the original design of A320s, of which 86 have yet to be delivered.

Other global airlines are also expected to announce new orders at the air show. Yesterday Airbus got 72 new orders for A320neos from India budget carrier Go Airlines worth US$7bil, and Cebu Air of the Philippines ordered 30 A321neos, a stretched version of the A320 that comes with seven options, worth US$3.8bil.


MAS planes:
The final assembly process at the Airbus Final Assembly Line in Toulouse, France


As for MAS' A380 aircraft, the first aircraft entered the final assembly on June 7. Final assembly of this superjumbo consists of five main phases. “At the first station, front, central, and aft fuselages, wings, horizontal and vertical tail plane (HTP and VTP) are assembled,'' said a report. Then it moves to the second station where all the testing on electric/hydraulic systems, mobile parts and landing gears takes place. In the third phase final ground testing takes place. When the aircraft is ready for its first flight to Hambung in Germany, it would be fitted with its passenger cabin and painted in the MAS livery. The first aircraft will reach Malaysia in April next year.
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Old June 28th, 2011, 04:15 PM   #798
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Quote:
image hosted on flickr

b90 by Ayham_A320, on Flickr
Ministry waiting for Firefly’s application
Tuesday June 28, 2011
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp...&if_height=607

SITIAWAN: The Transport Ministry is still waiting for Firefly’s application to fly direct from Ipoh to Kota Baru, Phuket and Medan, Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said.

He said he had encouraged the low-cost carrier to expand its routes to these destinations several months ago to complement the state’s development.

“Connectivity is definitely good for the economy, bringing in more investment, tourists and a host of downstream activities.

“I have also discussed the matter with Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir,” Kong said here yesterday.

A report in The Star last Friday quoted Perak state executive councillor Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon as saying that flights to these destinations could start by this year if the proposal received the green light.

“Firefly has to first submit its application to fly these routes,” he said, adding that the ministry and state government were receptive to ideas for the state’s development.
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Old June 28th, 2011, 05:06 PM   #799
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nazrey View Post
Hornbill Skyways
http://www.hornbillskyways.com/v2/
Hornbill Skyways is a regional charter helicopter service operating in towns and rural areas in Sarawak, Malaysia. Its business idea was to provide air services to rural areas in Sarawak. Hornbill Skyways also owns 3 fixed-wing aircraft on their fleet:
1 Cessna Citation X (reportedly sold off to other operator,but still in operation)
2 Beechcraft Super King Air , One (9M-WSB) is painted in a revised livery.
image hosted on flickr

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zulu_al...ke/5070519992/
Citation C750
image hosted on flickr

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zulu_al...ke/4403759236/
Eurocopter signs RM9 mln contract to upgrade Hornbill Skyways’ EC135 fleet
Posted on June 24, 2011, Friday
http://www.theborneopost.com/2011/06...-fleet-latest/

KUALA LUMPUR: Eurocopter Malaysia has signed a RM9 million fleet upgrade and retrofit contract for all the five units of EC135 belonging to Hornbill Skyways.

In a statement today, Eurocopter said in addition to retrofitting and upgrading works, the contract also provided for a transfer of technology.

“The job will be completed by June 2012,” it said. The contract was signed at the Paris Air Show. – Bernama
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Old July 1st, 2011, 06:37 PM   #800
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Firefly mulls north, south Asia routes
Published: 2011/07/01
http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_New...cle/index_html

Community airline, Firefly, plans to add new destinations in Northern and Southern Asia within the next five years to offer potential customers more destinations, said managing director Datuk Eddy Leong.

He said the company would explore new routes in North Asia, including Taiwan, Japan and South Korea and the Indian sub-continent in South Asia.

"We will fly beyond Asean as part of our long term plan by offering passenger flights to popular destinations," he told reporters at the launch of Firefly''s inaugural flight to Sibu, Sarawak, here today.

Under a code share partnership with its parent company, Malaysia Airlines, Firefly will operate the Kuala Lumpur-Sibu route, utilising its B737-800 aircraft and the Kuala Lumpur-Sandakan sector from August 1.

Leong said Firefly would also look at other new domestic destinations such as Kuala Lumpur to Kuching, Miri and Bintulu and at the same time, turn the Johor airport into its hub to connect flights to Kuching, Sibu and Surabaya, Indonesia.

"All this is still in the early stages of planning because we must discuss with our parent company, the best way to grow the load factor of existing routes," he added.

He said the commencement of the twice-daily flights between Kuala Lumpur to Sibu, signified Firefly's commitment to provide a direct access from the nation''s capital to the central region of Sarawak.

He said the service offered travel convenience between Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia while also providing an easy domestic connectivity for foreigners visiting the country.

Sibu is Firefly's second destination in Sarawak after Kuching. Flights depart the Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 7.20am and 6.40pm respectively and from Sibu at 9.45am and 9.05pm.

"We are upgrading our system to enable us to offer interlining facilities with Malaysia Airlines for passenger and baggage checks through to the final destination of customers," he said, adding, this would commence by September 1. - Bernama
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