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Old June 30th, 2009, 05:33 PM   #1641
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AirAsia to sell new shares to raise up to US$143m
Published: Tuesday June 30, 2009 MYT 3:29:00 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia plans to sell new shares to raise as much as 500 million ringgit ($143 million) as it expands amid a global downturn, Chief Executive Tony Fernandes said Tuesday.

The airline will appoint bankers soon to sell the stock, which would expand the number of its shares by a fifth, in a share placement expected in the next two months, he told reporters on the sidelines of an investment conference.

"The key is that there is a demand for it. It will put us in a good position. We will grow our market share and increase our capacity," Fernandes said.

He didn't give further details.

Airlines worldwide are reeling from the global economic slump that has choked passenger and cargo traffic.

But AirAsia is increasing its routes and buying new planes, saying it is benefiting as travelers cut costs and downgrade to budget carriers amid the global economic slump.

In the quarter through March, it has expanded capacity by 19 percent as it launched seven new routes.

Its net profit in the quarter hit a record 203.2 million ringgit ($57 million), up 26 percent from a year earlier. - AP
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Old June 30th, 2009, 09:06 PM   #1642
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AirAsia eyes RM500m
By Presenna Nambiar
Published: 2009/07/01

AirAsia Bhd (5099) is looking at raising about RM500 million by placing out up to a fifth of its shares to private investors to pay off some debt, says its chief executive officer.

AirAsia's total debt stood at RM6.9 billion as at the end of March 31 2009.

"Local and foreign investors (demand) drove us (to placing out more shares). There is a huge appetite for our shares, and obviously as an airline, it is always good to have cash. Liquidity is also good in the market now and so we decided on a private placement," AirAsia Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes (pic) said.

He said the budget carrier has yet to hire bankers for the placement and has not decided on whether it will stagger the placement (10 per cent now and another 10 per cent later) or do an outright 20 per cent placement.

This is the second time AirAsia is placing out shares after its initial public offering in 2004.
"If there was concern on AirAsia, I think the prime minister's (Datuk Seri Najib Razak) announcement on wanting to create a level playing field has removed any doubts that equity investors may have had on AirAsia's chances. It is a great environment to raise equity," Fernandes said.

Fernandes was speaking on the sidelines of Invest Malaysia 2009 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

"It is what I have been asking for, for seven years. Today will really unleash the enormous potential that AirAsia can achieve and we are thrilled by the prime minister's speech," he said in response to Najib's call for more level playing field between GLCs and private firms.

Besides calling for greater competitiveness and performance from GLCs such as those in electricity and airport businesses, Najib also stated that the government will not help GLCs to the detriment of private sector competition.

Fernandes has been lamenting on the protective nature of the aviation industry in Malaysia since the setting up of AirAsia in 2002, starting with the placement of Firefly, a unit of Malaysia Airlines, in Subang, to the aeronautical charges imposed by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd.

He also called for regulation of monopoly industries to ensure that there is transparency in pricing and costing.

Fernandes said the key is not really to have competition within the country but to have competitive industries that can go global and create bigger opportunities.
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Old July 1st, 2009, 10:53 AM   #1643
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AirAsia X’s existing investors not taking up AirAsia new shares
Written by Gan Yen Kuan
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 10:57

KUALA LUMPUR: Potential investors buying up to 20% of AirAsia Bhd under the low-cost carrier’s proposed share placement exercise will not be those who have already invested in its sister airline AirAsia X, said AirAsia group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes.

“No… not the same (investors),” he told The Edge Financial Daily on the sidelines of Invest Malaysia 2009 here yesterday.

Earlier, he told reporters that AirAsia expected to raise up to RM500 million from the proposed share placement, which would be carried out in the next two months, according to a report by the Associated Press.

AirAsia announced on Monday the proposed placement of new shares but no details were given as it had yet to appoint agents to arrange the deal.

Airline business usually invites scepticism particularly in its vulnerability under the current global economic conditions.

But when Fernandes and his counterparts started AirAsia X — a low-cost, long-haul airline — they managed to rope in investors like Virgin group’s Richard Branson, Bahrain-based Manara Consortium and Japan-based Orix Corp.

OSK Research said in a report yesterday that it was not surprised with AirAsia’s proposed share placement.

It noted that the proposal would require shareholders’ approval at an EGM, apart from obtaining approval from the Securities Commission, as the proposed placement exceeded the allowable 10% of issued and paid-up share capital.

The research house has made a hypothetical assumption to assess the impact of a 20% placement on the group’s financial position. Assuming a placement price at a 10% discount to Monday’s closing price of RM1.13, AirAsia might raise some RM490 million from this exercise, it said.

“When backdated to March 31, 2009, the company’s net gearing level may improve from 3.7 times to only 2.7 times as a reduction in net debt will conversely increase shareholders funds,” OSK Research said.

“The equity stake of the company’s major shareholder Tune Air Sdn Bhd may be diluted from 30.7% to 25.6% in the event the entire placement is taken up by third party investors.

“Considering AirAsia’s aggressive aircraft purchases, we believe the exercise may only temporarily reduce the company’s gearing, but the debt level is expected to quickly build up again on the delivery of new aircraft.”

Meanwhile, HwangDBS Vickers Research said the placement would enlarge AirAsia’s share base to 2.85 billion shares, which would potentially dilute the research house’s forecast earnings per share for the company to 4.9 sen (from 5.8 sen previously) in FY09, and to 6.1 sen (from 6.7 sen) in FY10.
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Old July 1st, 2009, 08:22 PM   #1644
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AirAsia celebrates inagural KL-Taipei flight
Published: 2009/07/01

AIRASIA'S first flight from Kuala Lumpur to Taipei departed at 10am this morning, carrying 338 guests.

AirAsia's Group Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes said the flight had 88 per cent load, carrying guests which included president of the Malaysian Friendship and Trade Centre in Taipei, Datuk Abdullah Mohd Salleh and AirAsia X CEO, Azran Osman-Rani.

AirAsia also celebrated its inaugural flight from Tapei today with touched down at 8.35pm at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) of the KL International Airport (KLIA) with 335 guests on board.

"The new Kuala Lumpur-Taipei route with five direct flights weekly operated by AirAsia's low-cost long-haul affiliate,
AirAsia X, received a remarkable response from travellers when it opened for sale on April 24, 2009," Fernandes said at the Kuala Lumpur-Taipei inaugural flight celebration to receive AirAsia's first guests from Taipei.

Minister of Transport, Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and Minister of Tourism, Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen were also at the event to welcome the visitors.

According to Fernandes, all promotional seats for the Kuala Lumpur-Taipei flight services offered at RM101 per way were snapped up within 12 hours after the sales announcement, with an estimated 80,000 guests flying the route until the year's end.

"This represents an average load factor of over 80 per cent on the 383-seater Airbus A330," Fernandes said.

Fernandes also said there were no cancellation of flights with the H1N1 flu global epidemic and that sales were up since it abolished its administration fees.

"We are also starting new routes from Miri to Singapore," he said. - Bernama
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Old July 2nd, 2009, 01:07 AM   #1645
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Is there leg space in 15C?

Quote:
Originally Posted by blizzardtweaker View Post
RM251 IS the tax, flight is free... BUT take note:

D7 has squeezed a extra seat into the normally 2-4-2 configured A330 to make it 3-3-3, so expect it to be a REALLY small and extremely uncomfortable seat... Most pax will just book thinking the seats are regular sized as the popular 777s on mainstream airlines use 3-3-3 configuration...
They have also decreased the number of XL seats to just 4 rows and added an extra seat in each row (normally 2-2-2, now 2-3-2), so thats 'premuim economy' at best.
This means that the 'main door' now has a row of seats (row 15 is where the current a330 exit is for econ pax) and everyone will have to enter through the XL exit at the very front of the plane.
compare this to the original leased a330 with a normal configuration...
In the picture, 15C is labelled as a seat with extra leg room. Is that correct? How come theres sit infront of it and it is place like any other sit?
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Old July 2nd, 2009, 04:52 AM   #1646
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AirAsia Celebrates Its Inaugural Kuala Lumpur-Taipei Flight


SEPANG, July 1 (Bernama) -- AirAsia's first flight from Kuala Lumpur to Taipei departed at 10.00 am this morning, carrying 338 guests.

AirAsia's Group Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes said the flight had 88 percent load, carrying guests which included president of the Malaysian Friendship and Trade Centre in Taipei, Datuk Abdullah Mohd Salleh and AirAsia X CEO, Azran Osman-Rani.

AirAsia also celebrated its inaugural flight from Tapei Wednesday with touched down at 8.35 pm at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) of the KL International Airport (KLIA) with 335 guests on board.

"The new Kuala Lumpur-Taipei route with five direct flights weekly operated by AirAsia's low-cost long-haul affiliate, AirAsia X, received a remarkable response from travellers when it opened for sale on April 24, 2009," Fernandes said at the Kuala Lumpur-Taipei inaugural flight celebration to receive AirAsia's first guests from Taipei.

Minister of Transport, Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and Minister of Tourism, Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen were also at the event to welcome the visitors.

According to Fernandes, all promotional seats for the Kuala Lumpur-Taipei flight services offered at RM101 per way were snapped up within 12 hours after the sales announcement, with an estimated 80,000 guests flying the route until the year's end.

"This represents an average load factor of over 80 percent on the 383-seater Airbus A330," Fernandes said.

Fernandes also said there were no cancellation of flights with the H1N1 flu global epidemic and that sales were up since it abolished its administration fees.

"We are also starting new routes from Miri to Singapore," he said. -- BERNAMA
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Old July 2nd, 2009, 05:05 AM   #1647
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirknight2u View Post
In the picture, 15C is labelled as a seat with extra leg room. Is that correct? How come theres sit infront of it and it is place like any other sit?
do you mean the PER-KUL configuration?
15C is an emergency exit row seat and has a wider separation in front from row 14 allowing more legroom. It is not obvious from the diagram
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Old July 2nd, 2009, 09:09 PM   #1648
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AirAsia to fly from KK to Brunei from September 9
Published: 2009/07/03

BUDGET carrier AirAsia Bhd (5099) will begin flying between Kota Kinabalu and Brunei from September 9 2009.

The new service will be the carrier's sixth international service from Kota Kinabalu and second international service from Brunei.

In a statement issued yesterday, AirAsia said it will be offering all-in-fare from RM29 one way, available only online via www.airasia.com

The daily flight from Kota Kinabalu and Brunei, opens for sale for the booking period from July 3 to 12 2009 for the travel period from September 9 to April 30 2010.
Kota Kinabalu is AirAsia's second and biggest hub after Kuala Lumpur, serving nine domestic routes that include Penang, Johor Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Sibu, Miri, Labuan, Tawau, Sandakan, while the international sectors are Macau, Shenzhen, Clark, Jakarta and Singapore.
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Old July 4th, 2009, 04:56 PM   #1649
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Airasia Chief Denies Newcastle Purchase
July 04, 2009 23:03 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 (Bernama) -- AirAsia chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes has denied that the low-cost airline (LCC) is keen on buying English football club, Newcastle United.

Contacted by Bernama on the matter, Tony Fernandes said: "We are not either directly or indirectly part of the said Malaysian-led consortium intending to purchase Newcastle United. We deny any involvement whatsoever."

A report published today in a Malay daily, Harian Metro, said AirAsia had confirmed that it was in discussions to become the biggest shareholder of Newcastle United.

The daily had quoted an unnamed source within the airline as claiming Tony had an interest to buy a British soccer club.

The British media Friday reported that a Malaysian consortium led by several well-known businessmen had put in a 80m (RM456 million) bid to take control of Newcastle or 'The Magpies' from its owner Mike Ashley but they were bound by non-disclosure agreements.

-- BERNAMA
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Old July 4th, 2009, 05:00 PM   #1650
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AirAsia eyes more destinations in Asia Pacific, Middle East
2009/07/04
KUALA LUMPUR, SAT:

AirAsia Bhd, the low cost carrier which services an extensive network with 122 routes covering more than 65 destinations, is seeking to serve more major and small cities in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.

Through its corporate philosophy of ''Now Everyone Can Fly'', the leading low cost airline in Asia says it is committed to serve three billion people who are "currently underserved with poor connectivity and high fares".

"We will go anywhere over four-hour destinations for our AirAsia X and below four-hour destinations for AirAsia," said AirAsia chairman Datuk Aziz Bakar in an interview with Bernama.

AirAsia X is the low cost long-haul affiliate carrier of AirAsia that currently flies to destinations in China, Australia and the UK.

The carrier is planning to add two to three new routes before end of this year in China such as Xi'an and Chongqing, and four new routes in India comprising Bangalore, Trivandram, Chennai and Cochin, Aziz said.
He said the airline has applied to fly into South Korea, and is also eyeing other destinations in the Middle East and Australia like Sydney.

"The time is right for us to fully take advantage of the current economic downturn and be prepared when the economy turns around.

"I think many full service airline passengers are turning to non-frill service because they tend to spend less and save more," he said.

Aziz said AirAsia was also promoting its services aggressively to stimulate demand.

"The demand is there and people will fly if they get cheap fares. Passengers only pay the ticket but when they pay for food, we have to make sure it is value for money," he said.

Aziz said AirAsia''s average load factor was about 73 to 75 percent in the last three months, while AirAsia X had been getting very strong load factor.

The London flight's average load factor was between 80 and 83 percent.

Asked on the impact of influenza A (H1N1) virus, he said the airline''s forward booking was not affected very much in the last two months but it was continuing with its aggressive marketing.

"There is H1N1, but if we are to offer 5,000 free tickets to fly to any destinations within Asia, I'm sure it would be fully taken up within three to four hours," he said.

Commenting on the new low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT), Aziz said AirAsia hoped the airport would be completed on time to accommodate its expansion plan.

"We can't just take the delivery of the new aircrafts with no place to park," he said.

AirAsia also hopes the commercial terms are agreed and accepted as soon as possible, he said.

It is understood that the new LCCT will be built by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd and work is expected to start this month, and scheduled for completion by the third quarter of 2011.
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Old July 5th, 2009, 10:28 PM   #1651
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AirAsia intai destinasi 2 rantau
6 Julai 2009

KUALA LUMPUR 5 Julai - AirAsia Bhd., syarikat penerbangan tambang murah yang mempunyai rangkaian menyeluruh dengan 22 laluan meliputi lebih daripada 65 destinasi, kini meninjau kemungkinan memberi perkhidmatan ke lebih banyak bandar raya utama dan kecil di Asia Pasifik dan Timur Tengah.

Menerusi falsafah korporatnya Now Everyone Can Fly, syarikat tambang rendah terkemuka di Asia itu berkata, ia komited untuk memberi perkhidmatan kepada tiga bilion orang yang 'pada masa ini kurang mendapat perkhidmatan kerana saling hubung yang rendah dan tambang yang tinggi'.

"Kami akan ke mana sahaja destinasi melebihi empat jam menggunakan AirAsia X kami dan destinasi yang kurang daripada empat jam dengan AirAsia," kata Pengerusi AirAsia, Datuk Aziz Bakar dalam satu temu bual.

AirAsia X ialah syarikat sekutu tambang murah jarak jauh AirAsia yang pada masa ini mengadakan penerbangan ke destinasi seperti China, Australia dan United Kingdom (UK).

Syarikat penerbangan itu bercadang menambah dua hingga tiga lagi laluan baru di China sebelum akhir tahun ini seperti Xi'an dan Chongqing dan empat laluan baru di India iaitu Bangalore, Trivandram, Chennai dan Cochin, kata Aziz.

Beliau berkata, syarikat penerbangan itu telah memohon untuk terbang ke Korea Selatan, dan turut meninjau destinasi lain di Timur Tengah dan Australia seperti Sydney.

"Masanya amat sesuai untuk kami mengambil kesempatan sepenuhnya atas kelembapan ekonomi semasa dan bersedia apabila ekonomi pulih kembali.

"Saya rasa ramai penumpang perkhidmatan penuh beralih kepada perkhidmatan tambang murah kerana mereka mahu kurang belanja dan lebih berjimat," kata beliau.

Aziz berkata, AirAsia turut mempromosikan perkhidmatannya dengan lebih agresif bagi merangsangkan permintaan.

"Permintaan sentiasa ada dan orang ramai akan menggunakan perkhidmatan jika mereka mendapat tambang yang rendah. Penumpang hanya membayar tiket tetapi jika mereka membayar untuk makanan, kami mesti pastikan ia amat bernilai untuk wang yang dibayarkan itu," kata beliau.

Aziz berkata, purata faktor muatan AirAsia ialah kira-kira 73 hingga 75 peratus sejak tiga bulan lepas sementara AirAsia X telah mendapat faktor muatan yang amat kukuh.

Purata faktor muatan penerbangan London ialah antara 80 hingga 83 peratus.

Ditanya akan kesan virus influenza A (H1N1), beliau berkata, tempahan ke hadapan syarikat penerbangan itu tidak begitu terjejas dalam tempoh dua bulan lepas tetapi ia masih meneruskan pemasarannya dengan begitu agresif.

"Memang ada H1N1, tetapi jika kami menawarkan 5,000 tiket percuma ke mana-mana destinasi di Asia, saya pasti ia akan habis dalam tempoh tiga hingga empat jam," kata beliau.

Mengulas mengenai terminal penerbangan tambang murah (LCCT) yang baru, Aziz berkata, AirAsia berharap lapangan terbang itu akan siap pada masa yang ditetapkan bagi memenuhi rancangan pengembangannya.

"Kita tidak boleh sewenang-wenangnya menerima pesawat baru tetapi tiada tempat untuk meletak pesawat," kata beliau.

AirAsia turut berharap terma komersial dipersetujui dan diterima secepat mungkin, kata beliau.

Difahamkan yang LCCT yang baru itu akan dibina oleh Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd. dan kerja dijangka bermula bulan ini dan dijadual selesai menjelang suku ketiga 2011. - BERNAMA
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Old July 6th, 2009, 12:31 PM   #1652
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AirAsia to launch Penang-HK route
Published: 2009/07/06

AIRASIA today announced a new service from Penang to Hong Kong starting July 31 as part of the budget carrier's plan to establish Penang as its eighth hub.

According to the airline, the service is timely and will be well received by many as it has great advantage due to its extensive route network and low fares.

AirAsia is also increasing its second frequency to Singapore from Penang to cater to the demand from leisure and business travellers.

The new sector to Hong Kong and the introduction of second frequency to Singapore opens for sale for the booking period from July 7 to 12 for the travel period from July 31, 2009, to April 30, 2010.

AirAsia said in a statement today that it will be offering an all-in-fare from RM99 to Hong Kong and RM51 to Singapore to mark the launch of these sectors.

The airline, through its holiday division GoHoliday, is offering guests free rooms upon booking at its partner hotels in Hong Kong.

The promotion is valid via goholiday.airasia.com and available on a first come, first served basis.

"At a time when some airlines are cutting routes and downsizing capacity, we are breaking the trend with our aggressive expansion plans, increasing frequencies where there is proven demand, which certainly is for the Penang-Hong Kong and Penang-Singapore routes," said the airline's regional head of commercial, Kathleen Tan.

"We are also hoping to introduce new sectors to Shenzen and Guangzhou from Penang in the future," she said.

Tan said the Hong Kong route formed part of AirAsia's strategy to establish Kuala Lumpur as a gateway to other Asian destinations.

The airline's relationship with its long-haul affiliate AsiaAsia X will also connect traffic from Australia and the United Kingdom to the Chinese cities, she said. - Bernama
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Old July 6th, 2009, 09:32 PM   #1653
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AirAsia: 20pc stake may go to single fund
Published: 2009/07/07

AIRASIA Bhd (5099), the Southeast Asian airline planning to issue 20 per cent more shares, said it's considering selling the entire stake to a single institutional fund or a strategic investor as part of a plan to reduce debt.

"Some funds have come to us and want to take the whole 20 per cent," chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes said in an interview by phone yesterday. "We may do a placement to a strategic investor or a fund."

AirAsia said in May it planned to raise about RM500 million in the Malaysian company's biggest share sale since listing in 2004.

The airline is seeking funds to cut its ratio of debt to equity, a measure also known as gearing. - Bloomberg
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Old July 7th, 2009, 04:20 AM   #1654
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AirAsia up on plan to sell shares to one fund
Published: 2009/07/07





AirAsia Bhd, Southeast Asia’s largest low-cost airline, rose for the first time in three days in Kuala Lumpur trading after saying it may sell all of a planned new share issue to a single investor.

The stock added 1.8 per cent to RM1.12 at 9:04am.

AirAsia, which is planning to issue as much as 20 per cent more stock, is considering selling the stake to a single institutional fund or a strategic investor as part of a plan to reduce debt, chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes said in an interview late yesterday.

A strategic investor might be a private equity firm or a partner in the tourism industry, said Fernandes. He said he plans to meet potential buyers this month and the share sale should be completed in early August. -- Bloomberg
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Old July 7th, 2009, 04:54 AM   #1655
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AirAsia seeks shareholders’ approval


PETALING JAYA: AirAsia Bhd is seeking shareholders’ approval and ratification for the provision of financial assistance to its Indonesian and Thai subsidiaries.

It told Bursa Malaysia yesterday that the ratification was for the provision of RM355mil and RM248mil to PT Indonesia AirAsia (IAA) and Thai AirAsia Co Ltd (TAA) respectively.

Both companies are 49% owned by AirAsia.

As at Dec 31, 2008, IAA and TAA owed RM974mil and RM457mil to AirAsia respectively, while the amount owed by AirAsia to IAA and TAA was RM619mil and RM209mil respectively.

AirAsia also said it was proposing to enter into financial assistance agreements with IAA and TAA to formalise the provision of financial assistance to IAA and TAA, as provided by the total net amount owing to AirAsia.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 10:29 AM   #1656
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AirAsia up on plan to sell shares to one fund
Published: 2009/07/07





AirAsia Bhd, Southeast Asia’s largest low-cost airline, rose for the first time in three days in Kuala Lumpur trading after saying it may sell all of a planned new share issue to a single investor.

The stock added 1.8 per cent to RM1.12 at 9:04am.

AirAsia, which is planning to issue as much as 20 per cent more stock, is considering selling the stake to a single institutional fund or a strategic investor as part of a plan to reduce debt, chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes said in an interview late yesterday.

A strategic investor might be a private equity firm or a partner in the tourism industry, said Fernandes. He said he plans to meet potential buyers this month and the share sale should be completed in early August. -- Bloomberg
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Old July 7th, 2009, 08:13 PM   #1657
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AirAsia to turn Penang into fourth hub in Malaysia
By Jeeva Arulampalam
Published: 2009/07/08

Penang is suitable as a hub because it is a tourist destination and a fast-growing industrial and trading centre, says AirAsia

BUDGET carrier AirAsia plans to turn Penang into its fourth hub in Malaysia as it continues to expand its network and add more destinations from the island.

AirAsia Bhd (5099) regional head of commercial Kathleen Tan said AirAsia will start flying from Penang to Hong Kong four times a week starting July 31, with one-way fares as low as RM99.

The airline will also be adding a second daily flight between Penang and Singapore due to popular demand. Its existing load factor for this route is above 90 per cent.

"Penang is suitable as a hub because it is a tourist destination and a fast-growing industrial and trading centre," Tan told Business Times in a phone interview yesterday.
She said Penang had previously been a virtual hub for AirAsia as it did not park planes at the Penang International Airport.

But the airline will start parking one plane at the airport as of July 31, as it starts flying to Hong Kong and adds its second daily frequency to Singapore.

"We are looking at a second plane next year as we continue to build Penang as a hub. There is heavy investment in terms of human capital and equipment in building a hub," said Tan but was unable to provide a quantum.

AirAsia has eight hubs in total now, including Kuala Lumpur, Johor Baru, Kota Kinabalu, Bandung, Bali, Jakarta, Bangkok and a "virtual hub" in Singapore.

"What we need right now is a good low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) in Penang, as we can easily have up to 10 planes there. By comparison, we have six planes in Kota Kinabalu," she said.

Tan added that a LCCT in Penang will allow for lower passenger airport taxes, as passengers departing from Penang International Airport currently pay RM51 in airport taxes.

"In comparison, our passengers departing from KL (LCCT) and Kota Kinabalu (LCCT) only pay RM25," she said.

AirAsia will also look to add more international destinations from Penang next year, including Chennai and Bali. International flights from Penang now are to Singapore, Bangkok, Medan, Jakarta and Macau.

Tan added that concerns surrounding the influenza A (H1N1) virus was unlikely to dampen travel to Hong Kong, as many passengers wanted to capitalise on cheap fares.

"This seems to be the best time to travel due to good deals, more so for the youth market which is not worried about the recession or the flu," she said.

Tickets for the new flights to Hong Kong and Singapore are open for sale until July 12, for the travel period from July 31 to April 30 2010. The all-in fare of RM99 to Hong Kong and RM51 to Singapore is exclusively made available online at www.airasia.com.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 04:37 AM   #1658
rizalhakim
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AirAsia aims to park 10 planes in Penang to start new hub
By DAVID TAN


This is in line with plans to make island its eighth hub

GEORGE TOWN: AirAsia Bhd’s plan to park more planes at the Penang International Airport can materialise faster if Penang has a low-cost carrier terminal.

Regional head of commercial Kathleen Tan said the budget airline operator had plans to park 10 planes in Penang, which was in line with its goal of making the island its eighth hub.

AirAsia has hubs in Kuala Lumpur, Johor Baru, Kota Kinabalu, Bandung, Bali, Jakarta and Bangkok; and a “virtual hub” in Singapore.

“This is our long-term plan to enhance the attraction of Penang as a hub. Presently the cost of operation in Penang is very high. If Penang had a low-cost carrier terminal, it would reduce our operation cost, and attract more travellers to fly from Penang,” she said in a telephone interview from Kuala Lumpur.


File pic of AirAsia aircraft at Kuala Lumpur International Airport's low cost carrier terminal in Sepang. Malaysian budget carrier is to park 10 planes in Penang and make Penang its 8th hub. - APpic

Tan said presently the Penang airport imposed higher international and domestic taxes, at RM51 and RM9 compared with RM25 and RM6 respectively charged at the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal in Kuala Lumpur.

She said from July 31, AirAsia would station one plane in Penang for the four weekly flights to Hong Kong. The round trip fare is about RM200.

“We are engaging a support team comprising pilots, engineers and technicians to be based at the Penang airport,” she said, adding that AirAsia was also adding a second flight to Singapore from Penang starting July 31.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 06:25 AM   #1659
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AirAsia may have to write off money owed by associates
Write offWritten by Financial Daily
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 10:38



AIRASIA Bhd may have to write off some of the amounts owed by its associates, Thai AirAsia and Indonesia AirAsia, or inject more cash investments into them if they continue to make losses and require more funding, according to Maybank Investment Bank (Maybank IB).

“AirAsia may have to write off some of the owed amounts totalling RM603 million at end-4Q08 and RM752 million at end-1Q09, and/or inject more cash investments into its associates.

“This could result in losses at the group level post-injection of new funds into its associates, and require more than a 20% private placement at AirAsia level to right-size its balance sheet,” the research house said in a report yesterday.

AirAsia will propose to raise the continued assistance to 49%-owned Thai AirAsia and Indonesia AirAsia from 5% each of AirAsia’s latest audited net tangible asset (NTA), to 10% each at an upcoming EGM.

AirAsia reported on Monday that net financial assistance rendered to Thai AirAsia and Indonesia AirAsia were RM248 million and RM355 million, respectively, or 15.5% and 22.2% of its audited NTA as at FY08.

Maybank IB, which maintained a sell on AirAsia, said it was not surprised at the announcement, as it was “one of several overhanging concerns on AirAsia”, and that its share price did not fully reflect these concerns.

The research house has ascribed a target price of RM1 to the low-cost carrier, based on 0.9 times 2010 price-to-book value.

“In the worst-case scenario, if the amounts due to AirAsia from its associates are fully written off, the NTA of AirAsia will lower by about 30%, implying a similar potential writedown to our target price,” it said.

In the aviation sector, its pick is Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd with a buy call and target price of RM4, for leverage on the air travel market’s potential recovery in 2010.

Meanwhile, AmResearch has upgraded AirAsia to buy from sell to reflect “easing balance sheet concerns”, stronger-than-expected 1Q09 performance and share price retracement, which has discounted a potential share dilution risk from AirAsia’s proposed private placement.

It said AirAsia’s proposed placement of new shares had addressed its key concern on AirAsia’s highly leveraged balance sheet previously.

“Cash to be raised from the exercise — circa RM500 million — is expected to bring net gearing down to much more manageable levels — from four times down to just 3.1 times in FY10. Interest cover is estimated to rise to two times from 1.9 times pre-placement,” it said.

AmResearch has revised upwards its FY09 net profit projection for AirAsia by 153% to RM410 million, and FY10 forecast by 167% to RM493 million to reflect, in anticipation of higher ancillary income, a more moderate yield contraction of 10% versus a previous assumption of 13% contraction for FY09.

Following an upward revision to projections, the research house has revised upwards its fair value for AirAsia to RM1.45 per share from RM1.04 per share previously.

“Our valuation is pegged at 40% discount to AirAsia’s historical average PE (price-earnings) of 14 times against FY10 diluted earnings, to reflect AirAsia’s volatile cost structure (as it is unhedged at the moment) as well as still uncertain recovery of the broader airline industry,” it said.

“At implied valuation of just 6.4 times FY10 fully diluted earnings, we think the market has sufficiently priced in earnings dilution risk ahead of AirAsia’s proposed private placement over the next two months.

“AirAsia currently trades at a huge 54% discount to historical average PE of 14 times against expanding ROE (return on equity) of 16% in FY10,” it added.

AirAsia closed at RM1.14 yesterday, up four sen.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 07:10 AM   #1660
rizalhakim
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Mungkinkah AirAsia, Asia X bergabung?

HONG KONG 7 Julai - Keputusan untuk menggabungkan syarikat penerbangan murah AirAsia dengan AirAsia X masih belum diputuskan biarpun peneraju utamanya mengharapkan perkara itu dapat dilaksanakan.

Menurut Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif AirAsia Bhd. (AirAsia) Tony Fernandes: ''Secara peribadi AirAsia X dan AirAsia sepatutnya disatukan,''

''Kedua-duanya amat rapat dan jika saya menguasai syarikat itu seratus peratus, saya akan membelinya,'' kata beliau selepas berucap pada majlis makan tengah hari di Hong Kong.

Fernandes yang merupakan pengasas kedua-dua syarikat penerbangan tambang murah itu, berkata, AirAsia X telah dilancarkan sebagai syarikat yang berasingan pada 2007 kerana model perniagaan jarak jauh merupakan model perniagaan spekulatif yang perlu dibuktikan kejayaannya.

''Bagaimanapun kini, saya berpendapat kami telah membuktikannya. Ia sangat menguntungkan, tunainya sangat positif. Model ini berjaya,'' kata Fernandes

Fernandes percaya AirAsia X akan meningkatkan pendapatan AirAsia jika kedua-dua syarikat penerbangan itu bergabung tetapi menambah keputusan itu bergantung kepada lembaga pengarah AirAsia. Beliau enggan memberi sebarang jangka masa.

Fernandes berada di Hong Kong bagi menghadiri pelancaran penerbangan AirAsia antara Pulau Pinang dengan bandar raya ini.

Minggu lalu, Fernandes berkata, AirAsia X mungkin melancarkan tawaran awam permulaan (IPO) dalam tempoh setahun hingga dua tahun atau pun bergabung dengan AirAsia.

AirAsia dan Virgin Group masing-masing menguasai 20 peratus kepentingan dalam AirAsia X yang memulakan operasi pada November 2007 dan terbang ke Australia, China dan London dari pusat operasi di Kuala Lumpur.

Fernandes berkata, penerbangan ke London mencatatkan faktor muatan sebanyak 84 peratus.

Bagaimanapun, beliau memberitahu, AirAsia X tidak merancang melancarkan perkhidmatan udara ke London sehinggalah ia menerima pesawat Airbus, A350 dalam tempoh empat hingga lima tahun lagi - Dow Jones
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