Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Perlis needs an airport

KUALA LUMPUR: Some have joked that if Perlis had an airport, the plane may accidentally taxi into Thailand upon landing, owing to the small size of the state.

The joke surfaced in the early 80s after a suggestion in a political forum for the smallest Malaysian state to have its own airport as a means to boost development.

Certain quarters have viewed the idea as ludicrous due to the amount of space that would be needed to build an airport in the 820sqkm state.

Furthermore, the Sultan Abdul Halim airport in Alor Setar is only 40km away from Kangar. The idea was soon forgotten, but resurfaced some two decades later.

PERLIS NEEDS AN AIRPORT

The proposal did not come from a politician, economist or the people of Perlis. It came from the state prince himself, who is known for his insight in the economic and tourism sectors.

The Perlis Raja Muda, Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail, believed that an airport could attract foreign investors, in addition to easing travel for the people of the state and those around it.

He saw Chuping Valley, an upcoming centre for major development, as a potential location for the airport. The area is located near the Thailand border.

"We are asking for an airport not because Perlis does not have one, but because of geographical and economical factors", he said during an event at Padang Besar here, recently.

He said the airport could be on a sharing basis with Thailand in terms of land usage, building costs, revenue, as well as terminal and runway use.

The prince who had experience in the industry said the concept would be similar to the one that has been practiced by Switzerland and France for decades.

In 1995, the prince was the Malaysia Airlines Area Manager in Madrid and was in charge of Spain and Portugal, before being relocated to Zurich in 1998, where he was in charge of Switzerland, Austria and Central Europe.

Tuanku Syed Faizuddin said if the federal government could consider building a new airport in Kulim (Kedah) or upgrading the Bayan Lepas International Airport in Penang, it would not be wrong for it to also consider building an airport in Perlis.

ECONOMIC BOOST

An airport would undoubtedly bode well for the development of Perlis, northern Kedah and southern Thailand.

If the project is realised, it would complement the upcoming electric train service from Padang Besar to Johor Baharu.

It would also complement the state-of-the-art dry port that the state government was planning to build in Padang Besar to encourage import and export activities.

A businessman and former political leader in Perlis, Datuk Hashim Suboh, told Bernama that he also saw an airport a necessity in the state.

Hashim said there was an existing 800-metre runway in a site at Sungai Batu Pahat that was used for an international air carnival in 1998.

He said by adding another 200 metres to the runway, it would meet the minimum one kilometre needed for a small passenger plane to land, making it an ideal site for the new airport.

The former Perlis Umno Information Chief said in addition to that site, another potential location for an airport was the area off the shores of Kuala Perlis.

PROPOSAL

The Perlis Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azlan Man said the state government has forwarded the proposal to the federal government for consideration. The project was aimed for implementation in the 11th Malaysia Plan.

Azlan believed that the availability of air transportation would indirectly help generate income for the state. It would also attract investors and boost the tourism sector.
 
Source: Bernama | By Adnan Jahaya | 30 Sept. 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014

British Airways back to Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: British Airways, which is spending £5 billion (RM26.13 billion) for the renewal of its aircrafts globally, will resume the Kuala Lumpur - London route, more than a decade after it was suspended in 2001.

Its area general manager for Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa Jamie Cassidy (pic) said the Asia Pacific region has become increasingly important for the aviation industry, citing the "timing is right" for a comeback in Malaysia. 

"This decision has been years in the making… We have seen a lot of development in Malaysia, and now about 460,000 people travel between UK and Kuala Lumpur, so it is a huge market," he said, adding that 70,000 Malaysia students are studying in the UK.

Cassidy believes the new route between Kuala Lumpur and London will also get the benefit from the group's total investment of £5 billion for the delivery of a huge number of aircrafts.

"Obviously one of the biggest investments in the airline is starting a new route, putting multi-million pounds into a destination," he added.

He stressed that the group is still expanding its business footprints despite the challenges in the aviation sector.

When asked of its competition with Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) on the same route, Cassidy said collaborative efforts can be pursued but one should not just be seen as a competitor to another, considering both are members of the One World Alliance.

Meanwhile, in a statement released yesterday, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) managing director Datuk Badlisham Ghazali said MAHB has been working closely with British Airways in planning the recommencement of British Airways' flights to Kuala Lumpur for several years.

"This decision encapsulates the collaboration and partnership that had existed between the airline and MAHB," he added.

British Airways will resume direct daily flights from Kuala Lumpur to London from May 27, 2015, and will be operated by Boeing 777-200ERs aircraft. It began selling flight tickets as of yesterday evening.

The Kuala Lumpur-London route was suspended in 2001 due to a slowdown in the global travel industry after the 9/11 incident. Currently British Airways serves 175 cities in 75 countries.

Source: The Sun Daily Online | 18 Sept. 2014

BA resumes KL - London direct flights, high passenger traffic seen

British Airways area general manager for Asia Pacific, Middle east and Africa, Jamie Cassidy
KUALA LUMPUR: After a hiatus of more than a decade, British Airways (BA) will resume daily direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to London from May 27, 2015.

“It’s wonderful to be back in Malaysia. We’re starting the new flights in response to strong demand for direct flights to Kuala Lumpur,” Jamie Cassidy, BA area general manager for the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa told StarBiz

Cassidy said Malaysia was becoming increasingly important and had a huge market. He noted that there were about 460,000 passengers flying the KL-London route per annum.

“As Malaysia’s economy grows, it is becoming an even more important trading partner for the UK, and Britain has long been a favourite destination for Malaysians to shop, experience historical sites, culture, and study,” he said.

Cassidy said the carrier had been spreading its wings in Asia for the past few years, with the latest destinations being Haneda, Japan, and Chengdu, China. BA is also a member of the oneworld alliance.

He explained that its expansion came especially after a £5bil investment in planes, network and equipment. “We’re very excited. We have a long history in Malaysia. We started flying to Malaysia in 1933 and took nine days to get here. It takes just more than 12 hours to reach KL,” he said. 

The airline suspended services to KL in 2001 as global travel slowed after the Sept 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

For the time being, Cassidy said BA would take “one step at a time”. For now, he said it would be a point-to-point flight, but noted that it had a big network of over 75 countries. 

Without disclosing its expected load factor, Cassidy was confident of a successful load from KL to London.
BA will be also setting up a commercial team with a small office in Malaysia

He said its investment to commence flights to KL included the planes plying the route, an office as well as human resources. Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) has been pursuing BA in the past years. So far, the airport operator has been fairly successful in wooing some carriers to return to Kuala Lumpur.

Cassidy disclosed that BA had been in talks with MAHB for “several years”. MAHB adviser Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad Abdul Majid, who has been instrumental in bringing BA back, said the carrier had been a major airline operating to Malaysia for many years and had played a major role in providing travel connectivity to Malaysia. 

“Following its withdrawal during the financial crisis in 2001, we have been engaging BA to evaluate the resumption of services to the KL International Airport (KLIA).

“Discussions were held involving market research studies, the right choice of aircraft, convenient landing slots, level of frequencies and pricing. This was to ensure that not only the services will be viable, but also sustainable for the future,” he said when contacted.

Bashir also said BA’s announcement demonstrated its confidence on the Malaysian economy, tourism potential and travel demand.

Managing director Datuk Badlisham Ghazali said: “We’re very excited about the return of BA to KLIA. It joins other European carriers (KLM, Air France, Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines) that have made KL one of their primary destinations in South-East Asia.”

BA will be the only airline to offer premium economy seats between London and Kuala Lumpur. The daily service will be operated by a four-cabin Boeing 777-200ER, featuring 12 seats in First, 48 in Club World business class, 32 in World Traveller Plus premium economy class and 127 in World Traveller economy class. 

The flight’s early morning arrival in London allows passengers a full day in the city to catch connecting flights to other destinations in the UK and Europe.

Tickets will go on sale today and may be booked at ba.com. All-inclusive return fares start from RM3,696 for world traveller economy class.

Source: The Star Online | 18 Sept. 2014

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

British Airways to resume Kuala Lumpur ― London flights

KUALA LUMPUR: British Airways will resume direct daily flights from Kuala Lumpur to London from May 27, 2015, after suspending the route in 2001 as global travel slowed down after the September 11 bombing of the New York World Trade Centre. 

Area General Manager for Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, Jamie Cassidy said the airline was trying to get back into Malaysia for a long time. “Starting a new route is a big investment and we will not do it if we were not confident of its prospects.
“This area of the world is very important to us given the increasing traffic volume as the world is moving to the East. Asia-Pacific will be more and more important for the global aviation sector,” he told a press conference here today. Cassidy said Malaysia Airports was very helpful in according access to the airline.
British Airways KL-London flight tickets will be on sale today with an all-inclusive return fare starting from RM3,696 for World Traveller economy class, RM5,390 for World Traveller Plus premium economy class, RM15,264 for Club World business class and RM29,658 for First Class. 

The airline is the only one to offer premium economy seating between London and Kuala Lumpur. Regional Commercial Manager for Southeast Asia Robert Williams said the daily service would be operated by a four-cabin Boeing 777-200ER which will leave Kuala Lumpur at 11:05 pm local time and arrive in London at 5.25am the next morning. 
“The flight’s early morning arrival in London allows passengers a full day in the city or plenty of time to catch easy and convenient connecting flights to other destinations in the United Kingdom and Europe,” he added.
Source: Bernama | 17 Sept. 2014

BA to go back to Kuala Lumpur

British Airways is to resume direct flights from Heathrow to Kuala Lumpur in summer 2015.
The daily service from Terminal 5 will be operated by a four-cabin Boeing 777-200ER, featuring 12 seats in First, 48 in Club World, 32 in World Traveller Plus and a further 127 in World Traveller.

Flights begin on May 27, 2015. British Airways last flew to the Malaysian capital in 2001. Lynne Embleton, British Airways’ director of business strategy, said: “We have been working to resume flights to Kuala Lumpur for a long time, so it’s wonderful to be back in the heart of Malaysia once again.

“We are re-starting the route in response to commercial demand from our customers who have been asking us for direct British Airways flights to Kuala Lumpur, which opens up new connecting routes around the region.

“A thriving economy offers fantastic opportunities for UK businesses, while holiday-makers can enjoy some stunning destinations around the country and beyond.”

Kuala Lumpur is the world’s largest aviation hub not currently served directly by British Airways, and a major centre for oneworld airlines. Malaysia itself has strong ties with the UK and a large, rapidly growing economy with a focus on international trade.

British Airways, known then as Imperial Airways, first began flying to Malaysia on December 9, 1933. The flight from London Croydon Airport, made 22 stops before eventually reaching Alor Star (now Alor Setar) nine days later.
The airline’s first flight to Kuala Lumpur took off on August 1, 1956 when BOAC operated a Canadair Argonaut ‘Coronet’ aircraft on the outbound route and a Lockheed Constellation ‘Majestic’ on the return.

The airline has given the route the same flight numbers it previously operated with before 2001. The BA033 will depart T5 daily at 8.15pm, arriving into Kuala Lumpur 12 hours 45 minutes, later at 4pm (local). The returning BA034 will leave Kuala Lumpur at 11.05pm (local) and arrive back into Heathrow’s T5 at 5.25am the next morning.

Datuk Badlisham Ghazali, the managing director of Malaysia Airports, said: “I greatly welcome the return of British Airways to Malaysia. 

“I believe this new route will have a very positive economic, political, social and cultural impact on both countries and it underlines the strength and vibrancy of the air travel market between them.

"Malaysia Airports has been working closely with British Airways for several years in planning the resumption of its flights to Kuala Lumpur. I wish them the best in their preparations to reconnect the two great cities of London and Kuala Lumpur and am confident it will enhance the airline’s huge global network.”


British Airways is investing more than £5bn in new aircraft, smarter cabins, elegant lounges, and new technologies to make life more comfortable in the air and on the ground.

Source: Advance (http://www.adsadvance.co.uk)

Kuala Lumpur back on BA’s network

British Airways is to relaunch direct flights to Kuala Lumpur in summer 2015.
Operated by a four-cabin, 219-seat B777-200ER aircraft, the daily service takes off from London Heathrow on May 27. The carrier last flew to the Malaysian capital in 2001.

Kuala Lumpur is the world’s largest aviation hub not currently served directly by British Airways, and a major centre for oneworld alliance members, the airline stated. Malaysia itself has strong ties with the UK and a large, rapidly growing economy with a focus on international trade.

British Airways, known then as Imperial Airways, first began flying to Malaysia on December 9, 1933. The flight from London Croydon Airport made 22 stops before eventually arriving at Alor Setar 9 days later.

Noting that BA has been working to resume flights to Kuala Lumpur for several years, it's director of business strategy, Lynne Embleton, commented: “We are restarting the route in response to commercial demand from customers for direct flights, which opens new connecting routes around the region.

“A thriving economy offers fantastic opportunities for UK businesses, while holiday-makers can enjoy some stunning destinations around the country and beyond.”

Managing director of Malaysia Airports, Datuk Badisham Ghazali, added: “I believe this new route will have a very positive economic, political, social and cultural impact on both countries and it underlines the strength and vibrancy of the air travel market between them.”

Source: Routes News (http://www.routes-news.com)

Kerajaan Pusat sedia tambah baik Lapangan Terbang Sultan Ismail Petra

PENGKALAN KUBOR: Kerajaan sedia mempertimbangkan permintaan supaya Lapangan Terbang Sultan Ismail Petra di Kota Bharu diperbesarkan dan diberi penambahbaikan bagi menampung pengguna yang semakin bertambah.

Timbalan Menteri Pengangkutan Datuk Ab Aziz Kaprawi (gambar) berkata, kementerian bersedia mempertimbangkan permintaan itu dengan menggunakan kemudahan dan peruntukan yang sedia ada.

"Ada permintaan untuk membesarkan lapangan terbang. Saya dimaklumkan lapangan terbang di Kota Bharu telah mula sesak. Ini (permintaan) pun kerajaan akan pertimbangan," katanya kepada pemberita selepas merasmikan program khas Advokasi Keselamatan Jalan Raya di Sekolah Kebangsaan Bunohan di sini, Rabu.

Katanya, beliau telah memaklumkan perkara itu kepada calon Barisan Nasional (BN) di Pilihan Raya Kecil (PRK) Dewan Undangan Negeri Pengkalan Kubor, Mat Razi Mat Ail.

"Saya membuka pintu (pejabat) seluas-luasnya kepada semua rakyat khususnya kepada pemimpin untuk memberi kemudahan yang ada di Kementerian Pengangkutan.

"Kita uruskan sistem pengangkutan awam darat, laut dan udara. Pengangkutan laut pun jika ada keperluan, kita akan tingkatkan ekonomi dalam soal pelabuhan di negeri ini," katanya.

Mengenai PRK Pengkalan Kubor, beliau yakin bahawa rakyat lebih yakin dengan BN yang telah memberikan khidmat selama tiga penggal.

Katanya, walaupun wujud kerajaan berbeza di negeri dan pusat, tetapi telah terbukti bahawa kerajaan BN mampu menawarkan nikmat kehidupan yang lebih baik kepada rakyat.

"Banyak peruntukan telah dinikmati masyarakat di sini walaupun ia terletak di bawah Parlimen PAS. Malah masyarakat hari ini lebih rasional dalam berdepan realiti sebenar," katanya.

PRK DUN Pengkalan Kubor diadakan selepas Datuk Noor Zahidi Omar, 57, meninggal dunia akibat kanser hati pada 20 Ogos.

BN mempertaruhkan pengasas sekolah pondok Mat Razi Mat Ail, manakala PAS meletakkan Setiausaha PAS Tumpat, Wan Rosdi Wan Ibrahim dan seorang lagi calon Bebas Izat Bukhary Ismail Bukhary.

Sumber: mStar Online | 17 Sept. 2014