Tuesday, November 24, 2015

It's time Kelantan got a bigger and better airport

The Sultan Ismail Petra Airport in Pengkalan Chepa, Kelantan is now the busiest airport on the East Coast of the Peninsular Malaysia.
The recent announcement by Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak that the Federal Government will be expanding the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport (LTSIP) in Pengkalan Chepa, Kota Bharu has been warmly received by the people. 

Both the Pas-led Kelantan state government and the state Barisan Nasional have welcomed the announcement, which was made by Najib during his 2016 Budget speech in Parliament last month. 

Frequent users of the airport have been calling for the expansion for several years as the present terminal, which was completed in 2002, has ran out of space to accommodate the increasing number of flights and passengers. 

Even the Sultan of Kelantan, Sultan Muhammad V, has raised the issue in several of his speeches including during the opening of the state assembly meetings. 

LTSIP has a rich history, starting as a British Royal Air Force base before World War 2. During the war, the Japanese used the airport for their invasion of Malaya. After the war, it was turned into a civilian airport. 

The passenger terminal was built and it was then known as Pengkalan Chepa Airport. The construction of the new terminal building was started in 2000 and completed two years later at a cost of about RM55 million. 

LTSIP is now the most active in the peninsula’s east coast and one of the busiest domestic airports in the country handling 32 to 40 flights daily. It is serviced by Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, Firefly and Malindo Air. 

It handled 589,950 passengers in 2003 and the figure has more than tripled last year to some 1.8 million passengers, which more than justifies its expansion. It also has a chartered helicopter service and is home to the Asia Pacific Flight Training flying school which has students not only from Malaysia but the region

In 2010, a company secured a RM45.5 million contract to upgrade the airport. It included the construction of a taxiway, helicopter pads, a meteorological station and instrument landing system. The airport runway was also lengthened from 1,981m to 2,400m, and can accommodate the Airbus A330 and Boeing 737-800. 

Besides Kuala Lumpur, there are now regular direct flights to almost every major town in the country including Johor Bahru, George Town, Langkawi, Malacca and also Kota Kinabalu and Kuching. The people in Kelantan are clamouring for the airport to be turned into an international airport. Firefly and AirAsia have previously offered services to Bangkok and Singapore respectively but they have since been terminated, probably because of low demand. 

AirAsia chief executive officer Aireen Omar, when launching its Kota Bharu to Kota Kinabalu flights sometime ago, said it was considering using LTSIP as a hub for international flights to Indochina and southern China

Air travellers and holidaymakers from the state are keeping their fingers crossed that the plan would become a reality in the near future. 

Despite the proposed expansion of LTSIP, the state government is already looking far beyond the coming years. Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob recently said that the Kelantan government had written to the Federal Government to suggest the construction of a new airport in Sungai Bagan, Machang as part of future plans. 

He told reporters after a state executive council meeting several months ago that the state government had identified more than 350 hectares of land at the former Sungai Bagan estate. Ahmad said Machang was at a strategic location as it is situated in the middle of the state and the state-owned land was big enough for the construction of an international airport with a longer runway large enough for a Boeing 747. 

Note: The writer is NST Kelantan bureau chief  (Sulaiman Jaafar)

Source: New Straits Times | 23 Nov. 2015

Monday, November 23, 2015

KLIA to have third terminal, says Aziz Kaprawi

KUALA LUMPUR: A new terminal is expected to be built at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to expand its total capacity to 100 million passengers a year, said Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abd Aziz Kaprawi.

Airport operator Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) is expected to submit a proposal for the airport's third terminal in the next two to three years after detailed studies, he told Malaysian reporters on Malindo Air's maiden flight to Perth, Australia.

He said last year, KLIA's main terminal handled 23 million passengers a year, almost near its full capacity of 25 million passengers, while KLIA 2 is also reaching its full capacity of 45 million passengers.

The government wants to leverage on Kuala Lumpur's strategic location and make Malaysia a regional air transit hub, he said, pointing out the aviation industry's bright prospects especially in ASEAN, India and China with the improved air connectivity wooing more visitors to Malaysia.

Meanwhile, he said MAHB will take proactive steps to improve facilities at KLIA 2 to enhance the passenger experience.

Source: Bernama | 23 Nov. 2015

Malindo Air eyes 6 million passengers, bigger aircraft in 2016, says CEO

KUALA LUMPUR: Malindo Air, Malaysia's hybrid airline, aims to achieve six million passengers next year under its expansion programme to include new regional and international destinations, including Jeddah.

Chief Executive Officer, Chandran Rama Muthy, said the airline would be flying to Colombo and Ho Chi Minh City next month and is looking at southern China and further points of Asia early next year.

"We have got the approval to fly to Jeddah from the Malaysian government and are now working with the General Authority of Civil Aviation of Saudi Arabia to get the landing permit," he said.

Chandran said he is confident the airline would get the nod by early next year for the daily flight.

He said this to the Malaysian media on the last day of the airline's inaugural flight from here to Perth recently.

On Thursday, Malindo Air launched its new 11-time weekly services to Perth, Western Australia, its first to Australia and the eighth country in its growing international route network.

Chandran said Perth will be the airline's first destination in Australia and others under consideration include Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne next year.

With the new routes, Chandran said, the airline is looking into the possibility of buying bigger aircraft.

Chandran said Malindo Air, which currently has 27 aircraft (11 ATR72-600 and 16 Boeing 737NG), is looking into buying another 10, a combination of a different types of aircraft.

On the 2015 performance, he said, the airline targeted four million passengers and the coverage to widen to 10 countries in the region by year-end.

"We target to be profitable by 2016," he said.

On the response to the new route to Perth, Chandran said, it is encouraging.

"Bookings for December are already approaching 50 per cent which are a good indication that those for next year would be very healthy.

"We are ecstatic to add Perth to our route network because Perth remains one of the most popular business and leisure choices among Malaysians.

"Malindo Air will therefore add both seat capacity and choices for travellers between Malaysia and Australia.

"Traditionally, Perth remains a prime destination for Malaysian students to pursue their education. This is indeed a high-demand sector and there was a sudden surge of interest from the moment we announced this route," he said.

He said this would certainly boost travel and trade between Australia and Malaysia.

On the Australian market, Chandran said, Malindo's flight from Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2) to Perth Airport would provide connectivity to Australia as the country did not have many direct connection to south India where the airline is flying.

"The idea is to grow as far as we can and also bring more tourists to Malaysia and back to our objective of putting klia2 as our transit hub in the region," he said.

Source: Bernama | 23 Nov. 2015

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Projek naik taraf bangunan terminal LTSAH hampir siap

Wajah baharu bangunan terminal Lapangan Terbang Sultan Ahmad Shah Kuantan (lTSAH). Foto ihsan: Facebook Kuantan Development News
KUANTAN: Projek naik taraf dan pembesaran bangunan terminal Lapangan Terbang Sultan Ahmad Shah Kuantan (LTSAH) telah hampir siap. 

Menurut pentadbir laman Facebook Kuantan Development News, pada ketika ini kerja-kerja dalaman dan kemasan akhir sedang giat dijalankan dan dijangka siap sepenuhnya pada bulan depan (Disember 2015). 

Projek naik taraf yang dibahagikan kepada dua fasa ini melibatkan kos kira-kira RM20 juta. Fasa pertama telah berjaya disiapkan pada hujung tahun lepas. 

LTSAH merupakan lapangan terbang ketiga terpenting di Wilayah Ekonomi Pantai Timur (ECER) selepas Lapangan Terbang Sultan Ismail Petra Kota Bharu dan Lapangan Terbang Sultan Mahmud Kuala Terengganu. 

Setakat ini, hanya dua buah syarikat penerbangan yang beroperasi di LTSAH, iaitu Malaysia Airlines (MAB) dan Firefly yang menawarkan perkhidmatan bagi laluan Kuantan - Kuala Lumpur (KUA-KUL), Kuantan - Singapura (KUA-SIN), dan Kuantan - Pulau Pinang (KUA-PEN). 

Sumber: Kota Bharu Airport | www.kotabharuairport.blogspot.my 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

AirAsia to commence direct flight to Guangzhou from Langkawi early next year

KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia expects to commence its new direct flight to Guangzhou, China from Langkawi on Jan 24 with four weekly flights.

In a statement today, AirAsia said this direct flight to Guangzhou was its third route into China launched this year, after Changsha from Kuala Lumpur and Wuhan from Kota Kinabalu.

This new route would be offering all-in-fares from as low as RM88 one way from Nov 23-30, 2015 for the travel period of Jan 24 to April 29, 2016, it said.

"Following the announcement of making Langkawi our next international hub back in March this year, we are very happy to finally realise our promise with this new direct route to Guangzhou, China from Langkawi," said AirAsia Bhd Chief Executive Officer, Aireen Omar.

She said AirAsia has full confidence that this new direct route would boost traffic growth into Langkawi International Airport which currently only served one international route to Singapore.

AirAsia currently operates flights from Langkawi to Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Singapore.

Source: Bernama | 20 Nov. 2015

Malindo Air gantung laluan KL - KB berkuat kuasa 23 Nov 2015

KOTA BHARU: Syarikat penerbangan Malindo Air akan menggantung laluan Kuala Lumpur - Kota Bharu (KUL-KBR) berkuat kuasa 23 November 2015 ini. 

Perkhidmatan penerbangan terus sektor Kuala Lumpur - Kota Bharu yang diperkenalkan sejak setahun yang lalu ini menggunakan pesawat jenis B737-800 dengan perkhidmatan penerbangan pada awal pagi. 

Dari 14 Julai 2015 sehingga 30 September 2015 pula, Malindo Air menambah kekerapan bagi laluan ini kepada dua kali sehari sebelum dikurangkan semula kepada sekali sehari mulai Oktober lepas. 

Berdasarkan maklumat yang diperoleh daripada sumber industri penerbangan, Malindo Air terpaksa menggantung sementara laluan ini ekoran masalah kekurangan pesawat lebih-lebih lagi Malindo Air kini lebih memberi tumpuan kepada pengembangan laluan antarabangsa ke India, Australia, Hong Kong, dan Vietnam. 

Walau bagaimanapun, Malindo Air dijangka memperkenalkan semula laluan ini apabila mereka mempunyai angkatan pesawat jenis jet yang mencukupi untuk pasaran domestik dan antarabangsa. 

Selain itu, Malindo Air masih mengekalkan laluan Subang Kuala Lumpur - Kota Bharu (SZB-KBR) dengan kekerapan tujuh kali sehari. 

Sumber: Kota Bharu Airport | www.kotabharuairport.blogspot.my 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Panduan percutian dari Kota Bharu ke Pulau Langkawi dengan Firefly

Sistem Kereta Kabel Langkawi di Gunung Mat Chinchang. 
PULAU LANGKAWI atau ringkasnya Langkawi merupakan salah satu destinasi pelancongan popular dalam kalangan rakyat Malaysia selain Kuala Lumpur, Pulau Pinang, Kelantan, Pahang, Sabah, dan Sarawak. 

Dataran Lang
Terdapat banyak tempat menarik yang boleh dikunjungi di pulau legenda ini, antaranya ialah Makam Mahsuri, Dataran Lang, Gunung Mat Chinchang (Kereta Kabel Langkawi), Pantai Chenang, Underwater World Langkawi, Tasik Dayang Bunting, Taman Laut Pulau Payar, Air Terjun Telaga Tujuh, Pantai Kok, dan banyak lagi. 

Pulau yang berstatus bebas cukai sejak 1987 ini juga merupakan pulau syurga beli-belah yang terkenal dengan aneka jenis coklat, produk tembakau, dan perkakasan dapur seperti periuk, pinggan-mangkuk, dan sebagainya. 

Kunjungan anda ke pulau legenda ini tidak akan sah jika tidak berkunjung ke Makam Mahsuri, Gunung Mat Chinchang (menaiki Kereta Kabel Langkawi), Dataran Lang, Pantai Chenang, dan Underwater World Langkawi. 

Underwater World Langkawi
Untuk ke satu-satu tempat menarik di sini anda mempunya dua pilihan utama, iaitu dengan menyewa kereta atau mengambil pakej termasuk pakej jalan-jalan secara perkongsian (sharing tour). Perkhidmatan sewaan kereta bukan sahaja beroperasi di Lapangan Terbang Terbang Antarabangsa Langkawi (LIA) dan Jeti Kuah tetapi juga di beberapa lagi lokasi tumpuan pelancong termasuk pekan Kuah. Untuk maklumat lanjut tentang perkhidmatan sewaan kereta dengan harga yang berpatutan, anda mungkin boleh merujuk melalui laman Facebook Jom Terokai Langkawi

Dalam pada itu, perkhidmatan sewaan motosikal juga ada disediakan di sekitar pekan Kuah dan kawasan-kawasan tumpuan pelancong yang lain. Untuk menerokai Langkawi dengan motosikal, informasi daripada blog ini mungkin boleh membantu anda:- http://jheffyazid.blogspot.my/2014/08/pulau-langkawimengimbau-zaman-study-dulu.html, manakala untuk tawaran pakej jalan-jalan secara perkongsian, sila layari laman sesawang http://www.langkawi-online.com/pages/optional-tours.php.

Kemudahan penginapan: Terdapat banyak kemudahan penginapan di pulau legenda ini daripada inap desa (homestay) sehinggalah kepada  hotel bertaraf antarabangsa. Tempahan bilik hotel boleh dibuat secara terus dengan hotel berkenaan atau anda juga boleh mencari hotel-hotel yang bersesuaian dengan bajet anda melalui laman sesawang www.agoda.com.my dan juga beberapa lagi laman sesawang tempahan hotel yang popular. 
Makam Mahsuri yang terletak di Kg. Mawat, Mukim Ulu Melaka, iaitu kira-kira 12 kilometer dari pekan Kuah. 


Penerbangan Firefly menawarkan perkhidmatan penerbangan terus dari Kota Bharu ke Pulau Langkawi dengan kekerapan tiga kali seminggu, iaitu setiap Selasa, Khamis, dan Sabtu. Penerbangan terus ini mengambil masa kira-kira 60 minit sahaja. Untuk maklumat lanjut dan tempahan tiket, sila layari laman sesawang www.fireflyz.com.my

Parkir kereta dan penginapan di LTSIP: Penumpang dari Kelantan Selatan, Terengganu, dan wilayah-wilayah di Selatan Thailand yang mengambil penerbangan dari Kota Bharu ke Langkawi dan destinasi lain dari Kota Bharu bolehlah memakir kenderaan anda di medan parkir kereta di Lapangan Terbang Sultan Ismail Petra Kota Bharu (LTSIP) untuk beberapa hari. Kemudahan penginapan sekitar lapangan terbang ini juga ada disediakan. Antaranya ialah Hotel Golden Terminal Lodge yang terletak di hadapan bangunan terminal.

Info lanjut: Untuk maklumat lanjut tentang tempat-tempat menarik di Pulau Langkawi, sila layari laman sesawang www.naturallylangkawi.my.

Sumber: Blog Kota Bharu Airport | www.kotabharuairport.blogspot.my