Saturday, October 10, 2015

AirAsia launching Langkawi as international hub by year-end

KUALA LUMPUR: International passengers will be able to fly directly to Langkawi International Airport with AirAsia Bhd by the end of this year.

The budget carrier’s chief executive Aireen Omar said Langkawi is something that it’s looking forward to, due to the high traffic volume coming into the destination.

“We’re currently working closely with the government and we’re planning to see how we can build Langkawi as an international hub in this region.

“We’re going to see that happening (turning Langkawi into AirAsia’s international hub) towards year-end. We have exciting destinations that we will fly to from Langkawi, which will be announced by this month.”

The announcement of AirAsia’s new international hub was made by both Aireen and the airline’s head honcho Tan Sri Tony Fernandes in March this year.

Fernandes recently said five aircrafts will be based in Langkawi airport, so it would generate one to 1.5 million passengers very quickly.

“By reducing the charges we invest, we’re able to stimulate new routes and an airport that was really earning no income is now going to earn a tremendous amount of income,” he told Australia-based Centre for Aviation recently.

He also said that Hong Kong and Guangzhou would be the first two destinations that AirAsia would fly to from Langkawi airport.

Meanwhile, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) managing director Datuk Badlisham Ghazali recently said the airport operator is currently in discussions with three foreign airlines to be based at Langkawi airport.

“We have talked to three international airlines from Asia and Europe. I think we’ll see a new direct flight to Langkawi coming up this year.”

Badlisham also said the move is to get more foreign carriers to fly to the island-resort so as to promote it as the world’s preferred tourist destination.

“The government, including MAHB, has provided for an incentive to assist in making Langkawi a tourist destination beyond its capabilities today. The incentives are open to all airlines, not just AirAsia.”

He had confirmed the 70% discount in airport charges for Langkawi for all airlines flying there.

Source: The Rakyat Post | 9 Oct. 2015

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Thai cabinet approves funding for Betong Airport

BANGKOK: The Thai cabinet Tuesday approved 1.9 billion baht (RM1=8.32 baht) funding for the construction of the Betong Airport in Yala, a southern province on the border with Malaysia.

Proposed by the Department of Civil Aviation, the airport will cater for aircraft with the capacity of 50 to 70 seats, government spokesman Colonel Sansern Kaewkamnerd said.

The allocation will come from the budget in the fiscal year 2016-2018, he said.

The Betong Airport will have a 1.8-kilometre runway, airport apron and terminal, he said, adding that 20,587 passengers are expected to pass through it annually after it begins operations in 2017.

A study on the airport was approved by the Thai cabinet in 2006.

Source: Bernama | 6 Oct 2015

Thursday, October 1, 2015

MAHB to transfer LCC operations to KKIA Terminal 1 on Nov 1

Terminal 1, Kota Kinabalu International Airport, Sabah. 
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) will transfer all operations of low-cost airlines and services from Kota Kinabalu International Airport's (KKIA) Terminal 2 to Terminal 1 effective Nov 1.

MAHB said it has communicated to the relevant airlines (AirAsia Bhd, Indonesia AirAsia and AirAsia Zest) and government agencies such as the Royal Malaysian Customs and the Immigration Department on the directive from the Ministry of Transport (MOT).

All government agencies providing services at Terminal 2 will cease their operations and services at Terminal 2 effective Nov 1, it said.

"MAHB will be working closely with the airlines and related stakeholders to facilitate the move and ensure smooth transition to Terminal 1, KKIA," the airport operator said in a statement here today.

At the launch of Terminal 1 on Sept 16, 2015 by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, it was announced that the RM1.7 billion terminal can accommodate nine million passengers.

"On top of the better facilities available at Terminal 1, MAHB has pledged RM10 million to Sabah Tourism as a commitment to supporting the development of the tourism industry in Sabah," it added.

Source: Bernama | 1 October 2015

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Najib urges AirAsia to move into KKIA's new terminal immediately

Najib signing on a plaque to mark the launching of Kota Kinabalu International Airport.
KOTA KINABALU: Low-cost budget carrier AirAsia has to immediately move to the Kota Kinabalu International Airport's (KKIA) main Terminal 1, says Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

"They have exceeded their deadlines to move out,'' the Prime Minister told reporters after officially opening the KKIA main terminal building here.

AirAsia has been resisting the move to KKIA Terminal 1 for nearly two years, while other budget carriers have moved into the RM1.7bil complex, completed in 2010.

Najib said that the plan was to convert the older Terminal 2 into a dedicated terminal for cargo and air services.

Earlier in his speech, he said that moving all airlines to the main terminal was part of Government efforts to turn Sabah into a regional hub, which would have an impact on the state's growth.

He said many international carriers were already flying into KKIA, which was capable of handling up to nine million passengers a year.

He said that the main terminal was still underused and it was best for all airlines to use the terminal as it was more convenient for travellers with its many facilities.

"I am told travellers using the old terminal have to stand in queues that sometimes went outside the building,'' he said.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, in his speech, said that the new Terminal 1 complex would enable more airlines to fly to Sabah.

"Kota Kinabalu is a popular tourism gateway as well as a thriving industrial and commercial centre. It needs a state-of-the-art airport to cope with the growing demand,'' he said, adding that in 2014, the airport handled a total of 6.79mil passengers with 3.19mil passengers at the main Terminal 1 with the rest at Terminal 2.

He said a total of 14 airlines operate out of Terminal 1, which has 12 aerobridges to cater for both narrow and wide-bodied aircraft.

"Terminal 1 is equipped with 64 check-in counters for domestic and international flights,'' he said, adding that KKIA not only improved connectivity in the region, but was expected to have spill-over effects in terms of facilitating access to rural areas of Sabah.

Source: The Star | 16 September 2015

Bangkok's Don Mueang International Airport is world's busiest LCC

Bangkok's Don Mueang International Airport
Don Mueang International is the world's busiest low-cost-carrier (LCC) airport in terms of passenger traffic, ahead of Las Vegas and Kuala Lumpur, according to the Center for Asia-Pacific Aviation (CAPA).

Expecting a bright future for the airport, Malaysia-based AirAsia Group yesterday expressed interest in investing in an aircraft parking bay at Don Mueang, while several other budget airlines plan to spread their wings into Thailand in the final quarter of the year.

Nitinai Sirismatthakarn, president of Airports of Thailand (AOT), operator of six international airports, said Don Mueang served 22.5 million passengers between January and August although the airport's official capacity is 18.5 million per year.

He said the CAPA Center for Aviation, which is based in Australia, had earlier put the number of passenger traveling with LCCs via Don Mueang Airport at 13.4 million during the first six months of this year, but actually the airport served 14.4 million passengers during the first half.

The aviation center also marked Bangkok's Don Mueang as the world's busiest LCC airport for the first time.

Don Mueang now serves more LCC passengers than Las Vegas McCarren International Airport in the US (13.3 million in the first half), Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia (12.6 million), Barcelona El Prat Airport in Spain (12 million), and Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Indonesia (12 million).

According to the CAPA, Don Mueang saw passenger traffic surge by 50 per cent between January and June this year. Moreover, Thailand's LCC fleet is expected to number 100 by the end of 2015. The country's LCC sector consisted of 87 aircraft as of the end of the first half, up from 74 at the end of 2014.

Nitinai said AOT would reopen its renovated terminal at Don Mueang by the end of November to cope with an expected surge of arrivals during high season. When its capacity is combined with the existing terminal's, the airport will be able to serve up to 30 million passengers per year.

He said at least three new budget airlines from Japan, China and South Korea would begin operating to Don Mueang Airport next quarter.

Currently, major low-cost airlines operating at Don Mueang include Thai Smile, Nok, NookScoot, Thai AirAsia, Thai AirAsia X, and Thai Lion Air.

Tony Fernandes, group chief executive officer of AirAsia Group, said Thailand was a great hub of air travel and Don Mueang had potential to grow further, particularly for budget travelers.

However, he noted that the airport still had limited aircraft parking bays, so AirAsia is interested in investing in such facilities. Therefore, it is needs to discuss the details with AOT.

During the first quarter of this year, AOT earned profit of Bt13.8 billion, almost as much as in the whole of 2014.

Source: The Jakarta Post | 16 September 2015

AirAsia has exceeded deadline, should move to KKIA Terminal 1: PM

Prime Minister Dato' Sri Najib Razak launches the Kota Kinabalu International Airport Terminal 1 facility. 
KOTA KINABALU: Prime Minister Dato' Sri Najib Razak delivered an ultimatum that AirAsia has to move its operations to Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) Terminal 1, stating that the airline has 'exceeded their timeframe'. 

He said Terminal 2 where the low-cost-carrier is operating from has already exceeded its passenger capacity of two million passengers per annum (ppa), as last year its actual passenger volume was 3.6 million ppa. 

AirAsia has been involved in disagreement with Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd ‎(MAHB) since they were asked to move to Terminal 1 back in 2011, with the last deadline given August 1 this year. 

"They (AirAsia) have already exceeded the time frame; they have to go. "We want this to be done as you (AirAsia) are not doing justice to the people if operations not shifted to Terminal 1. 

The airport has been planned for the future of Sabah folks and is a contribution from the federal government," he said when officially launching the Terminal 1 facility here. 

Najib added that airports management, MAHB has pledged RM10 million to Sabah Tourism Board for marketing purposes, with the condition that all airlines moved operations to KKIA Terminal 1.

Currently only AirAsia are operating from Terminal 2. He said Sabah has major potential to develop its tourism sector and attracting more airlines to fly here, hence the importance of streamlining all operations in Terminal 1 which have better facilities. 

"The moment of truth is that first contact of tourists coming here is through airport, and we need to paint a picture whether we are first world or third world country. "This include immigration and customs facilities, do we make they feel welcomed in Malaysia ... All services must come together," he explained. 

On the launching event held on Malaysia Day itself, Najib said it brought significance as connectivity plays an important factor in nation building and national integration. He is set to attend the Malaysia Day celebration at Padang Merdeka downtown at 8pm tonight, which is expected to be attended by thousands of people.

Source: New Straits Times | 16 September 2015

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Firefly kukuhkan hab sekundernya di Kota Bharu dengan laluan Kota Bharu - Pulau Langkawi

KOTA BHARU: Syarikat penerbangan Firefly mengukuhkan hab sekundernya di Kota Bharu, Kelantan dengan memperkenalkan laluan Kota Bharu - Pulau Langkawi bermula 27 Oktober ini. 

Perkhidmatan penerbangan terus ini ditawarkan dengan kekerapan tiga kali seminggu, iaitu setiap hari Selasa, Khamis, dan Sabtu dijangka dapat memberi manfaat besar bukan sahaja kepada warga Kelantan yang ingin ke Pulau Langkawi tetapi juga warga Terengganu dan wilayah Narathiwat di Selatan Thailand yang boleh mengambil penerbangan dari Kota Bharu. 

Warga Terengganu misalnya boleh memakir kenderaan mereka di Lapangan Terbang Sultan Ismail Petra Kota Bharu (LTSIP) untuk mengambil penerbangan dari lapangan terbang ini. Kemudahan penginapan yang ada berhampiran lapangan terbang ini juga akan memudahkan penumpang yang memerlukannya. 

Selain laluan Kota Bharu - Pulau Langkawi, Firefly juga menawarkan perkhidmatan penerbangan terus dari Kota Bharu ke Kuala Lumpur (Subang), Pulau Pinang, dan Johor Bahru. 

Dalam pada itu, Firefly diminta mempertimbang untuk memperkenalkan laluan Kota Bharu - Bandar Raya Ho Chi Minh dan Kota Bharu - Bangkok (Don Mueang) yang mendapat permintaan tinggi daripada warga Kelantan khususnya dan juga warga Pantai Timur secara amnya.

Untuk maklumat lanjut dan tempahan tiket secara dalam talian, sila layari laman sesawang

Sumber: Kota Bharu Airport Blog |