Saturday, April 29, 2017

Malaysia Airlines offers to lease A330s from Alitalia

DUBAI: Malaysia Airlines has offered to lease Airbus A330 jets from Alitalia if the struggling Italian airline is wound up, the Asian carrier’s chief executive told Reuters on Wednesday.

Alitalia is preparing for special administration proceedings after workers rejected its latest rescue plan, making it impossible for the loss-making airline to secure funds to keep its aircraft flying. Workers are hoping the Italian government will step in with an alternative rescue deal.

Malaysia Airlines could take between six and eight Airbus A330s from Alitalia, CEO Peter Bellew told Reuters in Dubai. An Alitalia spokesman declined to comment.

Malaysia Airlines is emerging from a turnaround after twin tragedies since 2014, when flight MH370 disappeared in what remains a mystery, and flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine.

Its load factors - or how full its planes are - averaged around 80% in the three months to March 31, Bellew said.

Malaysia Airlines wants to lease between six and eight A330s or Boeing 777s for use from 2018 and a further seven to nine for 2019, he said.

This is an increase on the six for 2018 and six for 2019 he told Reuters last month he was interested in.

“The world really is awash right now” with large aircraft, Bellew said. “There are really good deals out there at the moment. It’s a buyer’s market right now.”

Bellew also said he planned to make a decision on an order for 30-35 new Airbus A330neo or Boeing 787-9 widebody planes in the next four to six months to replace its A330s from the end of 2019.

“If the prices are good ... we will do an order,” he said. “But if the price isn’t right, we won’t do it.” 

Source: Reuters | 26 April 2017

AirAsia strengthens connectivity with introduction of three new routes

KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia Bhd continues to strengthen its connectivity through secondary hubs with the introduction of three new routes, Langkawi - Shenzhen, Langkawi - Kuching and Johor Bahru - Kuala Terengganu.

The new routes from Langkawi includes thrice weekly flights to Shenzhen, and four times weekly flights to Kuching. Flights from Johor Bahru to Kuala Terengganu will be thrice weekly.

AirAsia in a statement said promotional fares were from RM59 for one way travel from Johor Bahru - Kuala Terengganu, RM79 from Langkawi - Kuching and RM99 for the Langkawi - Shenzhen route. 

The promotional all-inclusive fares are available for booking from today until May 7, 2017.

The travel period for Johor Bahru - Kuala Terengganu is from June 22, 2017 until June 5, 2018 and from August 9, 2017 until June 5, 2018 for the Langkawi - Shenzhen and Langkawi - Kuching flights respectively. 

Source: Bernama | 28 April 2017

AirAsia X flying to Europe soon

BANGKOK: AirAsia X will soon be flying to Europe using its Airbus A330 to tap into the growing demand to the region, after the launch of its Kuala Lumpur - Hawaii route on June 28.

AirAsia Bhd Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, said the airline would fly into Europe soon but he however did not disclose the exact route to that region.

We were about to launch the Europe route when the Ukraine crisis happened, he told reporters on the sidelines of the 17th WTTC Global Summit here today.

While keeping his plans for Europe under wraps, he hinted that the destination could be London, Manchester or even Dublin.

Fernandes earlier attended the Meet the Experts session and was interviewed by the WTTC CEO and President, David Scowsill, on the Responsible and Responsive Leadership topic.

The two-day summit which ends today aimed to bring together the industry's global leaders from private and public sectors to explore the Transforming our World theme, focusing on sustainability. 

Fernandes was among key speakers, besides former British Prime Minister David Cameron, United Nations World Tourism Organisation Secretary-General Taleb Rifai and Thailand Minister of Tourism and Sports Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul.

The event was attended by 800 senior executives from the global travel and tourism industry including those from the public and private sectors, and also ministers from 13 nations.

Source: Bernama | 27 April 2017

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Malaysia Airlines CEO attempts 'greatest turnaround'

It may be the toughest job in the aviation industry.

Peter Bellew became CEO of Malaysia Airlines last year, the company's third leader in less than three years.
Bellew, the airline's third CEO in less than three years, has clear ideas for what it needs to do. That includes driving down costs and turning its fleet of A380 superjumbo jets into charter planes for Muslim pilgrims.

"I think this will be the greatest turnaround in the history of aviation and maybe even of any business," he told CNNMoney's Richard Quest.

The changes at the airline in recent years have been dramatic. It shed about 6,000 jobs and scrapped most of its long-haul routes to focus on flights within Asia.

"I don't believe people in the [United] States or in Europe quite get the scale of the economy that there is here," said Bellew, a former executive at low-cost Irish airline Ryanair (RYAAY). He sees Malaysia growing as a transit hub for the rest of the region.

Retooling the airline's A380s is one of his big moves. Next year, the six superjumbos will be retired from normal service and offered for charter by groups undertaking the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

The huge planes will be overhauled to carry as many as 715 passengers, with a business class section, prayer areas and washing zones for feet and hands.

"We are trying to capture 5-6% of the global market, which is growing all the time," Bellew said. "People save to go to this for up to 30 years, and we've got great interest in the product already."

For the carrier's main business, he's trying to balance the need to cut costs with reestablishing Malaysia Airlines as a premium brand.

The company is succeeding in winning back passengers. At the end of last year, it hit its highest load factor -- a measure of how full its planes are -- in a decade.

And the airline's name isn't changing. Despite the baggage of the disasters the airlines suffered in 2014 -- the disappearance of Flight 370 and the shooting down of Flight 17 -- Bellew says ditching the company brand would have thrown away decades of heritage.

"The world loves the brand Malaysian Airlines," he said. "It's an asset the company can't let go of right now."

After the disasters, the company was pulled from the stock market and taken private by Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional. The aim now is to list its shares again by 2019.

Bellew says he took on the job because he knew it wouldn't be easy.

"It's that challenge and that sense that I can help out or make them move the thing along and get it fixed," he said.

Peter Bellew is overseeing the revamping of Malaysia Airlines, the struggling carrier that was nationalized after it lost two passenger jets with hundreds of people aboard in separate disasters in 2014.

Source: CNNMoney | By Michala Sabnani | 25 April 2017

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

AirAsia not afraid of competition

SEPANG: AirAsia Bhd., the world’s top low-cost carrier, is unfazed by the looming fare war among airlines in the second half of this year as it is well prepared to take the fight to Malaysia Airlines Bhd. (MAS) and Malindo Air.

“I think we are always prepared for something like that to happen. Eventually, the most efficient airline would be able to come out from this whole competitive environment… May the best airline win,” AirAsia chief executive officer (CEO) Aireen Omar told NST Business in an interview recently.

She said cost structure was the key to survive the “bloodbath” and AirAsia would continue to be disciplined with its operational costs while finding new ways to improve cost structure.

AirAsia would also leverage on the group’s vast network to drive passenger traffic to Malaysia. This year, AirAsia is targeting a 10 per cent increase in the total number of passengers to 29 million.

This is bigger than the 17 million target for MAS and 10 million for Malindo Air. Aireen said AirAsia would not reduce its airfares even if MAS and Malindo did so.

“Ideally, rational competition would always be something that we embrace. If you have a dumping situation, then it’s irrational competition.

“But we are committed to offering the lowest fares, being a low-cost carrier (LCC) ourselves. Our target market is the mass market. It’s people who prefer to travel by LCCs,” said Aireen.

MAS CEO Peter Bellew had told NST Business last month there would be a “crazy price competition” in the industry from June, with AirAsia and Malindo Air fares going as low as RM10 to RM20. He said MAS would not take part in the fare war.

Moving forward, AirAsia will continue to increase frequencies on several popular routes as well as connecting second and third-tier cities in the region to the main hub at Kuala Lumpur International Airport and other secondary hubs in Malaysia.

AirAsia’s secondary hubs include Langkawi International Airport, Penang International Airport, Senai International Airport in Johor Bahru, Kuching International Airport, Kota Kinabalu International Airport and Sultan Ismail Petra Airport in Kota Bharu.

AirAsia will work with its affiliates in India, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines and Thailand as well as its sister airline AirAsia X Bhd to strengthen its network and create new routes globally.

“Our model and plan have always been consistent. We work together as a group to build the network. We build the frequency where we feed into each other. We strengthen the existing hubs that the whole group has created,” said Aireen.

Some of the destinations that AirAsia has introduced from the secondary hubs include Kota Kinabalu - Wuhan (China), Langkawi - Guangzhou (China) and Johor Bahru - Tawau.

AirAsia plans to take delivery of eight new Airbus A320neo (new engine option) this year as part of its expansion plans. It received its first A320neo in September last year. 

As of January 1, AirAsia has a fleet of 73 A320s and three A320neos. Besides increasing capacity and network expansion, the airline also plans to digitalise its operations to improve efficiency and offer better services.

Aireen said AirAsia would rely more on automation from this year, such as processing passengers’ check-in information, self-baggage tags and transactions.

She said the airline had opted for digitalisation due to the high volume of passengers and transactions.

Aireen said the digitalisation process would help AirAsia gather information about its target customers and understand their travel and spending behaviour better.

“We look at digitalisation in terms of how do we improve the processes of our operations? That will drive the unit cost (down) further and also speed up the whole (operational) process with the kind of volume that we have.”

She said the group had to find ways to use digitalisation to improve the operational process, revenue and efficiency.

“We are looking at bringing this company to a whole new level with digitalisation,” added Aireen.

Source: New Straits Times | Business | 18 Feb. 2017

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Aliran trafik penerbangan di KLIA meningkat

Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur di Sepang yang dikendali oleh MAHB, mencatat peningkatan aliran trafik penumpang bagi tempoh tiga bulan pertama tahun ini.
KUALA LUMPUR: Aliran trafik penerbangan yang dikeluarkan Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd. (MAHB) mencatat peningkatan bagi penerbangan antarabangsa dan domestik.

Menurut MAHB, bagi tempoh tiga bulan pertama tahun ini, penumpang untuk penerbangan antarabangsa di Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur (KLIA) meningkat 12.6 peratus daripada 8.96 juta kepada 10.09 juta.

Katanya, bagi penerbangan domestik di KLIA pula, ia meningkat 13.1 peratus daripada 3.55 juta kepada 4.02 juta penumpang.

“Selain itu, di lapangan terbang domestik yang lain di Malaysia, aliran trafik juga menyaksikan pertumbuhan yang besar,” katanya dalam makluman kepada Bursa Malaysia di sini semalam.

Penumpang bagi penerbangan antarabangsa di lapangan terbang domestik selain KLIA meningkat 8.4 peratus daripada 1.48 juta kepada 1.61 juta, manakala aliran trafik domestik menyaksikan peningkatan 6.9 peratus.

Secara keseluruhan, penum­pang trafik untuk tiga bulan pertama tahun ini di Malaysia meningkat 10.5 peratus kepada 23.39 juta daripada 21.17 juta pada 2016.

Peningkatan terbesar penum­pang adalah daripada penerbangan antarabangsa bukan ASEAN yang disasarkan dengan pengunjung mungkin tinggal lebih lama dan pelancong yang berbelanja tinggi.

Jelas MAHB, dalam tempoh tiga bulan pertama 2017 juga, penumpang penerbangan antarabangsa bukan ASEAN di KLIA meningkat 12.7 peratus kepada 5.4 juta daripada 4.79 juta.

“Di lapangan terbang lain selain KLIA, peningkatan adalah lebih besar. Penumpang pe­nerbangan antarabangsa bukan ASEAN meningkat 31.2 peratus daripada 524,000 orang kepada 688,000 orang ekoran penerba­ngan terus daripada destinasi antarabangsa ke lapangan terbang domestik seperti Kota Kinabalu dan Pulau Pinang,” katanya.

Menurut MAHB, berdasarkan arah aliran (trend) pertumbuhan semasa, pihaknya optimis lapangan terbang di Malaysia mampu menca­tat kadar pertumbuhan melebihi sasaran 6.5 peratus yang ditetapkan untuk 2017.

Pada tahun lalu, Malaysia menyambut 26.76 juta pelancong terutama dari Singapura, Indonesia, China, Brunei dan Thailand manakala pada tahun ini, kerajaan menyasarkan peningkatan 15 peratus kepada 31 juta pelancong.

Aliran trafik penerbangan yang direkodkan dalam tempoh tiga bulan pertama ini secara tidak langsung menunjukkan sasaran itu boleh dicapai. Dalam masa sama, ia juga menunjukkan di sebalik propaganda negatif me­ngenai ekonomi negara yang tidak baik, ia masih mencatat peningkatan perjalanan udara bagi rak­­yat Malaysia.
Sumber: Utusan Malaysia | Bisnes | 11 April 2017 | Terbitan 12 April 2017

Malaysia Airlines plans A350 arrivals

MALAYSIA Airlines is preparing for the delivery of its first A350 aircraft this year, and already has it earmarked for Auckland as the first long-haul route.

Speaking with Business Traveller, CEO Peter Bellew said: “The first long-haul route will be Auckland, I think, and Tokyo, and a new destination we don’t currently fly to. It’s under negotiation. We are talking to three or four airports and there’s one that’s in the lead at the moment and we know the ground over there and we know the people. We should have that announced by the end of April.”

Malaysia Airlines has six A350-900 aircraft on order, with the first one being delivered at the end of the year. The deliveries have been delayed, and Bellew says that despite Airbus assuring him that they will be with the airline in October 2017, he is expecting them on December 31.

Bellew said that the configuration of the aircraft is still being finalised, but it will have three classes – economy, business and first – and will have “just a bit north of 300 seats”.

For comparison Cathay Pacific has 280 seats on board its A350s, while Ethiopia has 343 – for more details on how the various A350 operators configure their aircraft, see:

Airbus A350: how the airlines compare

The aircraft will be configured with three classes – economy, business and first. There will be no premium economy cabin, but selected economy seats will have extra legroom, and eligible Enrich members will have access to these.

The replacement of the A380 on the London route is a mixed blessing – both for passengers who have been enjoying extremely competitive pricing, and also the airline since the aircraft can deliver nearly 500 passengers twice daily into the Kuala Lumpur hub, many of whom then “feed” into other flights.

“We’ll miss the difference of 200 people [going into the hub],” admitted Bellew, but he pointed out that the decision was made last summer.

“In January or February last year we had some flights when we were flying A380s to London with 50 or 60 people on board. I was chief operating officer at the time and for me and for the staff it was soul destroying. Now we’re overbooked, but I can’t change the strategy back.”

This strategy Bellew refers to involves moving Malaysia Airlines’ fleet of six A380 aircraft into a separate company which will use them for Hajj and Umraa pilgrimage flights, as well as leasing them out to other operators.

Bellew also pointed out that the A350 is “40 per cent cheaper to operate than an A380 and the passengers will enjoy the plane and it’s going to be an even nicer product on board.”

As far as other European routes go, Bellew said that Paris would not return because the airport is “extortionately expensive” but Amsterdam would be an “obvious” move and would be served with leased B777 aircraft with lie-flat beds on board in 2019 or 2020.

“It would be foolhardy to do Europe now because we have big work to get our profitability back,” Bellew said, “but we had a very successful flight to Amsterdam for many years and the cost of leasing six-year-old B777s is dropping quickly. In terms of connecting up for feed it’s pretty obvious.”

Other possible future destinations would include a return to Istanbul, again, for the connecting traffic, and possibly Manchester.

Source: Asia Pacific Business Traveller (Business Traveller) | 26 March 2017

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Pesawat MAS tergelincir semasa mendarat di Sibu

Pesawat MAS yang tergelincir semasa mendarat di Lapangan Terbang Sibu (LTS).
KUALA LUMPUR: Sebuah pesawat Malaysia Airlines (MAS) yang membawa 61 penumpang dan enam orang anak kapal tergelincir semasa mendarat di Lapangan Terbang Sibu dalam hujan lebat malam Sabtu.

Tiada kecederaan yang dilaporkan dalam kejadian 10.17 malam itu yang melibatkan Penerbangan MH2718 dari Kuala Lumpur.

"Semua di atas pesawat selamat dibawa turun menerusi dua rakit gelongsor," kata syarikat itu menerusi Facebook.

Ia berkata, siasatan segera telah diadakan bagi menentukan punca kejadian itu yang melibatkan pesawat Boeing 737-800.

"Keselamatan semua penumpang menjadi keutamaan Malaysia Airlines," tambahnya.

Sumber: Bernama | 9 April 2017

Saturday, April 8, 2017

AirAsia opens sales office in Kuching

Sarawak Plaza Shopping Mall. Photo credit: Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC)
KUCHING: AirAsia Bhd has opened a sales office at Sarawak Plaza Shopping Mall, in the heart of the city, and it commenced operations yesterday.

AirAsia head of commercial, Spencer Lee said the office will strengthen the commitment of the airline to Kuching in providing better connectivity for Sabah and Sarawak and beyond.

He said the sales office will serve as another channel to cater for AirAsia’s guests who are unable to book their flights online.

“We also hope to provide more seamless services to our guests in and out of Kuching with the opening of the sales office,” he said in a statement here yesterday.

He said the sales office offer services such as flight bookings to all AirAsia and AirAsia X’s route network, as well as sale of exclusive AirAsia merchandise.

Spencer said currently AirAsia connects Kuching with 10 destinations, with a total of 211 weekly flights for both international and domestic routes.

In conjunction with the opening of the sales office, AirAsia is offering an exclusive promotion with a 20 per cent discount on online fares to destinations such as from Kuching to Pontianak, Penang and Kota Bharu and Kuala Lumpur to Seoul, Changsha, Bangkok and Jakarta.

The promotional fares are available exclusively at the AirAsia sales office from today to April 9, 2017, and for travel from April 18 to Nov 20, 2017.

Source: Bernama | 8 April 2017

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Sempena ulang tahun ke-10, Firefly tawar tambang murah

Promosi tambang istimewa sempena ulang tahun ke-10 Firefly. Sumber: Firefly Airlines
SYARIKAT penerbangan FlyFirefly Sdn. Bhd. (Firefly) menyambut ulang tahun ke-10 operasi komersialnya pada 3 April 2017 (Isnin) dengan penerbangan pertama yang pernah mereka tawarkan adalah dari Pulau Pinang ke Kota Bharu pada 3 April 2007.

Kini, Firefly beroperasi dengan 12 buah pesawat jenis ATR72-500 yang boleh membawa sehingga 72 penumpang dalam satu-satu masa dan terbang ke 12 bandar raya atau destinasi di Malaysia, Singapura, wilayah Aceh (Sumatera, Indonesia), dan wilayah Phuket (selatan Thailand). 

12 destinasi tersebut ialah Subang (Kuala Lumpur), Pulau Pinang (George Town), Kota Bharu, Johor Bahru, Kuantan, Kuala Terengganu, Alor Setar, Pulau Langkawi, Ipoh, Singapura, Banda Aceh, dan Phuket. 

Syarikat penerbangan milik penuh penuh rakyat Malaysia ini beroperasi dari dua buah hab, iaitu di Lapangan Terbang Sultan Abdul Aziz (LTSAAS) di Subang, Selangor bagi Wilayah Tengah dan Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Pulau Pinang (PIA) di Pulau Pinang bagi Wilayah Utara.

Terdapat tujuh destinasi penerbangan ditawarkan dari habnya di LTSAAS, iaitu Pulau Pinang, Kota Bharu, Singapura, Johor Bahru, Alor Setar, Kuala Terengganu, dan Pulau Langkawi, manakala lima destinasi ditawarkan dari Pulau Pinang, iaitu Subang, Kota Bharu, Pulau Langkawi, Banda Aceh, dan Phuket. 

Sempena ulang tahun ke-10 ini, Firefly menawarkan promosi tambang istimewa serendah RM99.00 sehala untuk semua laluan domestiknya dari sekarang sehingga 9 April 2017 untuk penerbangan dari sekarang sehingga 24 Mac 2018.

Syarikat penerbangan Firefly merupakan syarikat penerbangan perkhidmatan penuh yang berbeza dengan syarikat penerbangan tambang murah seperti AirAsia yang menawarkan tambang murah untuk tempat duduk sahaja tetapi anda perlu membayar lebih untuk elaun bagasi, makanan dan minuman, dan sebagainya. Sebaliknya, kadar tambang yang ditawarkan Firefly atau syarikat penerbangan perkhidmatan penuh yang lain mungkin lebih tinggi sedikit daripada yang ditawarkan syarikat penerbangan tambang murah tetapi elaun bagasi, makanan dan minuman diberikan secara percuma.

Untuk maklumat lanjut dan tempatahan tiket, sila layari laman sesawang rasmi Firefly melalui Firefly, Bukan Sekadar Mudah (Beyond Convenience)!

Sumber: Kota Bharu Airport | | 4 April 2017