Tuesday, 31 December 2013

DGCA to send team to inspect Air Asia facilities

NEW DELHI: Ahead of granting flying permit to AirAsia India, aviation regulator DGCA is sending a team of its officers to Malaysia next week to inspect and certify facilities where the start-up carrier is training its cockpit and cabin crew. 

AirAsia India, which is using the training facilities of its parent airline AirAsia in Malaysia, plans to set up similar facilities in India in the coming years, airline sources said. 

However before these training facilities come up in India, the first few batches of AirAsia India crew, comprising little over 100 personnel, are undergoing training in Malaysia which would be inspected by the officials of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), they said. 

The airline is hopeful of receiving the air operator's permit (or the flying license) by January end, with officials saying work was going on in full-swing in that direction. 

The DGCA team is likely to reach Kuala Lumpur next week, official sources said, adding once these training facilities are certified, the approvals could be reviewed in the next one or two years. 

The officials said the no-frill carrier, a joint venture of AirAsia, Tatas and Telstra Tradeplace, have tailored the training curriculum to meet Indian aviation requirements. In February, the three companies had announced signing of an agreement to launch an Indian no-frill carrier. 

On September 20, AirAsia India got the No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Civil Aviation Ministry to start airline operations in India after which it applied to the aviation regulator for a permit. It plans to operate a fleet of Airbus A320-200 aircraft, initially with 4-5 planes and quickly expand it to ten in a year. 

Meanwhile, the second aviation venture of the Tatas -- a full-service carrier to be launched by it and the Singapore Airlines (SIA), has applied for the NOC to the Ministry. Tata Sons, the majority partner, and SIA would make a total initial investment of USD 100 million. 
On September 19, Tata-SIA had announced signing a MoU and applying for Foreign Investment Promotion Board's approval to establish the new airline. FIPB, the nodal agency that clears foreign direct investments in India, gave its nod to the proposal on October 24. 

Source : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com 

Malindo Air targets 3 million passengers for next year

  • Hybrid airline targets 3 million passengers
  • increase 120,000 seats with current 60,000 seats
  • add 14 aircraft to total of 25 fleet size by end of 2014

"indirectly, more routes mean more frequencies and better connectivity and therefore more options for consumers to choose. -create healthy competition will result in competitive prices being offered"  -said Chandran Ramamurthy, CEO of Malindo Air.

Malindo Air, Malaysia's hybrid airline, aims to achieve more than three million passenger target by end-2014, with the opening of the spanking new KLIA2 on May 2, 2014.

Chief Executive Officer Chandran Rama Muthy said: "we're already touching about 900,000 passengers this month. We aim to touch the first one million passengers by early next year and more than three million by the end of next year.

"As KLIA2 is coming in the pipeline, Malindo Air planned to come in at the earliest in May and with that, we hope to get over three million passengers by putting more aircraft at KLIA2 and in Subang Airport," he told the media after the launching of Malindo Air's inaugural flight from Kuala Lumpur to New Delhi by Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi here Monday. After New Delhi, the airline would spread its wings to other cities in India, Chandran said.

"Trichy will be our next destination, with the inaugural flight scheduled on Jan 2; Mumbai on Feb 15; and Ahmedabad on March 19; with other cities such as Kochin and Chennai are also on our radar," he said.

The airline also planned to expand to the second-tier market such as to Amritsar, the Holy City of the Sikh, and Pune by the second half of 2014.

Currently, Malindo has a fleet strength of 11 aircraft, with two new ATR72-600 aircraft arriving today.

The airline planned to expand its fleet strength to 25 aircraft by next year, he added.

Source : The Edge Malaysia, 31 Dec 2013

AirAsia to benefit from KL Sentral-klia2 rail link

PREMIUM air travellers, who previously may have been hesitant to fly via the low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT), could soon be enticed to use the new Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2), which is due to open on May 2 next year.
Premium travellers, who see departing from the present LCCT as being inconvenient and uncomfortable, could change their minds when klia2 opens, and this will be a boon for AirAsia Bhd.
"The rail link between the main KLIA terminal, klia2 and Kuala Lumpur's KL Sentral station will lure premium passengers to AirAsia, given the carrier's higher flight frequencies and punctuality," said RHB Research Institute Sdn Bhd.
"This will be positive in providing an upside to overall passenger yields. In fact, AirAsia has taken the opportunity to offer a 'Hi Flyer' scheme tailored to the needs of business and premium passengers, which provides the flexibility of flight timing and express boarding."
RHB Research added that the extra service offering has led to strong take-ups from the business community.
The firm said AirAsia has taken delivery of 11 aircraft, of which five were delivered this month alone, in line with its assumption of an average of six new aircraft for 2013.
RHB Research expects AirAsia to take delivery of four aircraft in 2014 and three in 2015.
In total, the AirAsia group is expected to take delivery of 31 aircraft, although most would be deployed to its associates.
As such, AirAsia will reap the benefits of higher lease rental income.
RHB Research expects this will grow by 18 and 10 per cent for 2014 and 2015, respectively.
With loads expected to hover at 78 per cent for 2014-2015 (down by one percentage point from its 2013 assumption), AirAsia should see its revenue passenger kilometre grow by seven and five per cent, respectively.
On its yield outlook, RHB Research said while there may still be pressure on airfare yield, this will be mitigated by the higher ancillary revenue that AirAsia is expected to rake in, notably from the recent revision of its baggage weighing structure and new ancillary initiatives launched, such as "Hi Flyer".
AirAsia's baggage revision and stricter passenger inspection of cabin luggage have enabled the carrier to garner the highest baggage revenue per pax collected in third quarter 2013 of RM21.30 per passenger.

PLUS joins kids indoor theme park KidZania

Welcome aboard: Susanah (left) presenting the key to the city of KidZania to Noorizah as KidZania RightZKeeper, Chika (middle), looks on.
Welcome aboard: Susanah (left) presenting the key to the city of KidZania to Noorizah as KidZania RightZKeeper, Chika (middle), looks on.

three more fun-filled activities for children from over 100 role-play opportunities available.
PLUS Malaysia Berhad is the newest attraction at the KidZania Kuala Lumpur.
The partnership will see the addition of three more fun-filled activities for children from over 100 role-play opportunities available.
Beyond being aware of PLUS through the highway systems nationwide, children can now have a taste of being part of this company in the service industry in the city of KidZania.
Children can participate as a customer service assistant learning about managing and manning a toll booth to honing on soft skills when communicating with road users.
They can also embark on a journey as a PLUSRonda officer patrolling the streets or that of a maintenance crew to assist road users during their journey and ensuring that KidZania’s Driving Street is always safe and sound.
PLUS Malaysia managing director/chief executive officer Datuk Noorizah Abd Hamid said, “Joining the KidZania family is an honour as PLUS Malaysia hopes that by continually connecting with younger children who will be future road users on the importance of road safety, children will be inspired to be good and courteous drivers and will recognise the importance of implementing road safety measures.
“Every individual can play a role in making road safety a culture, and this can start from the grassroots level with the young children of KidZania Kuala Lumpur,” she said.
The children’s experience will also be enhanced through the use of PLUS Malaysia’s uniforms and safety vests which will help in getting them in character to fulfil their roles.
Cars at KidZania will also be installed with SmartTAG transponders so children understand better and enjoy PLUS Malaysia’s state-of-the-art facilities such as its paperless toll transactions.
KidZania Kuala Lumpur mayor and general manager Susanah Abdul Rani presented the key to the city of KidZania to Noorizah in a symbolic gesture of the newfound partnership.
Also present at the event was Themed Attractions and Resorts managing director and chief executive officer and Governor of KidZania Tunku Datuk Ahmad Burhanuddin.

Source : The Star Online, 31 Dec 2013

15 million tourists to visit KL

KUALA Lumpur is expected to welcome 15 million tourists for Visit Malaysia Year 2014.
Among the attractions that await them, as announced by mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib, are the Kampung Baru Heritage Trail, GT City Race, horse carriage rides around Dataran Merdeka, a night cycling event and a helicopter ride for a bird’s eye view of the city from Taman Titiwangsa.
“We want to make our foreign guests feel at home. Our aim is to present a city and people that have high standards of hospitality,” he said in a press conference recently.
About 10.1 million foreign tourists are expected, while the rest will be domestic travellers.
Ahmad Phesal said about RM24.9bil in revenue was expected from international tourists and RM9.7mil from domestic tourists.
In 2012, Kuala Lumpur ranked 10th in the “10 most visited cities in the world” by Global Destination Cities Index published by Mastercard. It moved up two spots to eighth place last year.
The police have also set up an International Liaison Unit and according to KL Police Management Office chief SAC Datuk Aidi Ismail, all the members are able to speak English.
The unit was officially launched on Dec 5.
Source : The Star, 31 Dec 2013

PM announces 11 cost-cutting measures on public sector spending

PM had announced yesterday on cost cutting measure that will effect in travel by public sector ;

  • Amendments to eligibility for domestic and international flights. All civil servants in Jusa C and above will only get economy class travel

  • Toll payment allowances for senior Government officers to be reduced by 30%; or between RM50-RM100.

  • Entertainment allowances of Ministers, Deputy Ministers cut by 10%, those civil servant at Superscale C reduced by 5%-10%.

Read more below:

PETALING JAYA: The Government announced 11 cost-cutting measures for the public sector in line with its intention to practice of more prudent spending in 2014.
The measures, which range from cutting the entertainment and toll allowances of Ministers and Deputy Ministers to reducing the supply of food and drinks in the organising of all official government events will come into effect on Jan 1, the Prime Minister said in a statement on Monday.
“The measures are in line with the Government’s intention to practise more prudent spending next year (2014),” Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said in the statement.
Najib said the decision to undertake the measures was made after discussions with his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Ali Hamsa.
“Other savings measures for the public sector will be announced from time to time based on needs and the current situation,” Najib said.
The measures follow rising public concern over a spate of price increases including a hike in electricity tariffs, which also starts on Wednesday.
Senior government officials will bear the brunt of many of the cuts, with the entertainment allowances for Ministers and Deputy Ministers to be cut by 10%.
The entertainment allowances for Public Sector Superscale officers in the Jawatan Utama Sektor Awam (Jusa) C category and above will be cut by between five to 10%.
Public servants in the Superscale category are typically senior government officials such as secretary-generals of Ministries.
All government premises such as ministries, departments and agencies must also reduce their electricity bills by 5%.
The toll payment facility for civil servants in the Jusa C category and above will be reduced by 30% or by between RM50 to RM100.
All new applications to renovate government premises such as ministries, departments and agencies will be frozen.
The process of appointing consultants for government projects including for conducting feasibility studies will be tightened.
All applications to appoint the consultants must first be submitted to the National Development Planning Committee chaired by the Chief Secretary to the Government for approval.
The government also instructed a reduction in the use of event management companies and door gifts at any public sector-organised function involving civil servants.
The conditions to qualify for paid domestic and international flights for civil servants will be changed.
For example, all civil servants in the Jusa C category and below will only qualify for economy class travel.
The provision of food and drinks will be cut for all official government functions including conventions, seminars, meetings, and workshops.
The use of buntings and banners to advertise any government function will also be reduced, while the use of existing government office spaces must also be optimised in order to reduce the government’s office rental bills.
The government also instructed the National Blue Ocean Strategy to be applied by optimising the use of the 1Malaysia Training Centre and other facilities at government-owned training institutions to hold courses, seminars and workshops.

Source: NST, 31 Dec 2013
Graphic : The Star, 31 Dec 2013

Monday, 30 December 2013

Suicide Bomber Kills 16 at Russian Train Station

Guna Perkhidmatan Koc Khas dalam Keretapi (KTMB) untuk Wanita

Terbaca berkenaan isu ini di Berita Harian, 30 Disember 2013 kerana ada pengguna mengadu terkilan apabila koc khas untuk wanita tidak berfungsi apabila terdapat penumpang lelaki.

Jawapan aduan oleh En. Shahril Sahak, Ketua Unit Komunikasi Korporat KTMB seperti berikut ;

  • Inisiatif ini diperkenalkan pada April 2010

  • untuk memberi keselesaan dan jaminan keselamatan kepada penumpang wanita daripada gangguan seksual

  • sehingga kini tiada tindakan dikenakan terhadap penceroboh koc khas wanita berikutan tiada akta dikhususkan bagi isu berkenaan.

  • KTMB juga tiada rekod berkenaan bilangan penumpang lelaki yang menggunakan ruang khas tersebut

  • polis bantuan hanya mampu menegur dan menasihati mereka (lelaki) menukar koc

  • KTMB sentiasa membuat pemantauan berkala bagi memastikan koc khas wanita tidak dicerobohi.

Menerusi artikel "Operasi khas jamin keselesaan koc wanita" bertarikh 5 NOv. 2013 http://www.hmetro.com.my/articles/Operasikhasjaminkeselesaankocwanita/Article

Seramai 15 anggota dan pegawai wanita dari Ibu Pejabat Polis Bukit Aman akan melaksanakan Ops Cantas Khas Wanita bagi melaksanakan tugas kawalan keselamatan di dalam dua koc wanita bermula 4 November 2013.

Difahamkan, pasukan yang tampil berpakaian operasi lengkap itu turut bekerjasama dengan anggota wanita KTM Berhad (KTMB) itu akan ditempatkan di kawasan pengangkutan awam termasuk komuter dan Stesen Transit Aliran Ringan (LRT).

Info Tentang Koc Khas Wanita :

  • Untuk gerabak bahagian tengah dengan tema " Wanita Saja Sepanjang Masa, Ladies Only At All Times"
  • Dibezakan dengan pelekat khas berwarna merah jambu yang dipamerkan di tingkap, pintu dan koc.
  • Di stesen, penumpang boleh mengenal pasti lokasi berhenti menerusi kain rentang yang dipamerkan dan tiang berwarna merah jambu.


Kanak-kanak koma jatuh roda berpusing di Pesta Pulau Pinang

Brief Caption:The operation of ferris wheel at the Penang Pesta fairground has been temporarily halted after a six-year-old boy was reportedly fallen from one of the baskets.The Star/Lim Beng Tatt/ 29 Dec 2013.

PULAU PINANG 29 Dis. - Seorang kanak-kanak lelaki berusia enam tahun dikejarkan ke Hospital Pulau Pinang (HPP) selepas dipercayai terjatuh daripada permainan 'roda berpusing' di tapak Pesta Pulau Pinang, Sungai Nibong, di sini tengah malam semalam.

Dalam kejadian pukul 12.50 tengah malam itu, mangsa Mohamad Khairul Naimme Abu Kassim dipercayai terjatuh ketika menaiki Euro Wheel sebelum ditemukan oleh ayahnya yang merupakan peniaga di tapak pesta tersebut dalam keadaan pengsan dan dikerumuni orang ramai.
Difahamkan, selepas kejadian itu mangsa terus dibawa ke HPP dan dimasukkan ke unit rawatan rapi (ICU) serta masih tidak sedarkan diri ekoran kecederaan serius yang dialami.

Salah seorang ahli keluarga mangsa yang enggan dikenali berkata, mangsa bersama adik beradik yang lain sememangnya berada di tapak pesta menemani ayahnya yang berniaga sejak pesta bermula.
"Sebaik sahaja menyedari Mohamad Khairul Naimme tidak kelihatan di tapak gerai, kami sekeluarga mencarinya dan terkejut apabila menemuinya yang telah rebah berhampiran roda berpusing itu.
"Saya kesal dengan kejadian ini dan mahukan pihak pengurusan pesta memberi penjelasan sewajarnya mengenai kejadian yang berlaku," katanya ketika ditemui di Unit Rawatan Rapi (ICU) HPP, di sini hari ini.

Tambahnya, perbincangan bersama pihak pengurusan pesta akan diadakan dan dia amat berharap pihak berkenaan akan bertanggungjawab dengan apa yang telah berlaku.

"Saya tidak tahu bagaimana perkara ini terjadi, dari ketinggian mana mangsa jatuh kerana apabila ditanya kepada pekerja di tapak pesta terbabit, mereka tidak dapat memberikan jawapan, malah mengatakan tidak sedar bagaimana mangsa boleh terjatuh," ujarnya.

Sementara itu, Timbalan Ketua Polis Daerah Timur Laut, Suprintendan Ismail Idris yang dihubungi mengesahkan kejadian itu dan memberitahu siasatan lanjut sedang dijalankan.

"Kita sudah arahkan supaya permainan berkenaan ditutup kepada orang ramai sehingga siasatan selesai dan punca kanak-kanak itu terjatuh akan disiasat dari semua sudut," katanya.

Artikel Penuh: http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/Dalam_Negeri/20131230/dn_06/Kanak-kanak-koma-jatuh-roda-berpusing#ixzz2oxCfl6yz
Sumber : Utusan Malaysia, 30 Disember 2013
Photo : The Star Online

Lain-lain :
Sinar Harian , http://www.sinarharian.com.my/semasa/kanak-kanak-koma-terjatuh-dari-roda-berpusing-1.235271
NST , http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/boy-found-in-coma-near-ferris-wheel-1.450354
The Star , http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2013/12/30/Boy-falls-from-Ferris-wheel-Sixyearold-in-a-coma-after-unsupervised-ride/

Best Western Int' buka hotel Pertama di Myanmar

Pengendali hotel terkenal antarabangsa, Best Western International (BWI) yang mempunyai rangkaian hotel di Malaysia mengumumkan pembukaan hotel pertamanya di Myanmar. BWI juga merupakan syarikat U.S pertama yang membuka hotel di Myanmar.

Myanmar disifatkan sebagai destinasi pelancongan baharu muncul dunia.

Hotel pertama di Myanmar tersebut terletak di Yangon yang dinamakan Best Western Green Hill Hotel.
Dari Yangon International Airport (A) to Best Western Green Hill Hotel mengambil masa 30 minit perjalanan

Pembinaan hotel di Myanmar berkonsepkan kontemporari dengan 189 buah bilik.

Layari : http://www.greenhillhotelyangon.com/location.htm

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Good year ahead for aviation?

THE rapidly-expanding aviation sector is expected to remain challenging and competitive in 2014. Nevertheless, industry players and analysts are of the opinion that the outlook will be “positive” next year.
According to industry players, the opening of KLIA2, which has been delayed numerous times, promises an interesting development as it is expected to boost air traffic. At the same time, all eyes will also be on Malaysia Airlines (MAS) turnaround story.
AirAsia group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes says 2014 would be a big year for the AirAsia group and it would be introducing new duty-free business like a mall in the sky to boost its ancillary income.
He adds that the outlook seems positive for the industry while competition would be more rational next year.
He says there was rising demand for air travel as well as positive economic growth.
“I think if competition is rational, which I believe it will be, the industry’s outlook will be positive. I think 2014 has huge benefits for Malaysia because of AirAsia X’s growth,” he says.
Fernandes says the opening of KLIA2 will give the industry a massive boost.
“As long as we keep fares low, people will fly. There are 3 billion people in Asia,” he adds.
To reflect the optimism of the aviation industry, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently revised its industry outlook upwards for the coming year. It is now predicting that airlines will collectively post a global net profit of US$12.9bil in 2013, surging to US$19.7bil in 2014.
IATA’s projected profit of US$19.7bil for 2014 is a new record for airlines. The upward revision is due to lower jet fuel prices over the forecast period as well as improvements to the industry’s structure and efficiency already visible in quarterly results this year. Passenger markets continue to outperform the cargo business which remains stagnant both on volumes and revenues.
Industry net profit margins, however, remain weak at 1.1% of revenues in 2012, 1.8% in 2013 and 2.6% in 2014. Within this aggregate forecast for the entire industry, performance of individual airlines and regions will vary considerably.
Asia-Pacific airlines are expected to post a US$4.1bil profit in 2014, up from US$3.2bil in 2013.
“Overall, the industry’s fortunes are moving in the right direction. Jet fuel prices remain high, but below their 2012 peak. Passenger demand is expanding in the 5%-6% range – in line with historical trend. Efficiencies gained through mergers and joint ventures are delivering value to both passengers and shareholders. And product innovations are growing ancillary revenues,” according to IATA director-general and CEO Tony Tyler.
MAS group CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya says “2013 was an exciting year for us at MAS. New routes to Dubai, Kochi and Darwin were introduced as we look to improve our network reach. We also deployed our flagship A380 aircraft to the Paris and Hong Kong routes. We expect 2014 to also be a year of more exciting projects.’’
He adds that “we are constantly monitoring markets and various destinations around the world and exploring their economic viability’’.
Malindo Air CEO Chandran Rama Muthy says the airline’s performance the past 10 months has been good and he expects the trend to continue to 2014. Malindo Air will continue pursuing significant domestic and international expansion to capture a greater share of the regional market.’’
He adds that the airline has 11 aircraft this year and will increase to 25 next year.
‘‘We will continue pursuing international expansion, sticking to our long-term plans of turning the under-used KLIA into our main transit hub, thus easing the congested Singapore and Bangkok airports. With the launch of our Indian market in the beginning of the year, we are poised to capture a bigger market share. However, we will focus on a good foothold in the South-East Asian market. Domestically, we are now providing more than 60,000 weekly seats, and with more aircraft next year, we are projecting an increase of 60,000 seats,’’ Chandran adds.
Meanwhile, analysts expect competition in the industry to continue to be intense and not restricted to local airlines.
They note that full-service airlines and low cost carriers are expanding their fleet and seat capacity, making South-East Asia one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world. Carriers across the region are aggressively expanding their network and capacity ahead of the full implementation of the Asean Open Sky policy in 2015.
AirAsia X Bhd, which was listed on Bursa Malaysia in July, has ordered 25 more A330-300s valued at US$6bil (RM19.55bil). Another notable order of aircraft for 2013 would be Emirates’ purchase of an additional 50 Airbus A380 superjumbos valued at US$20bil, confirming the continued strong demand for air travel.
RHB Research says competition in 2014 will persist, but will be less severe asMalindo Air opts to take a more conservative expansion strategy, which bodes well for AirAsia and MAS.
“We see value in the former and AirAsia X as their valuations are relatively cheap compared to their regional and global peers,” it says.
RHB Research maintains its overweight call on the sector, citing the Visit Malaysia Year 2014 campaign and KLIA2 as the theme for higher passenger arrivals.
“The year 2014 is expected to remain competitive as Malindo continues to spread its wings. However, we think Malindo Air will be less aggressive due to its high cost structure.
Its airfare discounts have narrowed while there have been capacity cutbacks on some routes. Furthermore, fleet delivery so far (it currently has six narrow-bodied aircraft) has been below its initial target of 12 aircraft.”
RHB Research says “2013 has been a challenging year for Malaysian carriers” as they embarked on aggressive capacity expansion to boost topline and achieve economies of scale amid heightening competition driven by Malindo Air’s debut. This resulted in yields coming under pressure for MAS and AirAsia, dropping by 12.7% and 5.3% year-to-date respectively.
The entry of Lion Air group’s Malindo Air this year has proven to be impactful in the MAS-AirAsia duopoly domestic air travel market as both airlines have seen their yields affected by the new carrier.
AirAsia executive chairman Datuk Kamarudin Meranun says its yield has been slightly affected due to the intense competition and that it will be coming back with more promotions, cost reductions and new ancillary income streams to defend its turf.
RHB Research says AirAsia’s low-cost model has enabled it to stand strong despite intensifying competition amid a cost-conscious culture.
It says Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) benefits the most from rising passenger demand as low air fares stimulate air travel. The airport operator reported a 17.3% jump in year-to-date passenger numbers in October, driven by strong growth in both the domestic and international segments.
There’s a new carrier, Flying Fox Airways, an Ipoh-based airline which aims to increase the accessibility of Ipoh.
Flying Fox was supposed to commence operation on Dec 13 but got grounded on the day itself as the Ipoh airport runway was not ready for their aircraft.
Flying Fox complained that it had to cancel all its Ipoh-Medan flights between Dec 13 and June next year because the airport was unable to accommodate the Boeing 737-400 and Airbus A320.
On the opening of KLIA2, there have been reports suggesting that the contractors may not meet the scheduled completion to commence operations in April 2014.
MAHB has also expressed concern over the slippage in the work schedule of the terminal building, which is being built by the UEMC-Binapuri joint venture.
Nevertheless, UEM Construction Sdn Bhd and Bina Puri Sdn Bhd, the main contractors of the new low-cost terminal, have reaffirmed their commitment to complete work on the project within the stipulated deadline of Jan 31, 2014.
Source : The Star Online, 28 Dec 2013

Tan Sri Tony Fernandes - Founder and Group CEO of AirAsia Bhd

INDIA is the biggest market that Tony Fernandes is hoping to anchor in next year.
He had big dreams and had hoped to land in India this year, but it simply did not happen. He had to abandon two launch dates – September and October – as AirAsia India could not obtain a permit. While he hopes to receive the schedule operator permit or SOP in January to begin flying out of Chennai, Bernama has reported that he may now need to wait until mid-2014 before it can start flying.
Given his expertise in managing low-cost airlines, Fernandes remains confident of taking India by storm, but also knows all too well that India is not an easy market. There are too many players and it is a very competitive market, although it is booming due to its growing upper-middle-class segment.
Besides India in 2014, Fernandes – who has returned from his sojourn in Jakarta – has to come up with a strategy for AirAsia to take on the competition on home turf and increase income.
Barely two years after making Jakarta their new base, Fernandes and his confidant, Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, returned to Kuala Lumpur in November this year. Before leaving for Jakarta, they had left the running of AirAsia to Aireen Omar, but Kamarudin has since been redesignated as executive chairman of AirAsia, and Fernandes as group CEO and non-independent executive director.
The entry of Malindo Air has intensified competition on the home turf not just in the domestic routes but also some regional routes. Although both AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines have discounted the new player, they are, in reality, feeling the heat from the airline, and their return suggests that they are indeed worried about competition on the home turf.
One of Fernandes’ biggest challenges in 2014 is to manage competition and price fares right, although to him, “so long as we keep fares low, people will fly”.
Getting into India will give him a link to a vast market, but it will not give him immediate returns. Hence, AirAsia Malaysia remains the cash cow. However, he has to relook at costs once again.
Fernandes is also a lot richer after the back-to-back listings of his private companies, namely, long-haul carrier AirAsia X and Tune Ins Holdings Bhd this year, which raised more than RM1.2bil.
In 2014, Fernandes is looking at listing Indo AirAsia, and aside from India, he also wants to get into Myanmar, a tough market which other airlines are also eyeing. This will give him another hub that he needs, as he has dreams of AirAsia becoming like Emirates.
Also in the cards for next year are plans to introduce a mall in the sky – selling duty-free stuff to boost ancillary income.
He also has to shift operations from the low-cost carrier terminal in Sepang to KLIA2. Will he use aerobridges or make his passengers walk the tarmac at the new airport?
Most importantly, Fernandes has to deliver what the shareholders want - better dividends. – By B.K. Sidhu

Source : The Star Online, 28 Dec 2013

Friday, 27 December 2013

Aviation industry to fly through 2014 with less turbulence

KUALA LUMPUR: The local aviation industry is set to fly at cursing altitude next year, with great growth prospects ahead, after having gone through some minor turbulence this year.
Local airlines can make 2014, a year to remember as Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia and Malindo look set to go head-to-head in the battle to win customers and keep them.
Malaysia Airlines will replace old aircraft to make way for the arrival of new planes to help further improve product offering.
The national carrier will use the additional capacity to increase frequencies to meet passenger demand and fly to new destinations. 
Its solid business model includes aggressive marketing and promotions, better capacity management, optimising asset utilisation and driving productivity.
Meanwhile, low-cost carrier AirAsia's positive growth is set to continue into the New Year while its long-haul service, AirAsia X, is aggressively expanding capacity from time to time.
The group has placed the largest single airline orders with Airbus for an additional 25 A330-300s valued at US$6 billion.
New aircraft will provide the carrier with the ability to offer non-stop services to destinations in Europe or one-stop services to the United States.
Malaysian-based hybrid airline, Malindo Air, will spread its wings in India by aggressively adding six more destinations by the end of next year.
It will start the Kuala Lumpur-New Delhi sector at the end of this month, followed by Trichy, Tamil Nadu, on Jan 2, 2014 and Mumbai, Maharashtra, on Feb 15, 2014.
The government also pledged to transform Malaysia into a regional aviation hub which would have a multiplier effect on the economy.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak tabled the 2014 budget with the promise to formulate a National Aviation Policy, aimed at strengthening the ecosystem and services network in the aviation industry.
2014 will also usher in Visit Malaysia Year, the nation's biggest and grandest tourism celebration aimed at luring a record 28 million international tourist arrivals.
This programme will bode well for the overall aviation sector including, airport operator, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, as it will boost passenger arrivals.
RHB Research Institute expects competition between AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines to remain challenging but less severe. "However, Malindo will be less aggressive due to its high-cost structure," said analyst Ahmad Maghfur Usman.
He said this bode well for the two dominating local carriers, AirAsia and Malaysian Airline, if they play their cards right in maximising yields and loads. 
"Intense competition has resulted in airlines luring travellers with big discounts, which will help boost demand for air travel," he said, adding that this would benefit Malaysia Airports.
New budget terminal, KLIA2 which is scheduled for May 2, will also give a massive boost to the industry.
Ahmad Maghfur said high jet fuel prices, volatile exchange rates and stiff competition were among factors that affected airlines' earnings this year.
The fate of AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines over the fine imposed by the Malaysian Competition Commission in September for allegedly breaching competition laws was likely to be known in January.
On September 6, 2013, the commission announced that the companies would be fined up to RM10mil each for infringing section 4(2)(b) of the Competition Act 2010 by entering into an agreement which saw the two airlines sharing markets within Malaysia. - Bernama
Source : The Star Online, Dec 27, 2013

Industri Penerbangan Dijangka Kurang Tempuhi Gelora Pada 2014

For English Version : http://senangtravel.blogspot.com/2013/12/aviation-industry-to-fly-through-2014.html

Oleh Mohd Iswandi Kasan Anuar

KUALA LUMPUR, 27 Dis (Bernama) -- Industri penerbangan tempatan bersedia untuk 'terbang tinggi' tahun depan, dengan prospek pertumbuhan yang besar, selepas melalui beberapa 'pergolakan' kecil tahun ini.

Syarikat penerbangan tempatan boleh menjadikan 2014 satu tahun untuk dikenang dengan Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia dan Malindo, bersedia untuk bersaing memenangi hati pelanggan.

Malaysia Airlines akan menggantikan pesawat lama untuk memberi laluan kepada ketibaan kapal terbang baharu untuk membantu meningkatkan lagi penawaran produk.

Syarikat penerbangan negara itu akan menggunakan kapasiti tambahan untuk meningkatkan kekerapan bagi memenuhi permintaan penumpang dan terbang ke destinasi baharu.

Model perniagaannya yang kukuh termasuk pemasaran dan promosi yang agresif, pengurusan kapasiti yang lebih baik, mengoptimumkan penggunaan aset dan memacu produktiviti.

Sementara itu, pertumbuhan positif syarikat penerbangan tambang rendah AirAsia, bakal diteruskan pada tahun baharu ini manakala syarikat penerbangan jarak jauhnya, AirAsia X, agresif memperluaskan kapasitinya dari semasa ke semasa.

Kumpulan itu telah membuat tempahan terbesar dengan Airbus bagi tambahan 25 pesawat A330-300 bernilai AS$6 bilion.

Pesawat baharu itu akan membolehkan syarikat penerbangan berkenaan menawarkan perkhidmatan tanpa henti ke destinasi di Eropah atau perkhidmatan sehenti ke Amerika Syarikat.

Syarikat penerbangan hibrid yang berpangkalan di Malaysia, Malindo Air, akan melebarkan sayapnya di India dengan menambah enam lagi destinasi menjelang akhir tahun depan.

Syarikat itu akan memulakan sektor Kuala Lumpur-New Delhi pada akhir bulan ini, diikuti dengan Trichy, Tamil Nadu, pada 2 Jan 2014 dan Mumbai, Maharashtra, pada 15 Feb, 2014.

Kerajaan juga berjanji untuk mengubah Malaysia menjadi hab penerbangan serantau yang akan mempunyai kesan pengganda ke atas ekonomi.

Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak semasa membentangkan bajet 2014 dengan janji untuk menggubal satu Dasar Penerbangan Nasional, bertujuan untuk mengukuhkan ekosistem dan rangkaian perkhidmatan dalam industri penerbangan.

Tahun 2014 juga akan menyambut Tahun Melawat Malaysia, sambutan pelancongan terbesar dan terhebat di negara dengan sasaran untuk menarik 28 juta ketibaan pelancong antarabangsa.

Program ini akan memberikan petanda yang baik untuk sektor penerbangan secara keseluruhan termasuk pengendali lapangan terbang, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, kerana akan meningkatkan ketibaan penumpang.

Institut Penyelidikan RHB menjangkakan persaingan antara AirAsia dan Malaysia Airlines kekal mencabar tetapi kurang teruk.

"Bagaimanapun, Malindo akan kurang agresif disebabkan struktur kos yang tinggi," kata penganalisis Ahmad Maghfur Usman.

Beliau berkata ini juga memberi manfaat kepada kedua-dua syarikat penerbangan tempatan, AirAsia dan Malaysia Airlines, jika mereka menetapkan strategi dengan betul dalam memaksimumkan hasil dan jumlah muatan.

"Persaingan sengit telah menyebabkan syarikat penerbangan menarik penumpang dengan diskaun yang banyak, yang akan membantu meningkatkan permintaan bagi perjalanan udara," kata beliau, sambil menambah bahawa ini akan memberi manfaat kepada Malaysia Airports.

Terminal penerbangan tambang rendah yang baharu, KLIA2 yang dijadualkan siap pada 2 Mei, juga akan memberi rangsangan besar kepada industri.

Ahmad Maghfur berkata harga bahan api jet yang tinggi, kadar pertukaran yang tidak menentu dan persaingan sengit adalah antara faktor yang menjejaskan pendapatan syarikat penerbangan pada tahun ini.

Kedudukan AirAsia dan Malaysia Airlines berhubung denda, yang dikenakan oleh Suruhanjaya Persaingan Malaysia pada September kerana didakwa melanggar undang-undang persaingan, mungkin diketahui pada Januari ini.

Pada 6 September 2013, suruhanjaya itu mengumumkan bahawa syarikat penerbangan berkenaan akan dikenakan denda sehingga RM10 juta setiap satu kerana melanggar Seksyen 4 (2)(b) Akta Persaingan 2010 setelah memeterai satu perjanjian yang menyaksikan kedua-dua syarikat penerbangan itu berkongsi pasaran di Malaysia.


AirAsia India unlikely to start flying before summer 2014

NEW DELHI: AirAsia India, which was initially optimistic about starting operations by October this year and then January 2014, may now need to wait until summer 2014 before it can start flying, according to media reports.
AirAsia India is a 49:30:21 joint venture between AirAsia Bhd, Tata Sons and Telestra Tradeplace.
Tata Sons later entered into another joint venture with Singapore Airlines Tata-SIA to create a full-fledged airline in India. In Tata-SIA, Tata Sons is the majority shareholder with a 51% stake.
The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) has cleared both airline ventures.
FirstPost.com reported that Tata-SIA has applied to the Ministry of Civil Aviation for a no-objection certificate (NoC), giving mandatory details such as number of directors on its board and seeking security clearance for them from the Ministry of Home Affairs.
AirAsia India had already secured the NoC earlier. However, it has still not been granted the operating permit and is therefore unlikely to take to the skies before the summer schedule of 2014, reported the online business daily.
The report quoted an unnamed senior official in the ministry confirming both these developments to the daily, saying the NoC application from Tata-SIA has been received over the last few days.
According to the report, there has been much speculation about the apparently fast-track treatment that the Tata-SIA venture has received from various government departments against the rather slow pace of clearances being accorded to AirAsia India.
The NoC for Tata-SIA may also arrive fairly quickly. Thereafter, it will approach aviation regulator DGCA for a flying permit. For AirAsia India, though, delays abound.
Now, another hitch could be the voluntary retirement that current Director General of Civil Aviation has taken his last day in office is Dec 31. And until now, there has been no decision on a successor, said Firstpost.com.
So it is possible that AirAsia's launch plans get further delayed since its operating permit still needs to be issued by the DGCA. The official quoted earlier said there is a long-drawn procedure for issuing a Scheduled Operators' Permit (SOP), the report said.
The two ventures are expected to address widely different segments of the domestic aviation business AirAsia India would be an ultra low-cost carrier, based out of Chennai, whereas Tata-SIA would be a full service carrier, based in New Delhi.
The report also said that there has been persistent speculation over the Tatas pulling out of AirAsia India since the two business models are widely divergent and may not offer synergies.
This speculation has been denied by the Tatas and Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singhhad earlier clarified that no aviation rule has been violated by the Tatas in having a stake in two separate airline ventures.
The ministry official quoted earlier said in case the Tatas were to pull out, the entire process would have to be cancelled. "The FIPB approval was given based on the shareholding structure submitted at that time. If there is going to be a change in shareholding, a fresh FIPB approval will of course be needed," he said – Bernama.
Source : The Star Online, 27 Dec 2013