Posts Tagged ‘AirAsia’

Malaysian Air and AirAsia form alliance

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Budget carrier AirAsia has announced a tie-up with Malaysian Air which will help both airlines compete on long-haul routes with rivals such as Singapore Airlines. The deal will be in the form of a share swap. Malaysian Air will give AirAsia 20.5 per cent of its stock in exchange for a 10 per cent share in Asia’s number-one low-cost carrier.

The value of each bundle of shares is estimated to be around $360 million. The deal will be based on the closing price of the airlines’ stock on 5 August. AirAsia boss, Tony Fernandes will now join the board of Malaysian Air which will give his airline access to joint-purchasing agreements and reduced competition.

Both carriers will now work with each other to coordinate their cargo operations, establish new routes and purchase more planes. AirAsia recently confirmed an order with European planemaker Airbus for 200 brand new A320neos.

An increase in the number of tickets sold by AirAsia and income from additional services meant the airline was able to combat the rising price of jet fuel and double its profit, while net income for Malaysian Air declined by 55 per cent.

Khazanah Nasional, the largest investor in Malaysian Air, will retain a 49 per cent holding in the carrier. It is also looking into the possibility of taking a 10 per cent stake in AirAsia X. Meanwhile, AirAsia, which has operations in Indonesia and Thailand, is looking to expand in Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan. It currently carries passengers to more than 20 countries.

Expedia targets Asia Pacific with AirAsia deal

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Asia’s leading low-cost carrier, AirAsia, has announced a new deal with the world’s largest internet based travel agent, Expedia, to capitalise on the growing demand for online travel booking in the Asia-Pacific region. Although currently only around 20 per cent of travel sales are executed over the net, Tony Fernandes, AirAsia’s CEO, predicts that online bookings will explode and that there is an opportunity to develop trusted consumer brands in the booming economies of the region.

Barry Diller, Expedia’s chairman, said AirAsia offered a great network as travel focus on Asia continued to increase. Expedia Asia-Pacific has been set up to look after various businesses in India, Japan, East Asia and South East Asia. It will also operate GoRooms and AirAsiaGo.

The venture is an equal partnership, and customers wishing to purchase a ticket online for travel with the budget carrier can now do so almost exclusively through AirAsia sites or via Expedia. Expedia AirAsia’s group consists of AirAsia Indonesia, AirAsia Malaysia, AirAsia X and Thai AirAsia.

The travel business in the region is estimated to be worth around $200 billion and Expedia will be able to offer the 70 million people who visit its site each month deals on a range of services including package holidays, car rental and hotel rooms.

AirAsia currently serves 75 destinations throughout Asia, Europe and Australia operating 140 routes. The company started with just two aircraft and now has a fleet of 104. The new deal is expected to be particularly beneficial to the Thai travel market, according to Fernandes.

Virgin Atlantic stake may be sold by Singapore Airlines

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Airline analysts are watching Singapore Airlines closely to see how its new chief executive officer will deal with the carrier’s underperforming stake in Virgin Atlantic. Goh Choon Phong took over the top job from Chew Choon Seng on 1 January. His predecessor had already expressed an interest in divesting the airlines shares in Virgin.

Since 2000, when SIA acquired its 49 per cent stake, the shape of the airline industry across Asia has changed dramatically. Fierce competition is now coming from budget carriers like Jetstar and AirAsia. SIA’s market share of the extremely lucrative business market is also under renewed attack from airlines such as Korean and Cathay Pacific.

A further challenge is being offered up in the Middle East where airlines including Emirates, Etihad and Qatar are rapidly building their fleets on routes via their hubs to Asia and Europe. It is therefore believed that SIA will want to give up any plans for global expansion and concentrate its efforts on defending itself against the increasing pressures of the Asian market.

Virgin Atlantic has announced that it has been approached by various international carriers about a possible tie-up. The airline is 51 per cent owned by Sir Richard Branson, and unless he gives up his control, and SIA sells its share, it is unlikely that any other carrier is going to be willing to enter into an alliance.

Deutsche Bank has been put in charge of looking at the options available and, according to Virgin, Singapore Airlines has been supportive of the move.

Budget carrier launches budget hotel chain

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Budget holiday hunters may be interested to know that a new hotel chain is offering no-frills accommodation for as low as 20 cents per night

The new budget Tune Hotel is on the same site as the Low-Cost Terminal in Kuala Lumpur and is the brainchild of AirAsia boss, Tony Fernandes.

And just like any famous discount airline chief, Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson and Malaysian entrepreneur Fernandes have moved from music exec to low cost airlines and now into hotels and more.

The low-cost hotel, one of many cropping up across Asia, is the definition of budget digs and anything above the basic will cost you.

In spite of their no-star rating, a standard room is quite small and equipped with a 5-star queen bed, a hot electric shower and a ceiling fan, although clean and modern.

Communications manager for Tune Biresh Vrajlal said that most travellers who have stayed in the hotel describe the size by saying you couldn’t swing a cat there.

The room does not include a television, refrigerator or kettle, and any extras such as towels, a kettle and air conditioning would be charged as extras.

Air conditioning is a must for such a small room, which can quickly heat up in the hot Malaysian climate.

All of the hotels have free internet available in the lobby and the chain of hotels has retail shops associated with them where you can buy breakfast for about $2.

The concept is similar to that of low-cost airlines, which employ a self-service online booking system and rates are kept low by offering limited services.

The average price of a room starts at about $3 per night, but if you take advantage of some promotions, you could book a room for as low as 23 cents per night.

The first of the Tune hotels was launched in May 2007 in Kuala Lumpur, and now operates in Bali, throughout Malaysia, and soon, India.

Baby boy safely delivered on board AirAsia flight

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

An AirAsia flight on its way to Kuching got an unexpected extra passenger last week. Flight AK 6506 was re-routed to Kuala Lumpa when passenger Liew Siaw Hsia gave birth to a baby boy last Wednesday.

As the aircraft approached Kuala Lumpa air attendants were assisted by Dr. Ronald Tang in delivering the boy. The baby boy and his mother have now been given free flights for life by the airline. The baby is said to have been safely delivered at around 2000 feet as the aircraft was descending to land. Medical staff were ready on the tarmac to transport both mother and child to Putrajaya Hospital as soon as the AirAsia flight was safely on the ground. AirAsia even laid on an ambulift service to get to get the pair to an awaiting ambulance.

Dr. Tang has since said that the AirAsia staff handled the situation superbly. He said that the delivery went smoothly with no complications and issued a heartfelt thank you to AirAsia’s cabin crew.

Moses Devanayagam, AirAsia’s director of operations said that the airline was extremely proud to have had the boy delivered on one of its aircraft. He went on to say that the event was extremely auspicious and was the first time such an event had occurred in AirAsia’s history. He also said that having Dr. Tang on board was very fortunate and went on to praise his handling of the situation. Moses and other members of the flight team visited mother and child in hospital where he announced that he looked forward to both flying with AirAsia in the future.