Hello again,

One of the main and permanent fixture of the annual Sabah Fest is the Tadau Kaamatan or Harvest Festival celebrations at the end of May. The most easily-recognizable features of this celebration is the general merry-making, cultural performances, traditional sports, and of course, the Unduk Ngadau ( Harvest Festival Queen ) pageant. 

Thus, DCASandakan would like to wish Happy Kaamatan to all who celebrate.

See ya ~


Tuesday May 15, 2012

SANDAKAN: An Air Asia passenger has been arrested at the airport here for smoking in the toilet of the aircraft.

The 27-year-old man, who was on the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Sandakan on Sunday, was caught smoking in the toilet by a flight attendant about 30 minutes before landing.

The man was handed over to airport policemen shortly after the flight landed at 10am.

The case would be forwarded to the Health Department for further action, police said.

© 1995-2012 Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)


People often wonder about our job, well here are some facts to make it easier to understand:

1. The controller is never wrong. Even if he is, he is not.

2. When working in ATC long enough, you become a master at covering up your mistakes.
3. Pilots often act like little children who can't have their favorite toy.
4. A pilot who thinks decreases the flow of traffic.
5. Your neighbors usually think you are unemployed.
6. Sexy voices don't necessarily account for sexy pilots.
7. A good controller feels like he's getting paid a lotta money for nothing--a bad controller feels like he's totally underpaid for saving lives everyday.
8. A cockpit window offers a better overview of all airport traffic than your control tower.
9. The toughest working position in a tower is start up/clearance delivery--during runway closures! It feels like a daycare job. (See Nr. 3)
10. It never stops to amaze you what can go wrong.
11. If you go out of your way to make a flight meet his slot, the pilots usually thank each other for waiting.
12. The hardest part about your job is the drive home with so many idiots on the road who just don't see the picture.
13. Your favorite question becomes "Any reason for the delay?" The best response is "Controllers amusement" (Thanks for that one, Scott!)
14. Controllers are very responsible people-but only at work!
15. You're always the best controller working at the busiest airport.
16. The radar guys think airplanes disappear after handover.
17. Female controllers must be tough to survive in our world - or pretty.
18. Your colleagues always tease you. When they stop, something is seriously wrong with you.
19. Most controllers hate offices and paperwork--some controllers see them as a way out.
20. The last thing you can handle after a busy day is your wife talking back to you and there's no recording of who said what.
21. Sometimes you wonder where the pilots hide their "immediate take-off checklist".
22. When you're home, you don't think about work. When you do, start worrying!
23. "Runway vacated" is a very flexible term, depending on the airline.
24. The best part about nightshift is driving home when everybody is driving to work.
25. When you think you're the best--that's the time to start being careful!



Opss, is this angling or aviation forum? Not really. Just wanna diversify and run away from heavy aviation topic. Relax your mind and enjoy the photos.

Wan Malanjun and his catch.

Hendrick Malanjun with his catch.
Well, pond fishing presents diverse species and the most common being Catfish (Keli), Climbing Perch (Puyu) and Snake Head (Haruan).

Herman Malanjun with his catch.

Mr Herman Malanjun, local expert fishing guide to Sandakan's ample fishing opportunities and Sandakan's amazing angling exploits!

Have you ever thought as an angler, fishing could be so much fun and interesting if you just knew  someone who knows the local scene and local way? 

Yazid Hilmi with his catch.

Some of the days may not be as productive as usual but this kind of fishing is very laidback, easy going and worth waiting of any angler’s time.

Till then, see ya!


TheSunDaily : Posted on 24 April 2012

KUALA LUMPUR (April 24, 2012): The KL International Airport (KLIA) staff have won the Best Airport Staff Asia Award in the Skytrax 2012 World Airport Awards, the most prestigious accolades for the world airport industry.

KLIA also improved its place in the world's top 10 airport list to eighth this year from ninth in 2011.
The award was presented on April 18 at the Passenger Terminal Expo in Vienna, Austria.

"We always aim to provide new experiences and world-class services to our customers," said Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) general manager of KLIA, Mohammad Suhaimi Abdul Mubin, in a statement today.

Mohammad Suhaimi expressed confidence the KLIA community will continue to uphold their excellent service level.

The award also means that MAHB is on the right track to achieve one of its key objectives in the five-year Business Direction - Runway to Success, which is Service Excellence, where the airport operator aims to maintain top-quality service levels.

The London-based Skytrax 2012 World Airport Awards results are based on 12 million passenger surveys completed in a 10-month period, covering over 388 airports. – Bernama


TheStar : Saturday May 12, 2012

SEPANG: Low cost airliner AirAsia has stripped the serious work suits off its flight attendants for their weekend flights.

Instead, its cabin crew has taken on a casual uniform comprising jeans and corporate collared shirts during these flights, to get its customers into a relaxed weekend mode.

“This outfit is among moves by the carrier to inject a fresh lease of life into the branding outlook of the decade-old airliner,” said AirAsia group head, commercial, Kathleen Tan.

“In the last 10 years, we have gone from a Malaysian brand to a global brand.

“We felt that now is the time to give us a refreshing look and to give our customers an experience that they will feel ‘cool’ about,” Tan said at the airline’s Low Cost Carrier Terminal office here yesterday.

The facelift will be noticeable in AirAsia advertisements, check-in counters, memorabilia and its offices, which will feature eccentric graphic design elements in black and white.

Although the airline’s iconic red will be maintained, Tan said excessive use of the corporate colour would be reduced to allow space for more “edgy” and contemporary designs.

A statement from the airline said the cabin crew weekend outfit reflected AirAsia’s image of “daring to be different, sporty yet smart and sexy”.

The concept will be introduced in all AirAsia offices worldwide in stages.

“We did not want to do this in the past because as a young airline, we wanted to be identified as a serious player.
“The key here is that we want to bring in fun elements (now that AirAsia is an) established brand,” said Tan


TheStar :  Saturday May 12, 2012

PUTRAJAYA: KLIA will become the world’s first airport to provide immigration clearance and check-in services through a single counter.

It will be exclusive to Malaysia Airlines’ First Class and Enrich Platinum passengers and is expected to kick off in July.

The initiative is in line with KLIA’s efforts to strengthen its position as one of the top airports in the world in terms of Immigration service.
KLIA’s service was acknowledged in the Skytrax World Airport Awards 2011 for Best Airport Immigration Service.

It was the second consecutive win for the airport.
“These passengers will be escorted from the check-in counter by MAS personnel through a special route to the departure area and will be given VVIP treatment,” said KLIA Immigration director Mohd Zulfikar Ahmad.

He said the service was also provided for arrivals of Malaysia Airlines’ First Class and Enrich Platinum passengers at the airport, with passengers escorted to special counters for Immigration checks.

“Passengers boarding the new A380 aircraft in July will be the first to enjoy this new service,” he said.
MAS will be the world’s eighth airline to use the “super jumbo” Airbus A380, the world’s largest jetliner with 494 seats.

There are currently 46 immigration counters at the departure hall and another 48 at the arrival hall.
Mohd Zulfikar said one counter from both the arrival and departure halls would be converted into special counters for the new service.

“On average, every passenger at the Premier Lane for departure and arrival waits for about 10 minutes for immigration checks during peak hours.
“With this dedicated new lane, the waiting time will be an average of two minutes,” he said, adding that the airlines would also be looking at extending the service to Business Class passengers


BORNEO POST ONLINE : Posted on May 9, 2012, Wednesday

KUCHING: MASwings Sdn Bhd (MASwings) aiming for further expansions in the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-the Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) region announced its phase two operation plan scheduled to commence in July this year.

Since February, MASwings has successfully taken off to Brunei, Pontianak and Tarakan.

“The response has been very encouraging so far with average load factors of between 60 per cent and 65 per cent, while at certain times, load factors between Tawau and Tarakan or Kuching and Pontianak had gone up to between 80 per cent and 90 per cent,” said MASwings chief executive officer Datuk Captain Mohd Nawawi Awang.

“With the encouraging response, we will be embarking on our phase two operations by July 1, with our current three times a week flight schedule from Tawau to Tarakan increasing further to daily services,” he added.

 WIDENING THE HORIZON: Nawawi says MASwings’ phase two operation plan is scheduled to commence in July this year.

“Moving forward phase two operations would also see a new MASwings route from Kuching to Balikpapan (East Kalimantan) that would take off in October. “On top of that, we are also looking into other regions in BIMP-EAGA, especially the Philippines.”

“We are currently sorting out the clearence and required approvals from the Philippines government and hopefully, we will be able to enter Puerto Princesa (Palawan Island) by year end. This will be the drive going forward for MASwings in its effort to support the BIMP-EAGA initiatives,” Nawawi said.

He further pointed out that if the second phase expansion plan was successfully implemented, MASwings would be eyeing for bigger types of aircraft that would be able to go beyond the current ATR range. “Hopefully, by year end, we will be able to put in this request to our sister company,” he added.
The regional airline currently owns 10 units of ATR72-500s and four HDC-6 Twin Otters. MASwings would be adding another ATR72-500s in the next few months, acquiring it from its sister company, Firefly.

MASwings has also recently undergone its fleet renewal programme where it replaced the ageing Fokker 50 aircraft with the state-of-the-art ATR75-500 series aircraft. Nawawi pointed out that ATR was an environmentally friendly aircraft with less carbon emission and noise reduction.
The ATR is also configured to 68 seats in order to allow for more leg room and aisle space, different from any other similar category aircraft operation.


From DailyExpress : Published on: Thursday, May 10, 2012

Kota Kinabalu: MASwings plans to fly two new routes, namely Kota Kinabalu-Puerto Princessa, Palawan and Kuching-Balikpapan, under its second phase of expansion to the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines-East Asian Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) region.

This is apart from upgrading the existing Tawau-Tarakan thrice-weekly flight services to daily services effective July 1 and introducing a Coral Triangle Charter Flight for divers to world-class dive spots in the State, Philippines and Indonesia within the Coral Triangle (Celebes Sea).

These follow the encouraging response received from its first three destinations in BIMP-EAGA, namely Tawau-Tarakan, Kuching-Pontianak and Kota Kinabalu-Bandar Seri Bengawan, where altogether it has recorded a load factor average of 60-65 per cent. Its CEO Datuk Captain Mohd Nawawi Haji Awang, who announced this, said they expect to start flying the new Kuching-Balikpapan route, which would be thrice weekly, by the end of October.

"We are in the process of seeking approvals and clearances from the Philippine Government for the KK-Puerto Princessa route Éif everything goes well, we plan to start this new route by the end of October," he said, adding they are all very excited with these new developments.

They are also looking at aircraft utilisation aspects and adjusting timing and so on in preparing for the changes to the Tawau-Tarakan flight service schedules. The company might also increase the number of its aircraft if the need arises.

Mohd Nawawi said this at a press conference in conjunction with the MASwings BIMP-EAGA Golf Challenge 2012 at the MAS administration building in Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA), Wednesday.

He said the Coral Triangle Charter Flight plan is still at a proposal stage, adding MASwings needs to have collaboration with the Malaysian, Indonesia and Philippines tourism authorities in introducing this package for divers to come to the world-class dive spots within the Celebes Sea.

"We plan to have scheduled charter flights for divers at the three world-class diving spots, each in the respective country, under one package," he said, adding they plan to have this on a weekly basis.
According to the plan, divers would first fly to Sabah where they would be brought to Sipadan island and after three to four days they would proceed to Davao in Philippines and then to Manado in Sulawesi, Indonesia.

"This is very much in the planning stage with the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) leading the processÉwe have set a six-month timeframe for this to materialise," he said.

The tourism authorities of the other countries concerned are also excited about the plan, he said.
Mohd Nawawi also commented on MASwings achievement on being named the Best MH Auxiliary Business Subsidiary Platinum Award winner Tuesday, outshining the other Malaysia Airlines business subsidiaries.

"This is something the Sabah and Sarawak communities can reflect upon because it shows that the company which has nearly 100 per cent of its staff from Sabah and Sarawak can really make it happen," he said, adding it also shows that MASwings is truly the community airline for the people of Sabah, Sarawak and BIMP-EAGA.

The company has 1,300 staff, of whom about 90 per cent are from Sabah and Sarawak, and Mohd Nawawi also pledged to bring in jets in its fleet of aircraft once its second phase of expansion has successfully achieved its objective by next year.
MASwings carried over 20,000 passengers within several months of flying to the BIMP-EAGA destinations.

Meanwhile, Mohd Nawawi said some 200 golfers from the BIMP-EAGA region are expected to take part in MASwings' inaugural golf tournament that will tee-off at Eastwood Valley Golf and Country Club Miri, Sarawak, on May 27.

Besides reinforcing its presence and entrance into the BIMP-EAGA region and marking the beginning of MASwings' involvement in staging and organising an event of grand scale in the said region, the friendly tournament is also for the Miri city's anniversary celebration.

The tournament provides three different categories - open individual, team event and VIP/guest category, he said, adding champions of the tournament will carry MASwings BIMP-EAGA Golf Challenge 2012 trophies, MASwings hole-in-one prizes which include 10 business class tickets on MASwings destinations, lucky draws and novelty prizes.

He said MASwings has also reintroduced its Golf Escapade promotion that covers extensive prestige packages for golfers all over the world.

It is to help promote golf tourism within the region.
The package will create the opportunity for business golfers to travel and play golf at an attractive price within Sarawak, Sabah, Brunei and Indonesia.

Customers would enjoy a return flight, hotel accommodation for three days two nights or two days one night stay with daily breakfast and return transfer.

Interested golfers can make their booking online via MASwings official website www.maswings.com.my.
The booking options are made convenient for golf enthusiasts when selecting their preferred courses, destinations and hotels.


From TheStar :  Thursday May 10, 2012

KOTA KINABALU: Regional carrier MASwings is looking at venturing into jet operations by 2013 if expansion of its operations remains on track.

The Malaysia Airlines (MAS) subsidiary that currently operates 10 ATR-72 turboprop aircraft is eyeing the southern Philippine city of Davao as well as Manado and Ujung Pandang in the Indonesian province of Sulawesi as among its future destinations.

For this, the airline would be requiring jets such as Boeing 737-400, currently being used by MAS.
MASwings chief executive officer Datuk Capt Mohd Nawawi Awang said the company was looking at acquiring one more ATR aircraft, possibly from MAS’ subsidiary Firefly.

He said MASwings was optimistic about the prospects of its latest services between the city and Puerto Princessa in the southern Philippine island of Palawan and Kuching, and Balikpapan in Indonesia from October.

Nawawi said this optimism was based on the average load factor of 65% for MASwings flights to regional destinations of Tarakan, Pontianak and Bandar Seri Begawan since early this year.

He said MASwings was also working with tourism authorities in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Phi­lippines for a special package for divers to Sabah, southern Philippines and Sulawesi.


Abang Johari: Majority stake in MASwings deal by end of year
By YU JI Published: Sunday April 29, 2012 MYT 4:22:00 PM

KUCHING: The Sarawak and Sabah state governments aim to close the deal on their majority stake in MASwings before the end of this year.

Sarawak Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg told reporters here that the deal was nearing completion.

“Certainly, we hope it will be concluded by the end of this year. The two state governments combined will have a majority stake,” Johari said at a press conference on Sunday.

He declined to reveal further details.

To a question on whether the two state governments could hold between 60% and 70% equity in MASwings, Johari did not deny the figures.

“Yes roughly around that. It's being worked out, I really can't say much because MAS (MASwings's parent company Malaysia Airlines) is a public listed company.

"What is safe to reveal now is that we (Sarawak and Sabah state governments) will have a substantial stake. The management (of MASwings) will be under us,” he said.

The Star has reliably learnt from industry sources that Sarawak and Sabah state governments are each aiming at 30% equity, leaving the remaining 40% to Federal Government.

Little is known about the developing deal, and how the potential unravelling of the MAS and AirAsia shareswap last year could impact the change of MASwing's ownership.

Talk of MASwings' becoming a Sarawak and Sabah state governments majority owned airline has been circulating since early this year.

The move was prompted by the sudden downsizing of Firefly - another of MAS's subsidiaries - that abruptly cancelled its services from the two Malaysian states on Borneo on the eve of Malaysia Day last year.


National Aviation Council to be set up in 2 months
By Sean Augustin Published: 2012/05/04

A NATIONAL Aviation Council (NAC) will be set up within the next two months to coordinate aviation-related policies, the prime minister announced.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the council would deal with all policies on aviation and decide on issues arising between national premier carrier Malaysia Airlines (MAS), low-cost carrier AirAsia Bhd, and airport operator Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB).

The council, he said, would also be tasked to resolve issues affecting the industry, while any major issues can be brought to the National Economic Council.  
"It is about time. Otherwise it is very hard to arbitrate between MAS, AirAsia and MAHB.

"We need a body that is really dedicated and understands the nature of the industry," he told reporters after chairing the 24th Putrajaya Committee GLC High Performance meeting here yesterday.
Also present were Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop and Khazanah Nasional Bhd managing mirector Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar.

Najib said he would announce further details on the NAC in the near future.

He added that aviation experts would be appointed to the council.

Meanwhile, Najib said MAS and AirAsia need to cooperate through a new business model following the scrapping of the share swap deal announced Wednesday.

The collaboration between the country's two "regional champions" had benefited Malaysia's economy immensely, he said.

The prime minister was commenting on the decision by the major shareholders of both airlines to unwind the share-swap deal which will see Khazanah Nasional Bhd transfer its 10 per cent stake in AirAsia back to Tune Air Sdn Bhd, which will, in turn, transfer its 20.5 per cent stake in MAS back to Khazanah.

The share-swap agreement was part of a comprehensive collaborative framework signed by MAS, AirAsia and AirAsia X in August. Under the agreement the three parties were to explore opportunities to cooperate to leverage their core competencies and optimise efficiencies.  

The agreement was also to help both carriers compete against regional rivals, once the Southeast Asian open-sky policy comes into effect in 2015.  

However, it was not well received by the national carrier's 20,000 union members.