TheStar : Saturday June 14

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SEPANG: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) retired the Boeing 737-400 passenger aircraft from its fleet Saturday night, 22 years after it entered the carrier's service in 1992.

The last 737-400 series flight touched down in Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at 9.31pm Saturday, after taking off from the Bayan Lepas airport in Penang at 8.41pm.

It carried 85 passengers and was served by 10 cockpit and cabin crew.

Capt Wan Muzainal Wan Mahazir, 42, who piloted the aircraft, said he and his crew had fond memories of the 737-400.

 MAS' last Boeing 737-400 flight on the KLIA tarmac. Starpix/PATRICK LEE

"It has been a good, memorable 22-odd years that the 400 series has been servicing MAS.

"(We) still have vivid, fond memories from when we started our early days training on the 400 series, 20 years ago," he told reporters here.

He added that the 400 series would be replaced by the 737-800 series, of which there are 53 planes currently in service.

MAS chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said the 737-400 had an exemplary safety record.

"It's like the retiring of an old friend," he said, adding that MAS would be banking on the 800 series to ply the routes previously serviced by the 400 series.

Ahmad said the 800 series saves 15% to 20% more fuel compared to the 400 series, and could fly for five hours one-way.

Ahmad said MAS expected to see more deliveries of the 800 series this year and the next, with a total of 64 of the aircraft by year-end 2015.

MAS had eight of the 737-400 in service before they retired it.

The Boeing 737-400 entered MAS' service in May 1992, and at one point ran 54 of the aircraft, making the company the largest operator of the model outside the United States.

Commenting on the 100-day anniversary of the MH370 incident Sunday, Ahmad said the search was still underway and that efforts were ongoing, by all parties involved.

Till then, see ya~


TheStar :  Friday June 13, 2014

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ALOR SETAR: Two firms are planning to start a new airline with Sultan Abdul Halim Airport in Kepala Batas here as its hub.

Abdul Wahab (cen tre), Bumi Aviation executive director Azrul Hisham Datuk Abd Wahab (right) and  Muhammad showing the planned carrier’ s routes.
Abdul Wahab (cen tre), Bumi Aviation executive director Azrul Hisham Datuk Abd Wahab (right) and Muhammad showing the planned carrier’ s routes.

Bumi Aviation Sdn Bhd and Neptune Air Sdn Bhd are behind the new low-cost carrier, which has yet to be named, and plan to start with return flights to Langkawi, Kota Baru, Medan, Acheh and Phuket.

Bumi Aviation managing director Abdul Wahab Mat Isa claimed that the new airline would be operational by September.

“We chose Alor Setar as we felt it is geographically strategic for domestic and international flights to Thailand and Indonesia. Our airline and our destinations can help boost the state’s economy,” he said, adding that Bumi Aviation was set up early this year.

When pressed for information on frequency of flights and fares at the press conference at the airport yesterday, he said more would be revealed when the memorandum of understanding for the enterprise was inked at the end of this month.

“We plan to purchase new planes for the new airline company,” Neptune Air director Muhammad Abdul Jalil said.

“We plan to buy two planes first, either the ATR 42-300 or ATR 42-500 (turbo prop aircraft), at a cost of about RM10mil, including operations. We will need at least 10 aircraft in two years’ time to optimise operations.”

Muhammad said Neptune Air was set up in 2006 and had nine aircraft, providing services such as dry and wet lease, cargo and passenger charter flights and air cargo retail sales for selected schedule routes.

Malaysian Airlines, Firefly and Air Asia provide domestic flights from the Sultan Abdul Halim Airport and there was a direct flight to Medina and Jeddah for Haj pilgrims last year.


TheStar : Friday June 13, 2014

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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd plans to convert some oil-palm plantations surrounding Kuala Lumpur’s main air terminal into attractions such as theme parks, concert halls and golf courses to lure businesses and visitors. 

 MAHB plans to develop the lowcost terminal site into a logistics hub for cargo facilities once main tenant AirAsia relocates its headquarters, Faizal says.

A factory outlet venture with Mitsui Fudosan Co, Japan’s biggest developer, would open in the area next year, and new towns had sprung up near the airport that would help the zone dubbed KLIA (KL International Airport) Aeropolis grow, chief financial officer Faizal Mansor said in an interview.

MAHB has about 9,000ha in Sepang, where the international airport and a Formula One track are located. 

“I don’t think any other airport in the world has got the kind of land bank that we have,” Faizal said. As the area gets more developed, “the airport then slowly becomes less and less a destination for passengers to take a flight, more and more a destination by itself.” 

Future developments for KLIA Aeropolis include more than 121.4ha set aside for a cargo and logistics park, more than 202ha for a theme park and land exceeding 40.4ha for offices, according to presentation slides from the company. 

MAHB planned to develop the old budget terminal site into a logistics hub for cargo facilities once main tenant AirAsia relocated its headquarters, Faizal said.

This would help Malaysia catch up with centres in Singapore and Bangkok and compete for a larger share of the air cargo market, Khair Mirza, senior general manager of planning, said in the same interview. 

AirAsia would start building its headquarters at the new budget terminal next month with completion targetted for the end of 2015, Bernama reported on June 4, citing chief executive officer Aireen Omar

KLIA might overtake Singapore’s Changi Airport in passenger traffic in two to three years at current growth rates, Faizal said. 

KLIA handled about 47.5 million travellers last year while Changi Airport had 53.7 million passengers. Passenger traffic was projected to grow 10% this year in Kuala Lumpur, he said.


TheStar : Friday June 13, 2014

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Ground crew look on as an AirAsia India Airbus A320 prepares to embark on its inaugural domestic flight to Goa from the Kempe Gowda International Airport (KGIA) in Bangalore on June 12. - AFP
                        Ground crew look on as an AirAsia India Airbus A320 prepares to embark on its inaugural                                  domestic flight to Goa from the Kempe Gowda International Airport (KGIA) in Bangalore on June 12. - AFP

BANGALORE: Asia’s biggest budget carrier AirAsia has made its maiden flight in India, fuelling a cut-throat fare war in a sector already reeling from losses.

AirAsia India flew from the high-tech hub of Bangalore to the popular coastal resort of Goa, as it sought to become the lowest-cost budget airline in the country.

The airline offered a promotional fare of 990 rupees (US$17) for flights between the two cities – cheaper than a second-class train ticket.

The carrier’s founder and group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes – a millionaire former music executive – was in a celebratory mood ahead of the flight.

“It’s a proud day for me as my dad was from Goa,” Fernandes said on Twitter.

“Congrats to all my wonderful staff in @airasiain. You have proven that determination, positivity and passion always wins over negative.”

Malaysia-based AirAsia already operates international routes into the Indian cities of Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi, Kolkata and Trichy.

Its domestic Indian operation began with just one plane servicing one route, but aims to scale up to 10 planes and 10 cities by the end of the fiscal year in March 2015.

The carrier faces a tough battle to break into the Indian market, where no-frills carriers already dominate with a near 65% market share in the country of 1.2 billion people.

AirAsia’s rock bottom fares have triggered a price war in an already competitive market. 

All but one of India’s half-dozen airlines are haemorrhaging losses, worsened by high operating costs including for fuel. – AFP


From :  BorneoPost (May 29, 2014, Thursday)
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KOTA KINABALU: MASwings Sdn Bhd, a unit of Malaysia Airlines (MAS), will phase out its three ageing Twin Otter aircraft this month as part of efforts to better serve rural areas in Sarawak and Sabah.

Chief executive officer Datuk Captain Mohd Nawawi Awang said six Twin Otter Viking Series 400 planes will replace the ageing aircraft, which have been in operation for 30 years and are no longer in production.

“The fifth new aircraft is already here and the sixth will be coming in November,” he told reporters at the launching of the airline’s Kaamatan and Gawai programme at Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) here yesterday by Sabah Tourism Chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai.

Mohd Nawawi said the new aircraft will be used to provide improved and additional services to rural areas in Sarawak and Sabah.

MASwings is also upgrading its services with six new ATR 72-600 turboprop planes by year-end to cater to demand in the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), he said.

“One aircraft is already at Subang Airport and is expected to arrive here tomorrow or in the next few days.

“We expect it to be in service by next week, another two 600 aircraft are expected to arrive between August and October this year, and the rest later in the year,” he said.

The airline plans to increase flight frequency from Kota Kinabalu to Puerto Princesa in Palawan, the Philippines from three to five weekly from June 2, he said.

Cabin crew on selected MASwings flights will dress in traditional Sabah and Sarawak costumes throughout the week of Kaamatan and Gawai from the end of this month to June 4, he added. — Bernama


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All agencies and officials met at Malaysia Airports Berhad, Sandakan for a “Table Talk” exercise designed to help agencies work seamlessly together in the event of a disaster in the airport.

Attached are photos taken during the event.

Till then, see ya~