Posts tagged AirAsia

Clark International Airport becoming an important Philippines hub

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Two big wins for the Philippines’ Clark International Airport: FedEx will return to the Philippines and plans to use the airport as its hub, while surging low-cost carrier AirAsia will build a passenger base there for its new local affiliate, AirAsia Philippines.

At 2,367-hectares, Clark International Airport is about four times the size of Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, about 90 minutes’ drive away. It is located within the Clark Freeport Zone and industrial area on the site of a former US military base.

AirAsia Philippines plans to start flying in October to Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Bangkok with a fleet of four aircraft, before expanding out to other Asian destinations. Its parent company, AirAsia, already flies between Clark and Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu, which will continue alongside the new services.

FedEx’s main Asian hub is at Baiyun International Airport in Guangzhou, and is the company’s largest outside the United States. Before relocating there, it operated out of another Philippines economic zone (and former US base) at Subic Bay but found itself unable to expand operations to meet customer demand. The loss of FedEx was a blow to the Subic Bay and administrator Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, which lost 600 jobs and around P160 million (US$3.76 million) a year in revenues.

sources & articles: Malaya Business InsightThe Star

AirAsia in share swap with Malaysia Airlines?

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Here’s an interesting story: reports indicate that AirAsia is about to embark on a share-swap deal with its chief competitor and Malaysian national flag carrier, Malaysia Airlines (MAS). Sources have told Malaysian newspapers that the budget carrier will gain a 20% share of MAS under a partnership agreement.

The companies have supposedly been negotiating the deal for the past year. The sources also say the Malaysian government’s investment arm Khazanah Nasional will get a share in AirAsia and Tune Air Sdn Bhd will receive a stake in MAS. AirAsia’s CEO Tony Fernandes is also CEO of Tune Air, which itself owns a 26% share of AirAsia.

Neither Malaysia Airlines or Khazanah Nasional, its 70% shareholder, are commenting on the matter. It’s understood a formal partnership between the two rivals would enable them to compete more effectively in the global market, and bargain from a position of greater strength with airports and aircraft manufacturers.

AirAsia, which focuses on the budget end of the market, recorded a profit in Q1 of 2011 while Malaysia Airlines, which focuses on the traditional and higher end, recorded a loss and is undergoing a management restructure.

source & article: Channel NewsAsia

AirAsia, ANA join to form new budget airline in Japan

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Asia’s most booming airline is teaming up with one of its strugglers to hopefully produce profit: AirAsia Japan, a subsidiary owned by All Nippon Airways (ANA) will become the first low-cost carrier to fly out of Narita International Airport near Tokyo by August 2012.

The announcement was something of a surprise, since AirAsia X began flying out of Tokyo’s second international airport, Haneda, just this year and ANA also announced its own budget airline venture, Peach Aviation, in May. AirAsia X will continue to operate from Haneda for the foreseeable future, while Peach will be based at Kansai International Airport near Osaka and serve mainly the domestic market.

Even so, the move is an interesting one given the dramatic drop in tourist inflows to Japan after the March 11 disasters and a reluctance among Japanese to spend on luxuries like travel in the face of national hardship. Japan’s other major traditional carrier, Japan Airlines (JAL) has repeatedly flirted with bankruptcy over the past few years and home-grown domestic carriers have struggled to offer the kind of discounts seen in other countries, given Japan’s high landing fees and manpower costs.

AirAsia’s CEO Tony Fernandes remained confident his airline could do better, saying enhanced links in travel and tourism would boost economic ties between East and Southeast Asia and produce growth. ANA will hold a 67% share in AirAsia Japan, with plans to fly domestic routes and longer-haul services to South Korea and Taiwan.

source & article: news.com.au

AirAsia to move its regional HQ to Jakarta this year

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Some good news for Indonesia’s travel industry this morning, although possibly at Malaysia’s expense: Low-cost carrier AirAsia announced it would move its regional headquarters from Kuala Lumpur to Jakarta this year, looking to capitalize on Indonesia’s much larger and increasingly wealthy consumer base.

The airline said its move won’t impact Malaysian operations, but it does challenge Malaysia’s ambitions to be a regional transit hub. AirAsia is also busy recruiting staff for its new AirAsia Singapore operation, and CEO Tony Fernandes said they would be ‘night-stopping’ aircraft in the city to meet early morning flights.

Business has been pretty good for AirAsia this year. It has 49% stakes in Thailand and Indonesia, both set to go public in 2011, and has begun a joint venture to start AirAsia Philippines. It made a RM1.1 billion (US$364 million) net profit last year, doubling that of the previous year and beating analysts’ projections of RM822 million ($272 million). It operates 105 aircraft with another 122 on order and options for 63 more. Passenger demand also continues to increase, filling 82% of available spaces.

source & article: The Malaysian Insider

AirAsia launches new Philippines venture

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Low cost carrier AirAsia already runs flights between Kuala Lumpur and the Philippines. But it just announced it will deepen its relationship by purchasing a 40%, US$8 million stake in AirAsia Inc, a new joint venture company with an initial working capital of US$25 million.

CEO Tony Fernandes said he expects the new operation to be profitable from the beginning, and is currently negotiating with Philippines’ authorities for final approval and is deciding whether to use Clark or Subic International Airport as its hub.

AirAsia already has subsidiaries in Indonesia and Thailand, and recently began flying to South Korea and Japan. While there are rumors the company plans to begin future operations in Vietnam and Singapore, Fernandes says they are focusing on the Philippines venture for the moment. The airline will fly both domestic and international routes, and promises to make affordable flying finally available Filipinos.

Supplementing the launch was AirAsia’s announcement it will also sponsor the Philippines Patriots, 2009-10 Grand Final Champions in the Asean Basketball League.

source & article: The Star online

update: BT: Existing Philiippines carriers are reportedly not happy about AirAsia’s entry into their market as they face cost-cutting problems of their own, but are ‘bracing for competition‘.

Work starts on KL International Airport’s new budget carrier terminal

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Malaysia has broken ground on a new budget carrier terminal at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, to be opened by April 2012. The new terminal, with a total space of over 237 square meters, will be able to handle 30 million passengers annually, making it the largest of its kind in Asia. Its largest tenant will be AirAsia, Malaysia’s own budget carrier that brought low-cost travel to the Southeast Asian region in 2001 and has seen a rapid growth in customer numbers since then. Figures show overall budget travel from Kuala Lumpur has increased by around 37% in the past decade, and growth is expected to continue in double digits despite competition from other regional hubs.

The new terminal will be located much closer to KL’s main terminal and provide more sophisticated facilities to travelers. Originally scheduled to open in late 2011, the completion date was set back due to difficulties building on the site, formerly a palm oil plantation.

source & article: Channel NewsAsia

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