AirAsia Promotion – Get your Baht to Thailand

Travel News December 17th, 2008

BANGKOK: AirAsia is offering 100,000 free seats to draw tourists back to Thailand after political turbulence saw the closure of Bangkok’s two airports.

The regional campaign cheekily themed “Get your Baht to Thailand” is the budget airline’s effort to help the Thai tourism industry which was severely affected over the last few months.

“We are here to make sure that the world does not forget that Thailand is a wonderful place for tourists,” said AirAsia group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes.

“We want to ensure that AirAsia brings people from Asean countries, India and China and the world – especially through AirAsia X – to visit Thailand.”

“AirAsia was there during the Bali (bombing), SARS, tsunami and Aceh (when no airlines wanted to fly there) and with this promotion, we are showing our commitment to Thailand.”

AirAsia’s campaign, launched exclusively at www.airasia.com, starts today at midnight and ends on Friday for travel between Jan 6 and March 31. Source – TheStar

Zero airfare promotion from Firefly

Travel News December 16th, 2008

PETALING JAYA: Travellers will be able to enjoy zero airfare for unutilised tickets put on sale by Firefly under its ‘Totally Un-fare’ promotion.

Firefly managing director Eddy Leong, who said there was an average of 40% of surplus tickets in any one flight, added that travellers would have to book their tickets at least 21 days in advanced to enjoy the promotion. However, those who travelled during peak periods, including festive seasons, and school and year-end holidays would have to pay the normal fares.

“This new fare structure is to encourage people to travel during off-peak seasons to regional and domestic destinations,” he said at a press conference here on Tuesday.

Leong said the surplus tickets would be made available based on the company’s forecast and market feedback. The cheapest deals start from RM35 one way from Subang to Penang, Kota Baru, Kuala Terengganu and Langkawi. The fare is inclusive of administration fee and airport tax.

Travellers can start booking their tickets from today till Dec 23. The travel period will be between Jan 1 and April 30.

Leong also announced the removal of the fuel surcharge on tickets to all of Firefly’s destinations, both domestic and international.

Travellers are expected to save RM27 one way on fuel surcharge for domestic destinations while the fuel surcharge savings varies for international destinations. Source – TheStar

Four new economy fare options from MAS

Travel News December 15th, 2008

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is offering four new fare options for economy class travel that will provide customers value and choice while giving them full control of their travel experience.

Its managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Idris Jala said the four fare choices, MHlow Fares, MHbasic, MHsmart and MHflex, are currently available for domestic travel.

He said for international travel, the national carrier planned to introduce it in February next year.

Explaining further the new fare options, Idris said MHlow fares offers up to a 70% ticket discount and required 30 days advance purchase, MHbasic offers a 50% ticket discount and only requires 14 days advance purchase, MHsmart allows a baggage allowance of up to 25kg and 75% Enrich miles accrual while MHflex offers businessmen the most flexible ticket, in providing 125% Enrich miles accrual.

“We are all multiple type travellers depending on the occasion and our new fare options have been customised to cater to the different travel needs,” he said during a media briefing on the new fare options here on Monday.

KL-Tawau direct connection promotes travel as well

Travel News December 15th, 2008

TAWAU: Malaysia Airlines’ (MAS) move to provide direct daily flights between Kuala Lumpur and Tawau is likely to forge national integration between the people of Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia.

Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said the flights would make the movement of people between the two locations easy, be it for business or pleasure.

“Apart from reducing travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Tawau, the flights will provide opportunities for tourists to visit interesting destinations, especially in the east coast of Sabah.

“I think it is a good effort to promote travel between the two destinations,” he said on Saturday.

MAS, in a statement on Friday, said the flights would commence on Jan 1. In conjunction with the launch, customers can buy a one-way ticket for as low as RM99.

This special rate is exclusively for online booking at www.malaysiaairlines.comfrom Dec 9 to 21 for departures between Jan 1 and Feb 28 next year.

Meanwhile, Sabah Assistant Finance Minister Datuk Tawfiq Abubakar Titingan said the flights would boost economic development in the east coast of Sabah known for its agriculture.

“Traders and investors are concerned about time and the flights will fill their needs,” he said at a mass circumcision of Tawau Religious and Fardu Ain Class pupils on Saturday. — Bernama

Air travel set to become cheaper say experts

Travel Info December 9th, 2008

The price of air tickets should start coming down soon because of the world financial crisis, experts are predicting.

But they are ruling out a plunge that would endanger the health of airlines.

‘If you keep prices too high you’re going to lose more passengers,’ said Exane BNP Paribas’ Geoff van Klaveren, against a background of both companies and tourists cutting back on air travel.

Buget airline Ryanair’s boss Michael O’Leary forecast a reduction in an average ticket of between 15 and 20 per cent by the end of March, and claims to be attracting passengers from more conventional companies like British Airways.

Most airlines nowadays use the yield management system, whereby prices are adjusted by computer on an almost daily basis in line with demand, starting relatively low then rising if a particular flight fills up, or falling if it does not.

‘However, company profit margins are narrow, and they cannot really engage in a price war,’ said Roland Berger consultant Didier Brechemier.

Few airlines have yet adopted an aggressive pricing strategy, as they try to recover from the massive cost of fuel which neared $150 a barrel in mid-July, forcing them to slap surcharges on tickets.

While oil has now fallen to a third of this level, companies have held back from price-cutting at the same rate, while from time to time announcing a reduction in the surcharges since September.

At the same time they have adopted other tricks to keep the money coming in, such as the introduction by the leading European airline, Air France-KLM, of a 50-euro charge on economy class seats located near the emergency exits, where passengers enjoy more legroom.

The same company is also introducing an extra class between business and economy which will come into effect towards the end of next year, and Brechemier predicted that others would follow suit.

‘This project is perfectly matched to the crisis, and we are in a hurry to put it into effect,’ said Air France-KLM boss Pierre-Henri Gourgeon, noting that it would allow businessmen to continue travelling in reasonable comfort while saving money.

The global airline industry – forecast to lose $4.1 billion this year by industry body IATA – is also fast consolidating in a bid to reduce costs by achieving economies of scale. Source – TradeArabia