AirAsia: Free seat for Singapore-Langkawi and Penang-Singapore routes

Travel News April 27th, 2009

KUALA LUMPUR, April 27 – AirAsia is once more offering sweet deals to its guests, by offering free seats as introduction to its two new routes — Singapore-Langkawi and Penang-Singapore.

These new routes will simultaneously commence on June 1, 2009 with daily services.

“By opening up these routes, we are looking forward to stimulating more travel and tourism activities which will definitely benefit the country’s economy,” said AirAsia Regional Head of Commercial, Kathleen Tan, in a statement today.
“We always remain bullish that our low fares will help to stimulate and induce new travel demand, and will help boost tourism potential on both ends,” she said.

The free seats deals are exclusively available online via AirAsia’s website at www.airasia.com or mobile.airasia.com.

Booking period is from today to May 3, 2009 for travel between June 1, 2009 and Jan 31, 2010.

Alongside the new routes, the airline is increasing its frequency from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore, bringing the total frequency to eight direct daily flights from the current seven.

The added frequency will also commence operations on June 1, 2009, with free seats on offer to mark its initiation.

The free seats offer is also available online with similar booking and travel period as the new routes above.

“Our Kuala Lumpur – Singapore route on the other hand, received tremendous response ever since it was first introduced, with an average load factor of 80 percent,” said Tan.

The free seats offer exclude airport tax, admin fees and are applicable for one-way only. – Bernama

Firefly gets Subang-Singapore route, 28 flights weekly

Travel News April 23rd, 2009

fireflyPETALING JAYA, April 21 — Community airline Firefly has obtained approval from the Transport Ministry to operate the Singapore route from the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, its Subang hub.

Managing director Eddy Leong said the airline expects to start the Subang-Singapore route in June this year, with a frequency of 28 times weekly.

The approval followed the decision by Malaysia and Singapore to further liberalise air travel between the two countries.

“We just got the approval today from the Transport Ministry and we also have been approved as the designated airline to fly into Singapore,” said Leong after launching WOW Bargains, the promotional tickets and packages to the airline’s newly launched routes here today.

On May 2 and 15, Firefly is flying to Batam and Padang in order to increase the inflow of travelers for business, leisure, medical and educational purposes into Malaysia.

It is understood that in addition to the Subang-Singapore route, Firefly, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS), has also obtained approval to fly from five routes to Singapore.

These are Penang-Singapore (14 times weekly), Ipoh-Singapore (four times weekly), Terengganu-Singapore (three times weekly), Kuantan-Singapore (three times weekly), Melaka-Singapore (four times weekly).

For the Penang-Singapore route, Leong said it will also start in June, followed by the Terengganu-Singapore, Kuantan-Singapore and Ipoh-Singapore routes in July.

For the Melaka-Singapore route, the airline expects to start flying in September, he said.

Asked whether Firefly has enough aircraft to serve the new routes, Leong said the number of planes are adequate to serve its expansion routes.

Currently, Firefly has five ATR 72-500 turboprop aircraft and it expects to get two more new planes this year, he said.

However, Leong said, Firefly was considering whether to take three more planes because of the current economic situation, adding that this would be decided by year-end or early next year.

On WOW Bargains, he said customers could win airline tickets to all MAS destinations, including Cape Town, Johannesburg, Paris, Rome, Frankfurt, Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong.

At the event, Firefly also gave away prizes to the top spenders at the recent Matta Fair.

On the Matta Fair, Leong said that sales increased by two-and-a-half times from last year and also contributed to record-breaking sales for March for Firefly since the airline was set up in April 2007. — Bernama

Firefly wins permit to fly to Malacca

Travel News April 23rd, 2009

SINGAPORE, April 23 — Fancy a flight to Malacca? No sooner would you get on a jet than you would have to get off, you might say. But not with turbo-prop airline Firefly, which will soon ply the route.

The Malaysia Airlines budget carrier, which operates from Subang Airport, has also obtained permits to fly between Singapore and Ipoh, Kuantan, Penang and Kuala Terengganu.

Meanwhile, Singapore-based Jetstar Asia and Tiger Airways said yesterday that they will launch flights between Singapore and Langkawi and Penang this year.

“Jetstar Asia was given flying rights approval by the Air Traffic Rights Committee today to commence services to Penang and Langkawi in Malaysia,” Jetstar said in a statement.

The airline already operates between Singapore and KL, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu. The latest two routes are its 17th and 18th destinations.

Tiger Airways has also been given approval to start flights between Singapore and Langkawi and Penang. The Singapore Airlines subsidiary, like Jetstar, already flies to KL and East Malaysia.

AirAsia is getting in on the act, too.

The moves come after Singapore and Malaysia decided to fast-track air liberalisation, which started tentatively last year.

Firefly is the most interesting entrant so far. Its managing director Eddy Leong said the five-plane carrier will start the Subang-Singapore route in June, with 28 flights a week.

The use of Subang — the former international airport that is less than half an hour from KL — gives Firefly an advantage over other carriers that use KL International Airport, which is over an hour from KL at Sepang.

“We got approval today from the (Malaysian) Transport Ministry and we also have been approved as the designated airline to fly into Singapore,” Leong said yesterday.

Penang-Singapore services will start in June, followed by Terengganu-Singapore, Kuantan-Singapore and Ipoh-Singapore in July. The four-times weekly Malacca-Singapore hop will start in September.

Firefly, which was set up in April 2007 by MAS to counter AirAsia, operates five ATR 72-500 turbo-prop aircraft and expects to get two more planes this year. — Business Times Singapore

Malaysia Airlines ‘stimulus package’ to spur ticket sales

Travel News April 15th, 2009

maslogosmallKuala Lumpur, April 15 — In order to offer best value in air travel, Malaysia Airlines has launched its “MAS Stimulus Package” today which has nine deals covering first, business and economy class travel.

It’s for domestic, Asean and international travel.

The deals include gems like matching previous fares paid to other airlines on same international routes; east-west Malaysia travel for only RM99; and pay economy to travel business class options.

The airline’s chief executive officer Datuk Seri Idris Jala said, “This is the best time for the public to travel as such incredible offers are given only during a downturn! Customers are the ones to truly benefit during this time as we are looking for innovative ways to boost load factors and revenue.

“Never waste a good crisis. While we cannot control the operating environment, we can control the way we run our business. These deals have been tailored to meet what the customers want and stimulate travel demand.

“Based on the public’s support to us during our travel promotions, we can see that if they are given a choice to fly with us, they will definitely do so as we offer the best value for their money.”

Two of the nine deals on offer, Grab-A- Deal and Balik Kampung have already been offer since March.

“In just slightly over a month, sales for Grab-A- Deal and Balik Kampung have hit more than RM17.5 million – RM12 million for Grab-A- Deal, and more than RM5.5 million for Balik Kampung. That’s incredible considering the economic situation we are in. This shows that if you give the public what they want — they will travel,” Jala said.

The other deals in the “MAS stimulus package” launched today are Premium Match, Business Companion, Economy +, Weekend Getaway, Kids Fly Free, MHFlex 1+1 and 80 per cent discount domestic/Asean.

Just like the “Everyday Low Fare” programme they launched last May, the nine deals are expected by Jala to offer something to everyone.