SINGAPORE, Oct 23 — More than 50,000 people packed the three-day Travel Malaysia fair at Suntec City last weekend, snapping up travel and holiday deals worth more than S$5 million (RM12 million).

The record turnout and sales, about 30 per cent higher than last year, gave a welcome boost to the Express Bus Agencies Association (EBAA) which organised the event jointly with Tourism Malaysia.

Companies operating cross-border express coach services have seen their business slashed by as much as 30 per cent since low-cost carriers like AirAsia and Jetstar Asia started flying between Singapore and Malaysia in February last year.

From just one route and 56 to-and-fro services a week, low-cost carriers now operate more than 450 flights between Singapore and destinations such as Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Langkawi, Penang, Ipoh, and Kuala Terengganu.

Just this week, the two governments announced the all-clear for air routes between Singapore and Labuan and Sibu islands, as well as the towns of Alor Star, Kota Baru, Kerteh and Bintulu.

Sebastian Yap, executive director of Transtar express coach company and chairman of the sub-committee that oversees events promotion and terminal operations at the EBAA, said the overwhelming response to the travel fair was a shot in the arm for land-based travel services.

The company, which launched its Transtar Classic service at the fair, offered 9,900 one-way Singapore-Kuala Lumpur tickets at S$9 each, and has already sold 85 per cent of the seats, Yap said.

Unlike its high-end buses that come with just 18 reclining seats and individual entertainment screens, Transtar Classic, which takes to the roads next month, has 61 seats and eight shared screens.

One-way bus tickets usually cost anything from about S$20 to more than S$60 each, depending on the level of services on board. All-inclusive air tickets, when on offer, can cost about the same.

Despite the competition, coach operators are not worried about being squeezed out of the market.

While flying to Kuala Lumpur, for example, may take just 45 minutes compared with about five hours by bus, some travellers like Richard Ee, 57, a regional manager in a construction company, still prefers taking a coach. That is because there is no waiting at the airport and buses take people straight to their hotels in the city, said Ee, who has experienced several delays on budget airlines.

The economic slowdown, which has made Malaysia a more popular destination for Singapore travellers keeping an eye on their wallets, has also increased the pie for all, said a spokesman for the Tourism Malaysia office here.

In September, Malaysia saw more than 1.1 million visitors from Singapore — a 35.5 per cent leap over the same month last year. This comes to about 9.4 million visitors from Singapore in the first nine months of the year — about 16 per cent higher than the arrivals last year.

To cash in on the traffic, more than 100 companies from Malaysia, including hotels and travel agents, took part in the travel fair. — Straits Times

Jetstar Asia recently doubled the frequency of its Singapore-Penang flights to twice a day.

The route was launched on July 1 and marked the 17th destination for the low-cost airline that serves four Malaysian cities – Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu and Penang.

“The Jetstar service on the Singapore-Penang route will expand to double daily or 14 times weekly,” said Jetstar Asia chief executive officer Chong Phit Lian in a media statement.

“This service will create real low-fare access for Singaporeans and the growing number of passengers travelling through Singapore on the Jetstar and Qantas (a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Jetstar Group) network.

“Malaysia is a vital player in Jetstar’s growing Pan Asian network and we are thrilled to begin our new daily service to the historic city of Penang,” she added. – The Star

Ceo Tony named is Travel Personality of The Year

KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia Bhd was named the “Best Asian Low-Cost Carrier” while chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes was named “Travel Personality of The Year” by leading Asia-Pacific travel news publisher TTG.

AirAsia received the award for being the best in service, network and schedules; in dealings with travel agents for reservations, confirmations and commission payments; and in sales and marketing team professionalism. It won the same award in 2005 and 2008.

“AirAsia was unanimously named ‘Best Asian Low-Cost Carrier’ by the readers of TTG Asia, TTG China, TTGmice and TTG-BTmice who cast 43,000 votes in a poll held from June to August this year,” the company said in a statement yesterday.

“The award reflects the airline’s popularity among travel trade insiders and the travelling public.”

Meanwhile, TTG’s editorial board named Fernandes the “Travel Personality of The Year” for being the “most outstanding individual for taking proactive steps to develop the travel industry and for demonstrating innovation in his field.”

p6-airasia File picture shows Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes holding up a miniature AirAsia plane at a press conference in Colombo on August 18. – AFP

“Tony has led the airline in revolutionising air travel and popularising low fares that now allow everyone to fly,” the company said.

In the same statement, Fernandes said the award reflected AirAsia’s commitment to growing tourism in the region.

“While other airlines are contracting, AirAsia is expanding, believing that it is vitally important for Asia to receive as much support as it can get for the sustenance of its economies, including through growth in tourism.

“We have championed tourism in Asia by offering flights that are truly accessible to everyone,” he said.

The awards were held at the 20th Annual TTG Travel Awards 2009 Ceremony and Gala Dinner in Bangkok yesterday. About 700 travel industry professionals attended the event.

Great news for travelers because AirAsia has been granted landing right in Paris. So, anybody who would like to fly into Paris, “The City of Romance” will have this chance very soon. This new route is made possible after French President, Nicolas Sarcozy has given his approval during his meeting at Elysee Palace in Paris with Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

PARIS: AirAsia Bhd has been granted landing rights in Paris, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said here.
He said this was conveyed to him by French President Nicholas Sarkozy during their meeting at Elysee Palace in Paris on Wednesday.

“The details will be worked out by the officials later,” he told Malaysian journalists before flying home later Wednesday night.

The French leader had given his approval for the budget airline to land at Orly Airport, southern Paris, barely 24 hours after Najib had raised the matter with French Prime Minister Francois Fillon.

Najib had noted in that meeting that AirAsia was the Airbus A320’s biggest customer in the world.

Definitely, there will be a zero fare promotion by AirAsia to celebrate this new route. So, get ready to pack your bag and fly to the city of romance.

maslowfares

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) “Everyday Low Fares” is back. Book your air tickets from 5th to 9th oct 2009 to enjoy your everyday low fares. Travel period is from 5th Nov 2009 to 10 Sep 2009.

I would like to put a table of low fares reference from MAS website but unable to do so because it’s too tedious to adjust the table which may not display correctly on this website.  Anyway, to make life easier for me, you may refer the attractive low fares by clicking Malaysia Airlines All-in Everyday Low Fares ..

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »