Fireflyz Megasale!

Travel Info July 15th, 2011


Dear budget travelers and cheap flight ticket hunters, please mark your calendar on 18th – 20th July 2011 because Fireflyz is going to have MEGASALE . Booking period from 18th – 20th July and travelling date will start from 6th August 2011 to 24th March 2012. This is really cheap from Fireflyz because promotion fare will start from RM9!! All-in fare!! Bus ticket is 4x expensive.

My target will be Langkawi (Huh! Langkawi again? Just came back last weekend from Langkawi..and going to Langkawi again?)  and Kota Bharu (Perhentian?)…Hopefully lady luck will like me and I will get my target! Yess!!!

Travellers to Malaysia ditch buses for planes

Travel Info July 27th, 2009

SINGAPORE, July 27 — Businessman Andy Bhasin has dumped buses for airplanes.

“I don’t think I will ever take the bus again,” declared the 45-year-old who zips between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur once every two months.

Andy and thousands others like him are reaping the benefits of what some would say is a revolution in air travel — the combination of liberalisation of Singapore-Malaysia air links, and the boom in the low-cost carrier segment.

You can now fly more cheaply, more frequently and to more destinations than ever before. The changes are most apparent to frequent travellers between Singapore and KL.

Before budget airlines entered the market on Feb 1 last year, travellers were paying over S$400 (RM960) for the return 45-minute sector, which had been dominated for more than three decades by Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines (MAS).

Fares have since tumbled to as low as S$60, including taxes and other charges.

From just one destination and 56 to-and-fro flights a week, Jetstar Asia, Tiger Airways, AirAsia and Firefly (a subsidiary of MAS) now operate more than 450 flights between Singapore and nine points in Malaysia: KL, Subang, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Langkawi, Penang, Ipoh, Kuala Terengganu and Kuantan.

Coming up in the next few months: Miri, Tawau, Malacca, Kota Baru and Alor Star.

Before the skies opened, Changi was connected to just five cities in Malaysia.

With all the extra flights, the number of weekly flights between the two countries has more than doubled from 334 in December 2007 to about 760.

The Singapore-KL sector, served by 11 airlines, is the busiest out of Changi Airport, with 498 flights both ways a week.

This far outstrips the 360 weekly flights between Singapore and Jakarta, and 262 serving the Singapore-Bangkok market.

Apart from competition pulling fares down, the economic crunch, which has hit demand for air travel, is also forcing airlines to slash charges to lure travellers.

With Singapore-Malaysia air fares costing about the same as a bus ticket, it does not make sense to hit the road, said Eric Lau, 32, a teacher. “Now I fly all the time,” said the Malaysian, whose home is in Alor Star. “A bus just takes too long. Singapore to Kedah is 12 hours and to Penang, it is 10 hours.”

Low-cost carriers may have snatched some business away from cross-border coach companies like Transtar, who say business has dropped by about 20 per cent to 25 per cent, but the pie has also grown with more first-time travellers taking to the skies and people making more trips.

Despite the economic downturn that has hurt the air travel industry, data obtained from Changi Airport Group show that passenger traffic between Singapore and Malaysia hit about 270,000 in May.

This is a jump of about 25 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Singapore is Malaysia’s top tourist-generating market, contributing about half of total arrivals, said Tourism Malaysia’s acting director-general Amirrudin Abu. Between January and June, the country received more than six million visitors from Singapore.

Liberalisation of the air links has been good for the tourism sector and is expected to boost business even further going forward, Amirrudin said.

It is not just KL that has benefited. Travel to the other destinations such as Penang, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Ipoh, Kuala Terengganu, Kuantan and Malacca will also get a boost, he added.

With more air links between the two countries, the Singapore Tourism Board’s regional office in KL has also been stepping up its marketing efforts in Malaysia, said its executive director for communications, HR and organisational development, Muhammad Rostam Umar.

This is especially so in newly linked or soon-to-be-linked destinations such as Ipoh and Kuantan.

While liberalisation has been great for tourism and the flying public, the competition as well as the general business slowdown has hit both SIA and MAS where it hurts. Loads and yields have dropped.

SIA spokesman Nicholas Ionides said: “The challenge is not only to retain market share but also to grow the market.”

Both airlines are fighting back with aggressive promotions and deals to lure travellers. MAS which recently ended a S$49 one-way Singapore-KL promotion, is now in the thick of an eight-week marketing campaign in Singapore.

SIA’s regional arm SilkAir is offering round-trip tickets for S$166.

With the price gap still hard to bridge, low-cost carriers are finding the economic crunch on their side. Companies have cut travel budgets and executives are downgrading from business to economy class, or from full-service to low-cost airlines.

Eric Ang, a chief operating officer in an electronics firm who flies to KL once a month, is one of them.

Once a regular on SIA flights, he said: “I am now a convert to budget flights.”

While full-service airlines may offer a higher level of service, comfort is not an issue for such a short flight, he said.

To cater to the growing demand for budget flights, American Express recently added AirAsia to its list of partner carriers — its first such tie-up with a low-cost carrier. It means people can pay for AirAsia flights using their Amex cards.

Peter Kapoor, Amex’s regional vice-president of merchant services, said: “Within our customer base, there are corporations that find budget carriers relevant, given the current economic recession and the recent opening up of more shuttle flights between Singapore and Malaysia.”

AirAsia’s regional commercial head Kathleen Tan said that in the first month alone, there were 30,000 transactions by Amex members. “I’ve seen general managers, managing directors and other top business executives on our flights. Our extensive Asean network with hubs in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand is attractive for companies because it makes travel within the region very convenient.”

Jetstar Asia and Tiger Airways are also serving an increasing number of corporate customers.

To tap into the business market, Jetstar has tailored its product to suit companies’ needs. For example, it lets corporate fliers pay for flights monthly instead of by the trip, and offers a complimentary itinerary change not offered to other fliers. In just a year, the airline has grown its base of corporate clients from just 25 to almost 400.

So, at a time when full-service airlines are cutting capacity to cope with falling demand, the low-cost carriers are making plans for even more flights.

Tiger Airways, which has 56 aircraft on order for delivery from now until 2016, is already in discussions with several airports in Malaysia to start new services, spokesman Matt Hobbs said, without naming the airports.

Jetstar Asia, which is 49 per cent owned by Australia’s Qantas, will add a second daily flight to Penang from October, said its spokesman, adding: “Singapore-Malaysia is a vital market not just for Jetstar Asia but for the broader Jetstar and Qantas network.”

Qantas has benefited from Jetstar’s entry to the lucrative Malaysian market. A traveller needs just one ticket to fly, say from Sydney to Singapore on Qantas, and Singapore-KL on Jetstar Asia. The spokesman said: “The interline agreement is now opening up the Malaysian market to the broader Qantas network which currently does not have direct access into this market and represents an enormous opportunity which we are only just beginning to take advantage of.”

AirAsia’s Tan said: “The Singapore-Malaysia market is huge and there is still so much potential for further growth and expansion. Low-cost carriers are just starting to scratch the surface.”

For avid traveller Lim Hui Ling, who works in a statutory board, the more flights the better. The 27-year-old, who travels to Malaysia frequently, said: “Now I can visit my friends in KL over the weekend, without taking six hours to go up and six hours to come down.

“I can go places I did not think of going to previously. For example, Firefly can connect me to Redang via Terengganu. Before, when there were only buses, it was very restrictive. Travelling to Malaysia has become so much more convenient.” — The Straits Times

Tune offers RM0.02 room rates

Travel Info May 12th, 2009

KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 – Tune, the limited service hotel brand is offering room rates from as low as RM0.02 per night in its hotels in Penang, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Kuala Lumpur and the KLIA-LCCT Airport beginning today.

“The promotion was initiated to extend appreciation to guests for supporting the Tune brand since it was first launched in Kuala Lumpur two years ago,” said chief executive officer Mark Lankester in a statement.

The promotional rates for rooms from RM0.02 per night are available for stays between February 1 to April 30, 2010 and the booking period is from May 11 to 18, 2009.

“We provide exceptionally good value choices to smart travellers in that they choose exactly what additional services they require during a stay and pay-per-use according to their budget,” he said.

Despite the gloomy economic outlook, the hotel has not slowed down its regional expansion plans as well.

The first two regional properties in Kuta and Legian, Bali, under the Tune brand will be opening in the fourth quarter this year with 139 and 170 rooms respectively. For the domestic market, upcoming locations include Johor Bahru, Langkawi, Miri and Sandakan.

“More hotels will follow regionally as we expand via franchising and joint-venture partnerships in Indonesia, Thailand, India and China,” said Lankester.

Tune is a growing chain of hotels that have embraced the limited service model used by low cost airlines and employ a self-service online booking system encouraging guests to book early to enjoy exceptionally low prices. – Bernama

Malaysia Airlines reduces fuel surcharge again

Travel Info February 19th, 2009

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 19 — Malaysia Airlines travel to selected destinations will get cheaper starting tomorrow, thanks to further fuel surcharge reductions by the national airlines.

The reductions are 55 per cent for the destinations from six per cent presently. This translates to up to RM910 reductions for flights to South America.

The other destinations that fall under this scheme are North America, Manila, Korea, Turkey, UAE and Africa among others.

Earlier this month Malaysia Airlines did similar fuel surcharge reductions for destinations like Australia, UK, Europe and selected Asean cities.

Further information including MHValue Fares is available at the airlines website, where direct bookings can be made.

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