I can’t wait to watch you get stuck into this issue. It is the height of ridiculousness to have another LCCT when the one at KLIA is perfectly fine and has capacity for expansion. This is taking private initiatives too far. And, why the unholy haste? Has it got anything to do with someone’s retirement plans in March?
There are times when we should object. But there are times when we shoud support.
I support this initiative as it will create new economic activities and new jobs in Negeri Sembilan. We have been neglected during the launching of the various corridors. Now when a private sector want to invest their money, I think we sould support it.
I am from NS and this should be good for the state.
I reside in Negeri Sembilan and I obviously have vested interests, as an airport in Negeri Sembilan ( our first one, mind you) will naturally be a godsend to us long suffering NS folks.( So eat your hearts out you KL folks!)
If the airport is going to be built with funds from Sime Darby and Air Asia,( well, how generous!) without any Government funding, except maybe for supplying the piece of land, then, isn’t it supposed to be good news? So can someone point out to me, what’s the catch? Why is everyone making such a big fuss when Sime Darby and Air Asia are willing to stick their necks out to undertake this project. It’s their risk. What’s ours? Pray tell..
KLIA is under utilised. If Airasia is that loaded it wouldn’t have owed RM110 million to MAB. Very strange that a private company can owe RM110 million Airport Tax with impunity. I heard that Airasia is still owing Airport Taxes. MAB please stand up and speak the truth to the nation.
1. Before AirAsia came about, MAS asked the government to increase the domestic rates saying they are losing money in domestic routes. Government approved the domestic rate increase.
2. After AirAsia started, MAS seems to be able to offer lower rates for domestic routes. Now they have positioned them as the low cost 5 star airlines. Competition has only made them better. They are profitable and they are able to pay corporate tax which benefits the rakyat.
3. More Malaysians have traveled after AirAsia started. We can afford to go for holidays locally and overseas as flyig is cheaper now. Can we enjoy this if AirAsia did not come on board? Would MAS have offered us lower fair?
4. Now, if AirAsia gets its own airport, its operational cost will go lower (maybe the airport tax will also be cheaper). This means the ticket prices will go even lower and more people can travel. In fact AirAsia has said that their ticket price can go as low as 30%. (Lets say they only reduce 10%, thats a discount!) It seems like its better to the Rakyat.
5. KLIA East seems like to be better option for the man on the street. Now if MAB gets to build its LCC airport, can we get a guarantee of lower ticket price?
6. As it is Malaysians pay very high tax for their cars (was done with the objective of protecting Proton, but now it has become a revenue source for the government), at least lets enjoy lower air travel. If AirAsia can deliver that, why do we care if its Tony Fatso Fernandes, Ah Chong or Ahmad.
It is a bullshit job! Airasia can’t even pays its airport tax, which it has collected in cash from its passengers. We are not stupid as what Pak Lah and his cronies want us to believe. We must stop this Sime Darby & Airasia bullshit. Private monies used for teh airport. Bullshit!
We must not be so stupid to believe it. Airasia has been getting special treatments all these while. Please ask yourself: how could a private company like Airasia can owe airport tax from 2002 until 2008. YB Wee you must speak up for us. We do not want to see a bailout using rakyat monies.
We do not want to see public monies being sued to bailout cronies!
Oh please. Are people really that stupid to believe that this is in deed a win win situation for everyone?
Even assuming that the project is 100% privately funded, it will be built and prosper at the expense of KLIA and MAHB and possibly MAS. Meaning, ultimately the Malaysian people have to bear the opportunity cost when this new airport starts to cannibalise KLIA’s traffic.
There is no such thing as free lunch. Economics 101.
There are also a lot of unanswered questions regarding how 2 airports can be built with such close proximity with no regard to potential safety amd environmental issue?
Why is the deal rushed through in such hush hush way with little or none public consultation?
Terminal 5 at Heathrow took 2 years to finish the consultation phase alone. Now that’s what should have happened in a democractic world.
I have been following the air transport industry for over 40 years, ever since when I was a teenager in Malaysia and even until now when I am living in London. Never have I seen so much turmoil , or potential turmoil , in the Malaysian air industry.
I know Mr Tony F. has been referring that KLIA East@Labu is not much further, if any, from Terminal 5 and Terminal 1 in London Heathrow Airport, but the big difference is both terminals in London Heathrow use the same runway and control tower , same train and road highway connecting systems, and KLIA East and KLIA do not. Also, whenever I mentioned to my British friends in London about what Air Asia plans to do, they shook their heads almost saying , “What is Air Asia doing? It is incredibly unreasonable.” However, it is without doubt the Mr Tony F. cares for his airline and he does have concerns on how to manage his airline given his dissatisfaction with KLIA and MAHB.
As I have no vested interests in either parties, my views are objective and I do not take sides.
For what’s it’s worth, here are my comments:
1) There are two main parties who are not in good terms with each other – Malaysian Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) and Air Asia.
2) Air Asia moves away because it claims to be dissatisfied with what was being offered , and what may be offered in the future,
3) It is not unusual that the airport operator and the airlines that uses the airport do not always see eye-to-eye. It is evident even here in London between some British/UK airlines and BAA, the owner and managers of London’s Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports. Some of the complaints are similar, the airlines would accuse the airport operators of not providing the standard of service they were paid to do, and that service charges are too high, etc.
5) If Air Asia has all it wants from the government and builds KLIA East, it will affect the entire future of aviation in Malaysia.
6) KLIA, which is already under utilised especially in terms of its runway, will become even more under utilised if Air Asia moves away. It will suffer greatly if connectivity, eg the number of cities it serves so that passengers can connect from one flight to another to fly to another city, will be significantly reduced.
7) As a consequence of the above, KLIA, as the main airport of Kuala Lumpur and indeed Malaysia, as a hub will be affected. It is competing with other strong contenters in the region, eg Singapore Changi, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, Hong Kong Chep Lok Kok airports. The Malaysian govt. should support KLIA, and certainly, it is really unwise to allow KLIA East to be built as this has the effect of making KLIA even more uncompetitive.
8) The ordinary man should realise that one of the first priorities of any airline is to make as much profit for their company and share holders as possible, at least in the long term. Air Asia is no exception
If Air Asia ever finds itself in a near monopoly situation on some routes, by chasing away routes from MAS, you can almost bet that it will raise its air fares to the level that it will make maximum profit. “Peanut” fares will go out of the window. (I say this by looking at some “budget” fares from European low cost airlines are not always “budget” even though the standard of service is.) In the short term, Air Asia may reduce prices to attract customers, what can be termed as a “lose leader”, but when the market picks up, it will recoup it by raising fares. If it does not raise fares, it will raise profits by making other “stealth” or “hidden” charges. Again, you only need to look at some Low Cost Airlines in other countries including the European Union. A “£1″ flight from A to B could end up being like “£50″ before you board the aircraft! Malaysians should not be hoodwinked that Air Asia is all good. It is , after all, a trading company, it is not a Charity ! It looks after itself and its shareholders before it looks after you, the travelling public !
9) Air Asia Holdings seems to be following a very high risk strategy. Air Asia Holdings, or Mr Tony F., appears to think that by building his own airport and increasing routes, especially long haul inter-continental routes, it will create its own hub from cities around the world and connect those passengers onto Air Asia’s short haul routes. It feels it does not need to cooperate with other airlines to “feed” traffic for its business. (Most world airlines are doing the opposite, they are either merging or having cooperations with each other. )This is very high risk. In the relatively recent past, similar long haul low cost airlines which goes it alone have gone bust – Oasis Hong Kong , and Zoom Airlines. Air Asia , or Air Asia X would be very fortunate to defy that trend. So, let’s say, what happens if Air Asia X is not successful -what if oil prices rises yet again or demand for long haul flights fall due to the Credit Crunch- where would that leave Air Asia’s grand plan of connecting people from all over the world onto their shorter route flights does not succeed? . And God forbid, what if Air Asia goes bust?
Another big flaw of an airline is it tries to grow too quickly and it encounters problems with great increase in size – take for example, Braniff Airlines (USA), Air Europe (from the UK), People’s Express of the USA (Yes, People is in “Rakyat”!), and Zoom. Air Asia seems to be growing at an alarming rate. Let us hope it is not like some internet bubble , or property bubble because if it is, you know where it led those industries to! At the moment, most airlines, including Low Cost Airlines are reducing capacity, but what Air Asia appears to be doing, it is increasing capacity. Let’s hope that Air Asia is right, and the others are wrong, but it is still playiing a very high risk game. Maybe Mr Tony F is like a cat with nine lives and good for him!
4) One possible solution for this debacle (between MAHB and Air Asia) is to have a strong mediator. The government has to appoint this mediator. Maybe they can appoint an all-powerful “Transport Czar” that has powers to decide in the interest of the nation instead of just the parties. He will report directly to the Prime Minister.
The Transport Czar has a clear National Air Transport strategy and objectives.
He believes that MALAYSIA’S NATIONAL INTERESTS COME FIRST. Not individual parties like Air Asia or MAHB.
He aims to make KLIA a strong hub as one of his objectives, not weakens it. He should encourage competition between airports in the neighbouring countries, not within the same country especially when they are just 8 kilometres of so apart serving the same city.
He should see KLIA like Changi, Heathrow, Frankfurt, where they add new terminals but using the existing runways, etc. KLIA will become an “aero-tropolis”.
It is also very important that he ought to address the issues which is of concern from both parties, Air Asia and MAHB. He has to be a diplomat, but a strong one. He will not be bullied by any side.
He should try and find some kind of agreement so that it will enable Air Asia to remain in KLIA, perhaps with its own air terminal of the similar high standard comparable to the main KLIA air terminal, and not like the shoddy(?)/low standard(?). Maybe MAS can also have its own terminal.
The Transport Czar may also be flexible and inventive.
If the present “marsh” land for the new LCCT is of concern to Air Asia, and he is absolutely certain this cannot be fixed before long to build the terminal, perhaps another piece of land somewhere within the peripheral of KLIA can be built. Hopefully, it will be as close to the main KLIA terminal as possible. Air Asia will still be using the same ICQ (air traffic control), and the same runways as the present KLIA. This will reduce duplicity.
It will be good if he has the power to recommend to Parliament to rescind the permission for Air Asia and Sime Darby to build an airport so close to KLIA, thus potentially damaging the future of the country’s largest airport.
The Transport Czar could also say to Air Asia that he will advise the government in not providiing the highways and rail links with the new airport KLIA East should ever it be built (if he does not have the authority to rescind permission to build it).
There should be better , cheaper and faster links between the different terminals in KLIA to improve connectivity. Maybe a special bus service either with low fares, or even free transfer, can be created, to link between the terminals. Later on, the monorail can be extended to cover all the terminals.
MAHB may need to have a kick up the back and whipped into shape, to improve its performance.
The Transport Czar should also bear in mind that the country and its air transport infrastructure can bear different scenarios. That it can have a good airport hub in KLIA with air terminals built in time to serve its airlines, especially its home-based airlines, Air Asia and Malaysia airlines.
He should also not ignore the well-being of Malaysia Airlines, the national airline. He should encourage Air Asia to be successful as well as that of Malaysia Airlines. At the moment, it appears Air Asia sometimes is benefitting at the expense of MAS – eg Singapore-KL routes, domestic routes, etc.
It may be difficult but it would be advisable , and better, if Air Asia and Malaysia Airlines work together. MAS can provide the long haul passengers to feed into Air Asia’s short and medium haul routes. MAS and Air Asia, could also coordinate their schedules so that one flight from one airline can smoothly transfer to another. Or transit passengers from Air Asia does not have to check-in again if they fly MAS flights. MAHB, at KLIA, can provide much connection between terminals served by Air Asia and MAS.
In addition, perhaps, Air Asia could be given restricted access to Subang as MAS has with Firefly. It can have a fixed number of domestic routes from Subang but the bulk of its routes still ought to fly from KLIA. This will immediately ease Air Asia’s concern about not having enough airport terminal capacity at KLIA.
The Transport Czar may also have another card up his sleeve. He may be given the power to liase with Malaysia Airlines. If Air Asia is reluctant to cooperate with the country’s national policy, (as I think the govt still is a big shareholder in MAS) he may encourage Malaysia Airlines to create its own Low Cost Airlines, as Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Qantas etc have done. MAS already have FireFly, all it needs is to “beef up” Firefly, give it a few more aircraft including a few Boeing 737s and it can compete quite well with Air Asia.
The Transport Czar, should also advise the government, that any airport projects should go through a thorough consultation so that the people of the country have a say. Enviromental issues should also be considered for any major airport development.
5) I think pressure groups, like Friends of the Earth , should also make their voices heard.
6) Malaysians citizens, who feel that Air Asia should remain in KLIA , they can also write to their MPs to express their views. In addition, they can write to Mr Tony F of Air Asia and say what you think. If you say you will not fly Air Asia because of what it is doing , I think Mr Tony F. it will make Mr Tony F. think again .
7) Air Asia can be a great airline. But it should not be acting alone. It should cooperate with other parties within Malaysia. It can be a “win-win” situation if everyone cooperates. Otherwise,
everyone may lose. The nation cannot afford that.
Your comments are spot on! I too live in London and have been following this development closely.
I have nothing aganist Air Asia but have asked a few obvious (well to me at least) questions around Tony’s optimistic projection of Air Asia’s passenger growth. You mentioned the uncertainties of oil prices and recessionary times. Add to that potentially more SARs or Bird Blu outbreak in the region, political turmoil in key markets like Thailand and Indonesia, ongoing delay of aircraft delivery by Boeing and Airbus etc. etc. etc.
There are a lot of risk factors that Air Asia did not disclose or explain how they plan to mitigate these risks in their now very talkedabout “microsite” to address the people’s comments.
Air Asia claimed on their microsite that “serious and in-depth study has been conducted before the Cabinet’s approval”, and that the DCA has been consulted regarding safety issues.
I am extremely sceptical on that part and asked them to publish the results of such study but as I expected heard nothing so far.
This was after I pointed out a similar proposal to build another airport (revitalising El Toro airbase) close to the existing John Wayne airport in Orange County in California in the late 1990s got KILLED by the US Government after an in-depth and lenghty study.
On the issue of having the 2 airports operating so close to each other, an internal FAA memo says that John Wayne and El Toro airports can not operate together successfully in a two airport system for commercial traffic.
Here I quote from the memo:
“Two airports within seven nautical miles poses significant problems for air traffic. Overlapping airspace boundaries, crossing instrument approach and departure procedures and insufficient airspace capacity to manage a large volume or mix of heavy turbo-jet operations and general aviation demand would surely result in gross inefficiencies at both airports and would serve no useful purpose to the National Airspace System. The only viable solution to the problems would be the application of a “turn-key” type operation, wherein the existing John Wayne Airport would close when the MCAS El Toro Airport opens.”
I wonder what “in-depth” study exactly has the Malaysian government done, if at all?
Really… I’m the inside staff of Air Asia. There are many things that you guys out side doesn’t know.
1. From what been told, MAHB charging us a lot… Totally lies…. From the fact, the air craft parking are free. Usage of terminal facilities, are free. The only thing Air Aisa have to pay are the passenger service charge (PSC), that been paid by passenger for Airport tax. And that is what Air Asia thries to run away.
2. Lots of money to build the new terminal…. lies…. Remember RM 100 million owes to MAHB??? Also, our staff bouns also was NOT paid. Last year, paid but the high bonus only paid to the higher management. For us, lower staff, just a matter of paying bonus. We work hard but to serve Tony big lies and wild life. Having parties at Pan Pasific, with the Air Asia girls. Having 6 to 7 rooms reserves for their wild party. Owes Pan Pasific money, also doesn’t want to pay. If lot of money, why does Tony doesn’t to pay the debts to MAHB and Pan Pasific???
3. Do you know that we doesn’t have any yearly salary increment??
4. Discrimination…. Sex discrimination, skin colour discrimination, you name it. Where are our staff right?? No Staff Union. If anyone tries to create one, sure will be discharge or will be force to resign.
5. Staff working hours to long… Lots of incident that happen where involved staff over-worked. Accident happen, inside or outside Airports (during coming or going back home)
6. When told that many flight are coming in, we are happy cause MAYBE we gonna have BONUS or any insentive. But what happen is with short of staff now, we have to handle more flights. Blame on us if any delays, esspecially Malays staff.
7. Also rumors says that HINDRAF is sponsors by our beloved TONY and cronies….
8. Labu East really have HIDDEN Agenda. Contractor for LCCT existing and expension are the same; Fajar Baru company…. KJ have a big share. Last time known as Rembau Company. KJ wife have shares in Air Asia. Labu contractor also KJ (with other company name).
We staff knows about the ICAO which meant for Airport regulation and also know about IATA for airline operators. But when ask to our management, they have little knowledge about it. So, I, as staff of Air Asia, really afraid for the safety of passenger using our Air Asia flight. And thats is why I’m moving to other airline by next month.
Please if you can do something. Look into this matter.
I fly aa monthly. and I’ve talked to many flight attendants and have got to know a few of them well. from my interaction with them, I can they are mostly happy and enjoy working with AA. Also spoke to some ground crew.So their views are different from yours. and race and hindraf being mentioned, well lets not make all a race issue…tak ada modal and lets not quote rumours.
anyway ryanair doesn’t have their own airport, they own 195 planes. many bases..why can’t air asia see how it works for Ryan air. MAHb also need to get their act together.
Say no to LABU. I believe there is a scandal going on with this project. How can we kill our KLIA. AirAsia is completely feeding flights into Changi. They would want to flyy from everywhere to Changi which SQ is more than glad. Temasek would be laughing at us. What are we doing here? We have Khazanah in one end going all out helping MAS and bulding the support needed for KLIA with MAS feeding in the traffic now we have Airasia trying to divert everything that the nation build with its avivation industry.
Putting one’s views forward on the KLIA East is everyone’s right but to get personal in your attacks on Tony Fernandes is unbecoming. Getting racial and name calling is below the belt. Having known and worked with him for over 15 years, he is definitely not out there to fleece the government nor hoodwink the tax paying public.
We have built a Malaysian brand that has revolutinized air travel for all Malaysians and we have succesfully built this brand worldwide. Here at AirAsia, all 6150 of us are encouraged to dream and many of them have gone and made their dreams realised by being pilots, engineers, flight attendants etc. They would not have have had the oppurtunity previously as they did not have the money to pursue their dreams. We have families working with us and thats what makes us special.
We have outgrown the LCCT and MAHB was informed of our growth and we knew from day 1 that the LCCT will not be able to cater to our needs and yet we are paying the same rates as the Main Terminal Building (KLIA). Go and figure that out.
We have brought millions of tourists into Malaysia and spend a day at the LCCT from 4am in the morning and you will get to see what Tony is talking about. MAHB and the government should be encouraging our growth and as it benefits Malaysia. We have created jobs, help start supporting industries.
Go ahead and put forward your objective views but dont say nasty things which are not true. Leave that to the politicians.
Now, we have our honourable YB Wee who was voted into office for change and now he runs a campaign to put a Malaysian brand out of business and its 6150 out of a job.
1. AirAsia obtained, from the government, special discounted rates. to pay only RM6m a year to MAHB for the use of all airports from 2002 to 2006.
2. MAHB estimated that in 2006, if AirAsia paid the same, full rates as other airlines, it could have collected some RM50-60m more.
3. By 2006, as AirAsia continued to complain that it was not being given due recognition by MAHB, it secured another year’s extension to 2007, for the special rate of RM6m a year. Lost revenue to MAHB in 2007: RM70-80m.
4. In 2008, MAHB started to charge AirAsia ordinary rates: if you know accounting, read AirAsia and MAHB’s interim financial statements for the nine months to 30 September 2008. Look at the results yourselves.
Labu, in my opinion, will accomplish two things, one good and one less good.
The good: it will pressure MAHB to build the new KLIA LCCT more cost-efficiently. i.e. better use of tax monies.
The bad: will AirAsia get another bumper deal like the one from 2002-2007, when the government effectively subsidised AirAsia?
Conclusion: For everyone who’s ever enjoyed AirAsia’s cheaper flights, know deep down that you’ve already paid partly for it indirectly through higher income taxes. Whether or not you choose to fly AirAsia.
PS: Don’t be too sure AirAsia doesn’t get Labu if you don’t fight against it.
PPS: Don’t be too sure government-owned Sime Darby hasn’t already bought all the pockets of private land that is supposed to make up the 3,000 acres for Labu. Some very lucky individuals there, I think.
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