MAS to operate three international routes from KK in Dec 2012


In December 2012 MAS to operate three additional international routes from Kota Kinabalu. Yours truly believes that East Malaysians will be pleased with the decisions. MAS should also consider to resume the Bandung and Surabaya routes, which were terminated soon after the inking of the infamous MAS-AirAsia share swap by Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, the MD of Khazanah. MAS should also commence its Firefly jet services, which was also terminated after the said share swap.  


Date: 20 September 2012 10:22:39 AM GMT+08:00



Malaysia Airlines has finalized plans to add three international routes from Kota Kinabalu effective December 2012.

The national carrier will also increase frequencies to an existing international route from the capital of Sabah.

A total of 7 weekly services for these four routes will be operated using the latest 160-seater B737-800 aircraft.

Malaysia Airlines Group Chief Executive Officer Encik Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said, “Although we suspended four international routes from Kota Kinabalu in January and February this year, we continued reviewing the situation and are now finalizing plans to introduce flights between the Sabah state capital and three cities in the region. We will announce details of this development in the near future, once we have the clearance from the regulatory authorities.”

The additional routes and more flights to an existing international route are expected to improve inbound tourist arrivals to Sabah and increase Kota Kinabalu’s significance as the national carrier’s eastern hub of Malaysia.

Apart from Malaysia Airlines, its wholly owned subsidiary MASwings also commenced international operations this year linking Kota Kinabalu to Brunei and also Tawau to Tarakan, Indonesia.




15 thoughts on “MAS to operate three international routes from KK in Dec 2012

  1. Anonymous

    Looks like humble pie is to be served….
    We should never have dropped our routes in the first place.
    Thanks to all the bad decisions earlier Malaysia has pathetic connectivity to the world, either by its 5 star or world’s (sic) best low class carrier!

  2. The Gooberman

    Here we go again.

    Can MAS please get it’s raison d’être straight once and for all?

    Is it in the business of doing “national service” at the behest of the government or is it a public-listed company that works for the benefits of it’s shareholders and which aspires to the highest standards of corporate governance?

    If it places “national service” over shareholder interests, then, it should say so clearly and unequivocally upfront, especially to it’s shareholders and bond holders. That is being clear and upfront with those who have invested hard funds in your company.

    What are these three new international destinations (besides Singapore) being served out of Kota Kinabalu?

    Is there sufficient traffic on these routes (current and expected) to support a full-service offering (unless MAS is planning to operate all-Economy Class services)? Does MAS have the cost structure to offer market-friendly fares and make profits on these routes? How will it fend off competition from low-cost carriers who may decide to operate the same routes? Is the pie big enough for all or will there be an inevitable shakeout down the line?

    And why are we talking glibly about “hubs”?

    How many “hub” airports does Malaysia need? Or, more to the point, how many “hub” airports can the country support profitably without bailouts, subsidies and putting Malaysia Airports’ finances (and credit ratings) in jeopardy?

    Or is it going to be one “premier” air hub (KLIA) and a number of “secondary” hubs (Kota Kinabalu? Then why not Penang, Kuching, Johor Bahru and Kuantan?).

    This why I have said previously that Malaysia has no national aviation strategy. It’s more nitpicking and being defensively reactive than having any semblance of a rational and well thought out long term national strategy.

    1. Anonymous

      Gooberman, I am a real fan of yours. Spot on, again. Malaysia has no aviation strategy – what happened to the National Aviation Council? Did it ever materialise or was that another knee-jerk reaction to what was expedient at that point in time? Sheesh. Never mind Malaysia, MAS wich is supposed to be run as a business entity has no comprehensible “strategy” either. Setting up and dismantling “hubs” is a very costly affair, just like the launching and termination of routes,these kind of decisions cannot be based on guess-work, or subject to the whims and fancies of a few, which seems to be the case with MAS.

  3. MAS Boy

    After the share SUAP hatched out by the dunggus in Khazanah, Nanny Danny did all the damage to MAS routes by terminating Bandung, Surabaya, Dubai, Johannesburg and others. AJ has now seen the light and trying to reintroduce the flights.

    Hopefully AJ now know who are Nanny Danny, Shane Nollan, PlaneConsult, Conor McCarthy and Rozman Omar.

    Hopefully AJ, Tan Sri Md Nor, Dr Don will also start to learn more about the botak in the Engineering Department. We do not want to see the same situation whereby MAS had to repair the damage done like the termination of routes.

    We also hope that AJ has now learn that if doesn’t pay to handover additional Sydney route to the pariah, Now it is lost almost forever. Hope that AJ will learn from his costly mistake and repent. So is Tna Sri md Nor.

  4. Anti Pariah

    Have you guys read pariah’s latest posting? That guy is in deep shit, i believe.. Pariah tu dh start main kotor, sama kotor mcm dia!

    1. The Gooberman

      Could you please elaborate? I read Tony Fernandes’ blog. The latest post was about AirAsia’s discussions with the management of Nagoya Airport in Japan. I didn’t see anything negative in there, but, then, I don’t share your perspicacity!

  5. Subra

    Having gave up those routes, will be difficult to get it back. Hopefully the top management realises now that they have been taken for a ride by the little napoleons in Khazanah and the pariah. Nanny Danny should be short.

  6. Tight rope.

    Gooberman.You said it very right,MAS is neither here nor there. If it is in the predicament it is now and has been is not due to its very own doing. The plunder is from outside and also inside.The hubs or the hoobs are not MAS doing only.There is this marraige between business and politics.So MAS has its eyers closed mouth shut when it runs its business.The calls are from everywhere.The CEO walks on the tight rope laid for him. If he pass good for him. If he falls then he pays. Try to do the balancing act.The former did a good show.Habok tada.Just show.Gooberman dont be bewildered.The show must go on.

    1. The Gooberman

      Tight rope

      You have raised some very valid points.

      If you think back to the days of Malaysia-Singapore Airline (MSA) and the politics that led to MSA splitting into MAS and SIA, you will realise that the 2 airlines have been on very divergent growth paths.

      Enough has been written about that.

      The problem is that the lessons that could have been learnt from that split-up and the subsequent developments have not been grasped and understood by the relevant decision makers in Malaysia.

      Yesterday I read a Reuters report titled “JAL makes a modest return to Tokyo exchange”. Parts of that report are quoted here, as there are considerable similarities to the predicament that MAS is now in.

      “The carrier, also known as JAL, was delisted after it went bankrupt in 2010 but has since carried out cost cuts and restructured to return to solid profitability. It’s 663 billion (RM24.9 billion) IPO nearly doubled the 350 billion yen that went into its government-backed bailout…….

      “Once Japan’s flagship carrier and a national icon known for courteous service and punctuality, JAL symbolised the country’s economic rise and then it’s stagnation as it struggled with a bloated workforce, unpopular routes and safety lapses.

      “Kazuo Inamori, one of Japan’s most celebrated entrepreneurs as founder of both ceramics maker Kyocera Corp and mobile carrier KDDI Corp, oversaw the airline’s restructuring after it applied for bankruptcy after racking up mountains of debt.

      “Since its default, JAL has trimmed a third of its payroll, investing in low-cost carriers, retiring its big jets in favour of smaller ones suitable for regional hauls and changing its routes to emphasise international routes rather than sluggish domestic ones……

      “JAL’s comeback has drawn criticism that the government-backed bailout might have been unfair to its rival carrier in Japan, All Nippon Airways (ANA) which made gains when JAL was struggling.

      “Japan Airlines posted a profit of 187 billion yen for the fiscal year ended March 2012, while All Nippon Airways recorded a 28 billion profit for the fiscal year through March 2012.

      “The industry remains highly competitive, and Japanese increasingly are no longer so loyal as they used to be to national carriers. Meanwhile, budget airlines and Chinese carriers with significantly lower cost bases are challenging both JAL and ANA on both domestic and international routes, the CAPA – Centre for Aviation said in a recent report.

      “It praised JAL’s decision to shift its focus to overseas markets. “It’s plan is a solid start, and remarkable when considering the inefficiencies in the carrier at the start of the decade,” it added.”

      Note the key points in the report: bloated workforce, unpopular routes, safety lapses, cost cuts, restructuring, trimmed a third of its payroll, invested in low-cost carriers, retired its big jets in favour of smaller ones, changed its routes network, brought in an entrepreneur to oversee its restructuring.

      All of that without any adverse reactions from JAL’s workers and unions.

      Are the lessons so difficult for MAS to learn and apply?

  7. SA Lam

    How come when the main agreement between MAS and AA is cancelled, the corresponding swaps of routes are not reverted? This is one-sided and not to MAS advantage. Long-term, MAS will turn from gold into rusty iron. At the same time, you can appoint Dr Mohd Don or whoever you want to the board of directors or management but I think nothing will come out of it as nobody wants to admit that whatever decisions that had been done the past one year has been wrong decisions. Top management keeps sweeping things under the carpet and AJ hasn’t even come up with a clear business plan for the staff to work on. The investors also want to know when MAS will make money and declare dividends. One quarter losing less than the previous one doesn’t mean a profit is made. A loss is still a loss! Harping and hoping on the new Airbus 380 and joining One World Alliance to make money is still questionable. Is the Airbus flying full everyday? And what is the expected revenue when One World is online? Can anybody answer these questions? It’s no wonder that the share price is below par and the staff morale is still low. Work out a profit plan, AJ!

  8. GE Man

    AJ, looks like you now start seeing the clue and hope you will start reversing the decision made during the share suap.

    Reinstating the East Malaysia route to few Korean, Japanese and Australian city is a wise move, MAS may not make any profit out of the flight but with tourist coming in directly it will generate the local economy. One of the reason MAS was set up as a national airlines.

    Recently, I can see the trend that no harsh critics thrown at you AJ. Better late then never AJ, you should reverse and realign the routes that was cancelled.

    When MAS terminated its Bandong and Surabaya route, Air Asia increased its flight frequencies .

    Middle east airlines had a field day when MAS terminated its Dubai flight after operating more then 30 years there.

    A week after MAS stopped flying there, EK bring its biggest A380 aircraft with an additional B777 daily and QR increase its flight to 4 flights a day and their flights are always full.

    But of course, making an airlines profitable is not just about route selection and pricing but also the fuel hedging decision and cost of maintaining this very expensive birds.

    So, with bo(otak) head Azhari around who is “like tikus membaiki labu”, AJ you should accept his resignation, the longer you wait the bigger damage done to MAS engineering and this will affect MAS bottom line in long term.

    To recap on my last write up on bo(otak) head Azhari issuing a LOI to LHT for the A330 Component support PBTH (Power By The Hour) and  workshop JV contract worth half a billion ringgit. The pariah, Azhari , Anaz and LHT people had secret dinner meeting in Bangsar sea food restaurant trying to strike a deal.

    After being exposed and questions of impropriety raised by some aviation bloggers, LHT backed out of the deal to avoid Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) that AJ recently made all aware by Integrity Bulletin of August and bo(otak) head Azhari now switching horse to SRT owned by MUBADALA Aerospace, a flagship of MRO Abu Dhabi, another bidders.

    On 3rd September 2012 bo(otak) head Azhari had a meeting with SRT of MUBADALA Aerospace people in London participated by people from EADS the owner’s of SAE (Sepang Aircraft Engineering),

    SRT led by Christian Meyer and bo(otak) head Azhari both has recently been seen in SAE and is being talked around of having discussion with SAE CEO Christhophe Desages for taking over SAE and if the deal go thru’ this bo(otak) head Azhari will be the new CEO of SAE who will maintain the pariah A320 / A330 which is due for C and HMV checks.

    The conspiracy goes on that will cause more and more damage to MAS.

    There is one file sitting on bo(otak) head Azhari with regards to PBTH on CFM56-7 engine (B737NG) contract worth a whooping up to 2 billion ringgit to be decide (value base on earlier tender exercise). This two bo(otak) head Azhari and Aminuddin is trying for direct nego with certain parties only in which Amin is their ex. If this tender did not go thru’ the normal tender process, MACC will definitely swoop in lah .

    We are monitoring all your moves lah……………..   

    1. The Gooberman

      GE Man

      I am curious.

      Have you been “monitoring” all of MAS’s moves post the MSA split into MAS and SIA?

      If I remember right, that was back in the day before AirAsia appeared on the scene.

      And more than enough time for MAS, as a national “flag carrier” to have established and cemented an impregnable position in Malaysia.

      So, from your perspective, when did MAS first go off track?

      And why weren’t things put right, national agendas notwithstanding, before competitors appeared on the scene, fuel prices started their ascent and the economics of the airline industry got upended by global trends?

      You appear to be targeting certain individuals within and outside MAS.

      Why not dig deeper and ask if MAS got it’s whole raison d’être wrong?

  9. MAS Boy

    I could sense one or two Pariah’s cybertroopers were lurking around in the comments. just ignore them. The pariah just want to see MAS going down. Unfortunately, he is left with one more idiot in the Engineering. Lets see for how long he can hang on. Lets get him out in disgrace like Nanny Danny.

    1. AZLAN

      I agree with MAS Boy…Mr Gooberman ingat orang MAS ni bodoh…Macam kita tak tau WHY HE KEEP FIRING WHOEVER YANG QUESTIONING OR COMMENTING HIS GOD FATHER CREADIBILITY..

  10. The Gooberman

    Here’s a thought. SIA has 19 A380s in it’s fleet. It has placed a firm order for another 5 A380s and a bunch of A350s.

    This means that SIA will have 24 A380s in it’s fleet.

    How will MAS begin to even compete against this type of “muscle”?

    A few more international routes here and there ain’t gonna cut it for MAS, not with the likes of SIA, Cathay Pacific, Korean Air and, further afield, the Middle Eastern trio of Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Air.

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