Monday, December 12, 2005

AirAsia fully prepared to service all domestic routes

KUALA LUMPUR: South-East Asia’s largest discount carrier, AirAsia Bhd, is fully prepared to service all the domestic routes it has proposed to take over from Malaysia Airlines (MAS), says its group chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes.

He had recently said that AirAsia could operate all domestic routes, except for Lahad Datu, Limbang and Mulu in East Malaysia which are being operated by MAS’ De Havilland DHC6 Twin Otter aircraft.

“We have ordered 100 Airbus aircraft. We can speed up (delivery),” he told reporters at the 2005 Asean Business and Investment Summit 2005 here on Sunday.

He was asked whether AirAsia could serve the routes if the government decided to pass the bulk of them under the rationalisation of domestic routes.

MAS, the national carrier, will submit a turnaround plan, which may cover its domestic routes, to the government by February next year.

AirAsia had made a firm order for 60 Airbus A320s and 40 purchase rights of the same aircraft.

It took delivery of its first Airbus A320 on Dec 8 and is scheduled to receive its second A320 on Dec 25, 2005.

Fernandes was also asked about the five hour-long meeting he had recently with MAS newly-appointed managing director, Idris Jala.

“The five hours was more than what I had with MAS in the last four years,” he said but he declined to provide details of the meeting.

Courtesy of New Sabah Times