Tuesday, November 16, 2010

MAS to develop KK Hub over three stages

Kota Kinabalu: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is gearing itself to be a household name among air travellers in the region with the establishment of the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) as its Eastern Hub.

Acknowledging that competition was bound to come in as they further develop the potentially huge KK-to-other-regional cities market, MAS Chairman, Tan Sri Dr Munir Majid said the national carrier wants to plant its feet firmly in this network so they could be head and shoulders above other competitors.

"We have developed the market (KK) before and now we make it into a hub to make it tough for people to compete with us É (when) the durian gets ripe everyone wants the durian, which is fair enough, that's business.

"(We're) using the hub to establish ourselves after spending so much money and time developing the market," he said, after the launching of the Eastern Hub here, Monday.

He said MAS' first goals from the Eastern Hub were to establish new routes, to Haneda and Perth, and from this they would use it as a base to either increase their flight frequencies (including to other existing routes) or add new destinations.

Emphasising that MAS' new Next-Generation Boeing 737-800s, equipped with the passenger-inspired Boeing Sky Interior, would be the ideal jumpstart to their endeavours, Munir said the technologically advanced plane has the ability give them better frequency, apart from range, meaning a well thought-out business plan.

"That's one of the reasons why we chose the 737-800s É with a capacity of 160 seats, it gives us a better opportunity to sell our seats.

"So we can attack the market that we have already identified, increase the frequency and look at new destinations as they become available," he said, adding MAS has ordered 35 new 737-800s from Boeing, with an option of another 20.

MAS Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Tengku Datuk Azmil Zahruddin said the Eastern Hub makes good business sense since flying out their planes to major cities in the region from here would be more cost efficient compared to from Kuala Lumpur.

Continue reading at: MAS to develop KK Hub over three stages

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