Friday, January 05, 2007

FAX Given Long-Haul rights

PETALING JAYA: Fly Asian Xpress (FAX), the rural air services operator, has been given rights to operate long-haul flights to destinations in Asia, Australia and Europe.
The announcement by Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy confirms The Star report on Jan 1 that AirAsia boss Datuk Tony Fernandes was putting together a team to launch a long-haul budget airline operating out of Malaysia.

Chan said the Government was confident this new transportation strategy of having a low-cost long-haul airline would ensure the success of the Government’s plan for a major budget airline hub.
He added that such a hub would greatly benefit our tourism industry.
Fernandes has a 50% stake in FAX, while the other two shareholders are AirAsia deputy chief executive Kamarudin Meranum (30%), and former AirAsia chief financial officer Raja Azmi Raja Razali (20%). Raja Azmi is the chief executive officer.
AirAsia and FAX are expected to make a major announcement today on a commercial tie-up between the two airlines as well as on the status of negotiations with Virgin group’s Sir Richard Branson and EasyGroup's Sir Stelios Haji-loannou.
The Star reported on New Year’s Day that three of the world’s main low-cost airline personalities would team up to start a long-haul budget airline.
The company, to be based in Malaysia, will offer airfares as low as RM100 for flights between China and Malaysia.
Sources said Fernandes, Branson and Stelios were in discussions to form this alliance for the world’s first low-cost global network.
The joint venture would first fly between Kuala Lumpur and destinations like Manchester in Britain, Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates and Amritsar in India.


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