Monday, February 12, 2007

AirAsia hopes for May takeoff to Singapore

KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia chief executive officer says he hopes to secure approval by May to fly between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur and to operate 20 flights a day on the lucrative route.

Datuk Tony Fernandes, who has promised much lower ticket prices than are currently available on the route, said aviation officials from Malaysia and Singapore were expected to meet next month to iron out the details.

“Obviously, it is an important route for us. It is like the busy Paris-London route. And it will surely be profitable,” he said here yesterday.

He said Kuala Lumpur was “set to become a hub for low-cost carriers”.

“I hope to get the approval by May,” he said.

AirAsia has been pushing hard for access to the route, which is dominated by Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines.

The two carriers account for 85% of traffic on the 30-minute route between the two cities, with a confirmed round-trip ticket departing from Singapore costing more than S$450 (RM1,025) including taxes.

Fernandes has said a one-way AirAsia ticket would start from S$60 (RM137).

The AirAsia chief also said the airline had taken delivery of 16 new A320 Airbus aircraft and would have 23 jets in June.

“We are very happy with the A320 aircraft. The operation cost of the jets is lower than expected. The fuel burn is less than expected.”

Source : STAR
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