THE JOURNAL consists of selected, most notable and newsworthy POSTINGS OF THE DAY.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

AirAsia going Worldwide

Malaysian long-haul budget carrier pioneer AirAsia is to acquire a total of 15 Airbus A330-300 aircraft, its chief executive Tony Fernandes said sunday.

He said that the company in April signed an order with Airbus, for up to 10 of the aircraft, with an option to buy five more. "By end of June, we will firm the order for an additional five A330-300. Negotiations are going on now," Fernandes said.

The aircrafts are scheduled for delivery from the fourth quarter of 2008. Fernandes also said that the budget carrier would make a decision on whether to buy a further 10 A330-300 aircraft by end of the year.

"Talks with Airbus are yet to commence," he said. The airline will begin its first long-haul flights in September 2007 using three leased planes from the low-cost carrier terminal at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

"Our maiden flights will be to China and Australia in September," Fernandes said. Destinations for AirAsia long-haul will also include Japan, Korea, India, the Middle East and Europe.

The A330-300 announcement cements a growing relationship between AirAsia and the European aircraft manufacturer.

Fernandes, who launched regional budget carrier AirAsia more than five years ago, unveiled its long-haul plans in January. In 2005-2006, the company bought 100 A320s to service its expanding short-haul operations in the region and in January signed contracts to buy 50 more of the aircraft, with an option for another 50.

Fernandes also announced that AirAsia will fly direct flights to Vientiane in Laos from Kuala Lumpur from July. "Our aim is to become an Asian airline. Without a doubt, the resumption of a direct air link after nearly a 10-year hiatus will spur economic benefits," said Fernandes "That is the beauty of a low cost carrier. We can fly to destinations which others don't," he said.

Fernandes said that AirAsia was also hoping to secure a direct link from Kuala Lumpur to Yangon in Myanmar in the next few months.

AirAsia was launched as a budget carrier in December 2001 with just two aircraft.

It now offers more than 100 domestic and international flights throughout Southeast Asia - AFP.

I would like to urge both Malaysia Airports Berhad, the operator of the airport and AirAsia the user of the airport to look with utmost urgency and immediately into the provision of a 24 hour clinic, fully staffed and equipped , at this major hub.

Read here Screenshots report of 2 deaths that have taken place at the LCCT.

It is a shame that this has happened in Malaysia today. Is it 10 million people flying through LCCT yearly? And several hundred employees working at this place. Surely basic medical facilities for this number of people anywhere is a must. Besides attending to the minor ailments of passengers, this facility should also be able to cope with emergencies expected at a major airport on a 24 hour basis.