AirAsia Berhad orders 14 A320CEOs


To meet the robust demand in the Philippines, Indonesia and India, budget carrier AirAsia is ordering 14 more Airbus 320CEO as announced in the Paris Air Show last Thursday (22 June).

The deal is valued at around $1.4 billion at current list prices, although airlines usually get discounts from manufacturers. The 14 additional A320ceos will bring the total number of aircraft from the A320 family ordered by AirAsia to 592. AirAsia continues to be the largest airline customer for the Airbus single aisle product line.

Philippines AirAsia chief executive officer Dexter M. Comendador said in an interview that the carrier is looking to end 2017 with 19 planes, as it plans to boost capacity and expand routes. At present, Philippines AirAsia has 16 planes.

 

 

 

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Elevated Walkway, ASEAN Airline & PAL’s B777


NAIA Walkway

NAIA Terminals 1 and 2 will soon be connected by an elevated walkway. Philippine Airlines will shoulder the 250 million peso cost of building the 400 meter walkway. Lucio Tan had already agreed to underwrite the project but the proposal still needs the regulatory approval of Manila International Airport Authority.

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AirAsia

Asia’s largest LCC, AirAsia, plans to create an ASEAN airline that will house Malaysia’s AirAsia Bhd, Thai AirAsia and the soon-to-be-listed Indonesia AirAsia and Philippines AirAsia. According to AirAsia’s chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, AirAsia’s affiliates in Indonesia and Philippines already appointed bankers in their respective countries to work on the planned initial public offering (IPO).

AirAsia Group will form the holding company once the Indonesian and Philippines affiliates joined AirAsia Bhd and Thai AirAsia in the listing club.

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Philippine Airlines

Starting December, PAL will increase flight frequencies to:

MNL – LAX twice daily

MNL – SFO from 11 to 14 flights a week

YVR – JFK from 4 to 5 flights a week

This is made possible due to the arrival PAL’s 7th Boeing 777-300ER aircraft this month. By December, another Boeing 777-300ER is expected to join the fleet. The B777-300ER has a seating capacity of 376 seats.

CEB-LAX route, on the other hand, will still be flown by the 254 seat-Airbus 340 aircraft. The A340 will also be used as standby aircraft to fly to Australia and Honolulu.

AirAsia Bags 4 Awards at 2015 World Travel Awards


Image Source: Airbus
The AirAsia group, which recently celebrated their 14th anniversary, received four prestigious recognitions at the 2015 World Travel Awards.
AirAsia won the ‘Asia’s Leading Cabin Crew,’ ‘World’s Leading Low Cost Airline’ title for the third consecutive year, the ‘World’s Leading Low Cost Airline Website’ and ‘World’s Leading Low Cost Airline App’ titles for the first time.
AirAsia also recently created history, beating other full-service carriers and won the title of ‘Asia’s Leading Cabin Crew’ at the World Travel Awards (Asia & Australasia) Gala 2015.

Asia’s Leading Cabin Crew is…Air Asia


AirAsia has re-written history yet again by becoming the first low-cost airline to be awarded ‘Asia’s Leading Cabin Crew’ at the prestigious World Travel Awards (Asia & Australasia) Gala 2015.

 

Other airlines nominated in the ‘Asia’s Leading Cabin Crew’ category include Air India, Cathay Pacific Airways, China Southern Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Hainan Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, SriLankan Airlines and Thai Airways.

“I am very proud of what our team of cabin crew has achieved. It is an example of what pushing the boundaries mean – we are not just a low-cost airline, but an airline that provides high value. Being awarded ‘Asia’s Leading Cabin Crew’ is testament that low-cost doesn’t mean compromise on quality,” Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia said.

Malaysia’s AirAsia Grants Fresh Loan To Philippine Unit


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MANILA – The Philippine unit of Southeast Asia’s largest budget carrier has secured a fresh loan from its parent firm in Malaysia.

In a disclosure to Bursa Malaysia, AirAsia Berhad said it has provided financial assistance to AirAsia Inc amounting to $22.34 million.

The fresh loan would be used “to facilitate the ordinary course of business of AirAsia Inc.”

“The financial assistance provided does not have a material effect on the share capital, shareholding structure or net assets of the company,” Malaysia’s AirAsia said.

Southeast Asia’s largest budget carrier in August last year provided an $18-million loan to support the operation of its Philippine unit, then followed this up with another $55 million last November.

Malaysia’s Air Asia through AA International owns 40 percent of Philippines’ AirAsia, while Filipinos Marriane Hontiveros, Michael Romero, Antonio Cojuangco and Alfredo Yao hold the remaining 60 percent.

AirAsia Philippines recorded a net loss of 19.3 million Malaysian ringgit in the fourth quarter of last year from 24.8 million in the same period the previous year.

Despite the losses, AirAsia Berhard said Air Asia Philippines “remains on track with its turnaround plan, which is currently being implemented, to improve both yields and load factors.”

To recall, AirAsia Philippines secured the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) consent to acquire 100 percent of Zest Airways Inc.

In December last year, the Senate Committee on Public Services approved the sale of Zest Airways to AirAsia Philippines. The House Committee on Franchise also gave its consent in February of last year.

Under Republic Act No. 9183, any change in a carrier’s ownership has to be approved by Congress. AirAsia Philippines is now seeking approval from the Civil Aeronautics Board and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.

AirAsia Zest and AirAsia Philippines operate a combined fleet of 15 aircraft, servicing domestic destinations such as Kalibo (Boracay), Puerto Princesa (Palawan), Tagbilaran (Bohol), Cebu and Tacloban. Its international destinations include China and Korea.

Source:

10 Most Popular International Airlines On Twitter


The ten most popular international airlines on Twitter are as follows:

  1. AirAsia (@AirAsia and @AirAsiaBlog and @askairasia)
  2. Philippine (@flyPAL)
  3. Cebu Pacific (@CebuPacificAir)
  4. TAM (@TAMAirlines)
  5. KLM (@KLM)
  6. Aeromexico (@AeroMexico_com)
  7. Volaris (@viajaVolaris)
  8. Turkish Airlines (@TurkishAirlines)
  9. British Airways N.A. (@BritishAirways)
  10. VivaAerobus (@VivaAerobus)

Air_Asia-logoAirAsia is the most followed international airline with 724,622 followers. This factors in the followers of the its three accounts for announcements, customer service, and its blog; the last of which hasn’t been active since 2010. AirAsia’s CEO Tony Fernandes is also an avid tweeter sharing multiple messages a day on anything from meetings with Airbus to his dog Jack.

On its own, AirAsia’s official Twitter profile still has more followers (594,623) than those that come immediately after it including Philippine Airlines (446,305) and Cebu Pacific Air (439,408).

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We were impressed to find that all of the airlines in the top ten had more than 230,000 followers. British Airways and VivaAerobus are at the bottom of the list with 265,536 and 233,9333 followers, respectively.

Where they’re from

Out of the the ten airlines with the strongest presence on Twitter four are based in Asia, two of which are from the Philippines. British Airways and KLM are the only European airlines to make the list, TAM is the sole South American, and three are Mexican carriers.

To see statistics on the top ten U.S. airlines, see here.

It’s interesting to note that not one of the booming Gulf carriers makes the top ten. Qatar Airways has the most of that group with 57,511 and Etihad Airways brings in the rear with just 14,486 followers.

Global Airlines Twitter Followers

Engagement

Tweeting from almost opposite sides of the globe, TAM and AirAsia are the most engaged international airlines. In an average two-week period, approximately 97 percent of their tweets were replies to customers’ comments and questions.

TAM tweets an average of 182 times a day, which is more than double AirAsia’s 83 daily tweets. Both airlines appear meek in comparison to KLM’s 345 daily tweets. In a two-week period, about 93 percent of its 4,830 tweets are replies.

Sentiment of Data

A representative of TAM estimates that 50 percent of all incoming tweets are neutral, 35 percent are negative, and 15 percent are positive. The Brazilian airlines’ customer relationship department monitored the account from 2010 until 2012, at which point it created a six-person team to handle the account full time.

“Our focus on social networks is increasing and, at the same time, we are getting closer to our customers. The informality of these channels makes the dialogue much more personal, allowing us to monitor sensitive issues and to interact with people giving them the information they really want within minutes,” says a TAM representative.

Global Airlines Reply Tweets

Tweet patterns

These airlines are tweeting anywhere from 350 times to just once a day.

The airlines with highest daily tweet rate are also amongst the most engaged, but there are exceptions to the rule. Aeromexico tweets an average of 89 times in a two-week period, or 7 measly tweets a day, but 74 percent of those tweets are replies.

Tweets v Engagement

Aeromexico’s engagement is far superior to the airline with the most similar sharing rate,  VivaAerobus. VivaAerobus tweets an average of 8 times a day, but only 13 percent of its tweets in a two-week period are replies.

Turkish Airlines comes in last in terms of daily tweet rate and response rate. The airline has put some major dollars behind its advertising campaigns in recent months, including the viral ad featuring Kobe Bryant and Messi, yet still rarely tweets more than once a day and never in response to a follower. A quick look at its Twitter feed reveals that the platform is used solely to share announcements and contests, not as a customer service tool.

Source: Samantha Shankman, Skift

AirAsia Plans U$500M Infusion In Philippine Operations


 

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MANILA, Philippines–Malaysia’s AirAsia Berhad, one of the region’s biggest budget carriers, is investing another $500 million to expand its Philippine operations should the group gain a long-delayed approval from Congress to consolidate its local business, its top official said on Wednesday.

Malaysian tycoon and AirAsia founder Tony Fernandes said the consolidation was part of the company’s strategy for AirAsia Philippines to return to profitability by 2015, acquire more planes and compete with rivals here such as flag carrier Philippine Airlines and budget carrier Cebu Pacific.

A key part of the consolidation was for AirAsia Inc., which AirAsia Bhd. owns with Filipino partners, to increase its 49-percent stake in AirAsia Zest to a controlling share.

AirAsia Zest is currently controlled by juice and banking magnate Alfredo Yao, who has expressed his willingness to sell, but the deal has been held back by a delay in the Philippine Senate.

“It’s taking so long. It’s not good for business and it’s not good for investments,” said Fernandes, adding that he still hoped they could secure the Senate’s approval within 2014.

The Senate committee on public services, which oversees public utilities, services and the granting of legislative franchise such as the one held by AirAsia’s local units, was chaired by Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.

This was before Revilla’s arrest this year on graft and plunder charges for his alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam. He was replaced by acting chair Sen. Sergio Osmeña III, information on the Senate’s website showed.

“We’ve put in $100 million already in cash terms [into AirAsia Inc.], excluding the planes. And we are committing another $500 million once we get the franchise approval. That’s over a period of three to four years,” Fernandes said.

Its units AirAsia Philippines and AirAsia Zest currently operate more than a dozen Airbus A320s operating mainly out of Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Cebu and Kalibo. The fleet would at least double once the group gets the go-ahead to consolidate domestic operations, Fernandes said.

“As soon as we get the franchise, we should be able to get 15 aircraft. Then I hope we can add about five aircraft a year,” he said.

“My aim is to grow Philippines AirAsia in the international [market]. It’s adding more flights in Korea, eventually China and Japan and Asean and bringing these people to the Philippines like we’ve done in Indonesia and Thailand,” Fernandes said.

“I feel a strong optimism now that we’ve been through the worst. Our backs have been against the wall and that’s actually when we’re best. In many ways we are like the boxer on the ropes,” he added.

Read more: http://business.inquirer.net/181885/airasia-plans-500m-infusion-in-ph-operations#ixzz3J77loPwS

Air Asia Revives CRK-KUL Route


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Budget carrier AirAsia has revived flights from the Clark International Airport, but it did not use its Philippine subsidiary that stopped flights from the gateway in Pampanga province early this year.

The carrier said in a statement that the new service, using the Malaysian carrier’s flagship AirAsia Berhad, would fly four times a week between Clark and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Clark International Airport Corp. president and CEO Emigdio Tanjuatco III said in a statement that the return of Air Asia to Clark was more than welcome.

Clark Airport has struggled in luring large numbers of passengers, and subsequently, major carriers, due to its distance from Metro Manila.

Tanjuatco also hopes that Air Asia Philippines will transfer its operations to Clark Airport.

“We also hope based on the conversations with [AirAsia Philippines CEO] Maan Hontiveros that they are very impressed with the new developments at the airport and that they will try to convince their Manila operations to transfer at Clark,” Tanjuatco said.

“I think this is a positive development for Clark Airport. On our part, we will try to keep them satisfied, make sure that all their concerns are addressed and build a better relationship with Air Asia,” Tanjuatco said.

In the same statement, Hontiveros said “that this is a very good positive development for both Air Asia and Clark Airport.”

“We are very happy as well as the passengers who are excited [about] the return of Clark-Kuala Lumpur flights at Clark Airport and we will continue providing a much better travel for our passengers taking their flights at Clark,” Hontiveros said.

Air Asia Berhad flies four times weekly via Clark-Kuala Lumpur using its Airbus A320 aircraft. More than 100 passengers departed from Clark Airport to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia during the re-launching of the international flights at Clark.

Clark Airport is also host to other air carriers such as Cebu Pacific Air, Asiana Airlines, Jin Air, Dragonair, Seair-International, Tiger Air and Qatar Airways.

Source: Miguel R. Camus, PDI.

AirAsia Berhad Infuses Cash To AirAsia Philippines


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MANILA, Philippines–Malaysia’s AirAsia Berhad, one of the largest budget carriers in the region, extended an $18-million loan (P788 million) to its Philippine unit, which it said would post a profit by the second half of 2014, according to a top official and regulatory filings.

AiraAsia Bhd. told the Malaysian stock exchange that the loan—which it described as a form of financial assistance—would allow Philippine unit AirAsia Inc. to facilitate its “ordinary course of business.”

“This is to support our operations,” Alfredo Yao, the founder and majority stockholder of AirAsia Zest, told the Inquirer in an interview Wednesday. “We hope to be black in the back by the last quarter of 2014.”

AirAsia Inc., which is 40 percent owned by AirAsia Bhd., owns 49 percent of Air Asia Zest. Yao earlier expressed his willingness to sell his stake following the approval of the Senate. Yao cited the increase in demand for travel in the low-cost segment as well as the rationalizing competition in the domestic aviation sector.

“It’s good for the industry as a whole. We don’t have to make a killing [in profits] but we can still make a little and not lose money,” Yao said, describing how the pricing strategy in the Philippines is shifting.

AirAsia’s Philippine operations have been struggling, partly due to competition with flag carrier Philippine Airlines and budget airline Cebu Pacific Air in the domestic market. AirAsia Bhd. owner Tony Fernandes said in statement to the Malaysian stock exchange that the unit’s return to profit would come sooner than expected.

“I have spent considerable time on a turnaround plan for Indonesia and Philippines operations which will be rolling out from the third quarter of 2014 onward, and I believe both will return to the black in the second half of the year,” Fernandes said.

“We are investing a lot on marketing our brand locally and internationally to ensure we push passenger demand into the Philippines,” he said. “We have revised our network and I believe this will push fares even higher in the second half of 2014. I am very optimistic the worse is over as our turnaround plan has been put into place.”

Fernandes earlier said in an interview that he expected AirAsia Inc. to become profitable by next year. AirAsia’s Philippine unit recorded a net loss of 24 million ringgit (P332 million) in the quarter ending June 30, AirAsia Bhd. noted in its filing.

It said the group would only start recognizing profits, however, once a total of 80.6 million ringgit (P1.1 billion) of “unrecognized losses” have been reversed.

AirAsia Bhd. noted in its financial filing that its Philippine operation’s forward loads for the remaining months of the third quarter are slightly higher than the same period in 2013.

AirAsia Zest and AirAsia Philippines, which roughly control a tenth of the local market, currently operate a combined fleet of 18 aircraft servicing domestic destinations of Kalibo (Boracay), Puerto Princesa (Palawan), Tagbilaran (Bohol), Cebu and Tacloban with international destinations in Asia, China and Korea.

AirAsia’s Philippine units also plan to mount flights to Japan within the year.

AirAsia Inc. operates from Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Kalibo International Airport and Mactan Cebu International Airport.
Source: Miguel R. Camus, Philippine Daily Inquirer

AirAsia CEO Eyes More Investments In Philippines


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MANILA – AirAsia Bhd, Southeast Asia’s biggest budget airline, aims to increase its load factor to 85 percent in two years, its chief executive said on Thursday.

Following years of expansion and franchising, the airline is rationalising its fleet through aircraft sales after a slowdown in Indonesia and delays in its entry into India.

“My goal would be to try to move to 85 percent” from the current 81 percent seat-load factor,” Tony Fernandes told Reuters in an interview at the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Manila. Load factor refers to a measure of plane occupancy.

“These next two years, we have the ability to enter up to 85 percent,” he said, adding the airline sees growth opportunities in the Philippine, Indian and Japanese markets.

Fernandes also said AirAsia will likely start servicing India in the third quarter after winning an operating permit from a Delhi court this month.

PLANE SALES, PROFITS

AirAsia plans to sell 12 planes this year, a move that will bring in around 500 million ringgit ($156 million) in net profit.

“Our planes are well sought for,” he said, citing demand from airlines outside Asia. “Right now, as of today, we’ve got the right number of planes. We’re not selling more.”

On Tuesday, AirAsia reported its first-quarter net income rose 33 percent to 139.7 million ringgit ($43.47 million) on improved passenger numbers, foreign exchange gains and deferred taxes.

Fernandes said the airline remains “moderately positive” it will book “strong” earnings growth in the second half of the year and into 2015. AirAsia saw profit slump by 55 percent last financial year amid volatile currency moves and stiff competition.

The airline’s Philippine and Indonesian units are seen turning around from losses in the second half as they rationalize routes and cut costs, he added.

AirAsia is also looking at raising investments in its Philippine unit from an initial $100 million once it gets congressional clearance for acquiring nearly full control of its local partner, said Fernandes.

“We’re ready to invest. We’re ready to build,” he said.

Fernandes said AirAsia wants to add more planes to its current fleet of 16 and mount more routes to boost its presence in the Philippine market, which saw unprecedented consolidation including Cebu Air Inc’s acquisition of Tiger Airway Holdings Ltd’s Manila unit.

AirAsia shares were up 4.49 percent on Thursday, outperforming Kuala Lumpur’s main index which closed 0.11 percent lower