Thursday, December 29, 2005

Story about MAS too

And here is another.
Air KL, Air KK and Air K
Marc Lim
Dec 28, 05 7:31pm

I agree with the sentiments of the writer who suggests MAS be wound up instead of the government bailing it out with taxpayers' money.

If the government wants MAS to carry on, then apart from selling MAS headquarters building, MAS should become an all wide-bodied fleet concentrating on international routes. Another airline - maybe known as Air KL for planes based at Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Air KK and Air K for planes based in Kota Kinabalu and Kuching respectively, could fly the narrow-bodied fleet.

This three-hub airline Air KL/Air KK/Air K should be operated as a all narrow-bodied jet fleet so all propeller aircraft currently in MAS' fleet would be sold and not transferred to this new airline. The new airline should not be expected to do 'national service' in flying propeller aircraft on unprofitable routes.

Fares on this proposed Air KL/Air KK/Air K could be priced at 10 percent to 25 percent above Air Asia's fares. But like Air Asia, this regional airline would only have economy class seats. There would be no first class nor business class for this new regional airline. Basically it should be operated much in the same way that Air Asia operates.

Air KL/Air K/Air K could also use Singapore Changi International Airport's new low-cost carrier terminal for flights arriving in Singapore.

There should be new routes, e.g. Kota Bahru-Singapore, Kota Bahru-Bangkok, Kuantan-Singapore, Sibu-Singapore, Miri-Singapore, Sandakan-Singapore, Labuan-Singapore and Singapore-Bandar Seri Begawan.

Importantly, Air KL/Air KK/Air K should not be a subsidiary of MAS. It should operate as a totally separate airline where pilots, cabin crew and ground staff of each airline would be on a separate payrolls and have different uniforms.

Air KL/Air KK/Air K should have separate check-in counters from MAS at all airports. Both airlines could have separate stock listings on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange. Finally, the government should allow up to 49 percent foreign ownership of MAS and Air KL/Air KK/Air K.

Apart from carving out this new regional airline from MAS, an airport ground handling unit and an engineering unit should also be carved out from MAS and operated as separate non-subsidiary companies.

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