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LCCT plan for Kuching
Just can't stay away
Joined:
2008/1/18 2:36
From Kuching
Posts: 2294
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I think the development of a new LCCT for Kuching will just kill off the current Kuching International Airport. making it a haunted ground.

How many % of the flights at the KIA is from MAS ?
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LCCT plan for Kuching
By Samuel Aubrey

Low-cost carrier terminal crucial to development of Kuching as AirAsia’s regional hub: CEO

KUCHING: AirAsia Berhad is in talks with the state government to build a local low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) here which imposes lower airport tax and utilises simpler facilities.

Its group chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes said this was crucial in developing Kuching as its regional hub especially with the introduction of it new international flights.

He also told reporters yesterday that this matter had been brought to the attention of Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and he was hopeful of an encouraging response from the state government.

“The airport tax on the Kuching main terminal is too high, RM51 or RM52. At the Kuala Lumpur low cost carrier terminal, it is only RM25. For (a low-cost carrier) like us, the key is to have low fares. We also need simpler facilities because we’re different from a full service airline,” he said after the official launch of AirAsia’s Jakarta-Kuching route at a leading hotel here yesterday.

He said the low-cost terminal was also crucial as AirAsia estimated that in the next three years, it would handle five million passengers just out of its regional hub here.

At present, the local hub serves seven domestic routes to Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Miri, Bintulu, Sibu and two international flights to Macau and Jakarta.

Another three new flights, Kuching-Bali, Kuching-Bandar Seri Begawan and Kuching-Singapore will kick off in May and June.

Fernandes also announced the deployment of brand new Airbus aircraft for flights out of here would be accelerated and brought forward from its original date in November to May, which is next month.

Saying that the passenger load to Kuching had been “very good”, he said Airbus aircraft had 22 more seats than the Boeing 737s currently used.

“With Airbus, we attract even more people,” he said.

He also said AirAsia was serious in helping the state government improve air connectivity to Sarawak not only for the tourism sector but to facilitate trade between the state and other countries.

The close relationship the company had with the state government was also mentioned earlier by Fernandes in his speech during the function, after he revealed that he had received a thank-you letter for bringing in direct international flights.

“Sarawak was the first state to have written a thank-you letter to us,” he remarked.

At the start of the press conference, there was a light moment between Fernandes and Taib who sat together with the members of the media facing the panel of interviewees including Fernandes himself.

The Chief Minister who sat there from the start till the end of the press conference, was heard saying that he too, like the members of the media, would love to listen to statements from Fernandes and the others.

The local media was joined by their counterparts from Indonesia and even Taiwan during the press conference.

On another matter, Fernandes, when asked by a Taiwanese reporter, said AirAsia could be introducing the Kuching-Taipei flight before the end of the year.

He said the fact that Taiwanese nationals ranked top in the second home programme in Sarawak had not gone unnoticed by AirAsia.

It was learned that more than 30 of the 107 second home programme participants are from Taiwan.

“Sometimes we miss out the obvious. But very soon there will be another dot on the map for the flight from Kuching to Taipei, hopefully before the end of the year,” he said.

He also talked about the potential of medical tourism in Sarawak, which he felt had not been exploited due to the lack of air links.

“For the BIMP-Eaga (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines - East Asia Growth Area) I think Sarawak can be the capital of medical tourism. Thus we are also looking at direct link to Manila from Kuching,” he said.

He also said AirAsia’s airfares would not be increased despite the global oil prices experiencing an upward trend.

He pointed out that the fares would be kept low, but AirAsia would find ways to generate money such as through baggage handling fees and selling innovative in-flight meals.

“We are looking forward to becoming the first airline to sell ‘roti canai’ in-flight, and maybe also include ‘nasi padang’ (an Indonesian dish),” he said.

news resource

Posted on: 2008/4/10 12:42
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Re: LCCT plan for Kuching
Home away from home
Joined:
2008/3/5 20:12
From Kch
Posts: 2110
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Quote:

He pointed out that the fares would be kept low, but AirAsia would find ways to generate money such as through baggage handling fees and selling innovative in-flight meals.


Oh geee... that SOO cracked me up! HAHAHAHA.

-__-

Who wanna bet this is just talk.. aka empty promises? Until the day we actually see them starting to construct an LCCT for our lovely city.... don't get your hopes too high abt it..

Posted on: 2008/4/10 12:50
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Re: LCCT plan for Kuching
Home away from home
Joined:
2007/4/29 20:20
From Sydney
Posts: 1989
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I really doubt this. Considering this speech was made during the launch of the Jakarta-Kuching flight, it's just a piece of news to promote public relations. A federal minister said, once, that Kuching and Penang would not be getting an LCCT because the airports are already sufficient as it is, and I believe this news is posted somewhere here in the forums.

Now, even if they built the LCCT here, would they lower the fares? Or would they maintain it as it is and get the reduction in airport taxes as extra profits? IATA is already angry at Malaysia Airports and the Federal government for reducing the taxes in the LCCTs but keeping it high for the normal terminals, something about unfair treatment for operators or something.

Malaysia Airlines and subsidiaries already take up a majority of flights. 2-3 flights daily to KK, JB, Miri, Sibu and Bintulu on Malaysia Airlines, twice daily with a codeshare to Singapore, 10 flights daily to KL; compared to the 6 daily KL, twice daily to JB and KK and once daily to Sibu, Miri and Bintulu on Air Asia. I haven't even added in the MASWings flights yet.

The current airport terminal will not be entirely empty, but underutilised, which means that the shops around there might have to struggle just to keep open. We may be lose to the 5 million capacity but it doesn't mean we need a new airport terminal so soon, just a year after the current building's completion, and with barely 5 airlines using it, with little growth. Bad enough the airport is getting dimmer and dimmer week in week out.

Posted on: 2008/4/10 13:04
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