Friday, January 12, 2007

AirAsia upbeat on Singapore-KL route

All the talk about AA flying the Singapore-KL route dominated by MAS and SIA's like bamboo in the wind. Sometimes it leans this way, other times that way - depending on which way the wind blows.

AirAsia's Fernandes upbeat on Singapore-KL route
Posted: 12 January 2007 1845 hrs

SINGAPORE - Malaysia's low-cost travel aviation pioneer Tony Fernandes said Friday he was optimistic a decision to liberalise the lucrative Singapore-Kuala Lumpur route would come by June.

"I think it is going to be this year. I think before June we should see something happen," the chief executive of AirAsia said in Singapore.

"It's just a feeling you get," he told reporters, adding "the pace of liberalisation is moving very quickly" within the region.

Fernandes' AirAsia has campaigned hard for access to the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur route which is dominated by Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines.

The two carriers account for 85 percent of traffic on the 30-minute route between the two cities, with a confirmed round-trip ticket departing from Singapore costing more than 450 Singapore dollars (294 US) including taxes.

Should AirAsia be granted access to the route, Fernandes said a one-way ticket would start from 60 dollars based on the ultra-successful low cost model of his company.

"Our model is all about stimulation. I think there is a lot of pent up demand here from both sides," he said, adding AirAsia's entry into the route would hardly impact the market position of Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines.

Fernandes was speaking after signing an aircraft components maintenance contract worth 130 million US dollars with Singapore Technologies Aerospace (ST Aerospace) in the city-state.
Related post where the bamboo was blown the other way: KL - Singapore route to remain high cost only

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