Thursday, December 29, 2011


PERAK is expecting about five million tourists during Visit Perak Year 2012. How they will monitor this number is everyone's guess.

Senior state executive councillor Datuk Hamidah Osman said this would generate massive economic benefits for Perak, both for the state coffers and its people. Hamidah, who is in charge of the state's tourism portfolio, said Visit Perak Year 2012 was expected to generate about RM5 billion from tourist spending. The projection is made on the basis of each visitor spending about RM1,000 during a visit.

"The state government has spent a lot of money to promote the Visit Perak Year 2012 and the allocation for the promotion will be increased to promote the campaign vigorously," she said after meeting a group of about 20 hoteliers and travel and tour operators here recently.

It is learnt that the state government had spent up to RM7.5 million this year for the promotions and expected to spend RM18 million next year.

Thirty-six core activities have been planned for Visit Perak Year 2012 including the Asian Junior Golf Team Championship from Jan 8 to 10, Sultan Azlan Shah hockey tournament (Feb 2-12), "Larian Bendang" (Half Marathon) "Menara Condong" (March 11), Pangkor Sea Fest (April 27-May 3), Spinning Top Open Championship (May 5), Perak 4x4 International Challenge (June 2 and 3), Perak Iron Bound Challenge (July 7 and 8), Royal Belum International Rainforest Adventure (Oct1-7) and Powerman Malakoff Perak (Nov 11).

Beside these, Hamidah said the state Culture and Arts Department would also be organising cultural events including traditional dances on a weekly basis to showcase Perak's sublime attractions. She said to attract hoteliers to take a more active part in promoting the Visit Perak Year, a competition would be held to judge the best hotel lobby in Perak.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Fancy exploring Malaysia's third largest state on big bikes? Pahang Tourism Malaysia aims to promote new packages where visitors will travel around the state on powerful two-wheelers next year.

“We want to try new and interesting things so that there is diversity in the state's tourism industry. Travelling by big bikes presents something fresh,” said its director Amran Abd Rahman. It would be a niche area but the agency already has cooperation from a travel and tour company which specialises in that particular transportation mode, he said.

“Travelling by car is already an established way of getting around and the business has generated good earnings,” he said during a media appreciation gathering here on Monday.

Amran said another riding activity that was already popular was cycling and this could be promoted as a sports tourism product. The agency, he said, would work with local authorities to have designated lanes for cycling around town to ensure the safety of cyclists. “Sightseeing should be done at a leisurely pace,” he said.

Amran also said at least four events would be highlighted at the national level next year. They are the 1Malaysia Fabulous Food (1Fab Food), 1Malaysia Contemporary Art (1MCAT), 1Malaysia Green 1Malaysia Clean (1MG1MC) and “Fly and Drive” campaigns, he added.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) has launched what is called the Malayan Tiger Train (MTT) service to the East Coast using 14 coaches contributed by the Japanese government.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said the return service between Johor Baharu and Tumpat was scheduled to make 26 stops throughout the journey.

"The 14 coaches arrived from Japan on Dec 9 and we had been carrying out refurbishment since then so that operations could begin on Dec 16," he said during the launch of the MTT at the JB Sentral station, here, Monday.

He said the introduction of the MTT would boost tourism in the East Coast and attract more local and international tourists, especially from Japan.

Kong said the train was in good working condition despite being over 30 years old, following stringent maintenance carried out by the Japanese.

He hoped Malaysia and Japan could forge closer relationships in the field of train maintenance and in new technologies in the transportation sector.

Kong said Japan had also agreed to sponsor eight engineers from KTMB for training on maintenance of the train in Hokkaido.

Also at the ceremony were the Japanese ambassador to Malaysia, Shigeru Nakamura and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) representative, Nagae Tsutomo.

KTMB president Dr Aminuddin Atan who was also present, said the MTT service would increase the number of passengers in the East Coast sector by 17 per cent.

"The MTT service is expected to reap RM6.5 million in profits per year," he said, adding that KTMB was ready to increase the frequency of trips if the service was well received.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


The Melaka government has been urged to continue to develop iconic tourism products to enable the state to be a destination of choice for tourists.

The prime minister's wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor said among measures that could be carried out by the state included stepping up the maintenance and promotion of tourist spots. These efforts would go a long way in making Malaysia among the world's top ten tourism earners," she said at a dinner in conjunction with the International Baba Nyonya Festival 2011 here Sunday night.

On the festival, she said it was one of the ways to promote Melaka's tourism products through cultural diversity while creating awareness among tourists on the Baba Nyonya culture in Malaysia. Calling on the festival to be included in the state's tourism calendar, Rosmah said it would be a platform to assail Malaysian arts and cultures to the global stage while inculcating the younger generation to appreciate them.

Among events arrayed for the three-day festival, which started on Friday, were a seminar, a cooking demonstration by chef Florence Tan, and demonstrations on how to stitch Kebaya Nyonya (traditional dress) embroidery flowers, bake onde-onde (cake), sew beads, tie hair bun and wear a kebaya Nyonya.

Visitors were also entertained to a concert featuring the Baba Nyonya wedding, rendition of dondang sayang and keroncong songs, Kebaya Nyonya fashion show and Kebaya Nyonya beauty pageant at Jonker Walk.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Extremely preoccupied with shopping, shoes and art exhibitions we have almost ignored the most lucrative part of the industry.

Playing Golf Around Malaysia offers a program of scheduled golf tours. The scheduled tours are designed for individuals and couples who wish to join a group and are suitable for golfers of all abilities.

Malaysia also welcome non-golfing partners and supply a sightseeing and activity program during the tours. Group members will stay in excellent four star rated hotels and resorts.

Each property has been carefully selected for its style, service and location. We offer something a bit different to usual coach tours. Using the latest minivans and Malaysian best tour guide/drivers a maximum of 16 guests to the finest golf courses that Malaysia has to offer and provide the flexibility and service which would normally be enjoyed during a private tour.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


The Peranakan heritage is being promoted as a tourism product in Melaka. Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam is scheduled to launch the three-day Baba Nyonya International Festival at the Jonker Walk World Heritage Park here on Friday.

State Women, Family Development and Welfare Committee chairman Datuk Norpipah Abdol said today this second such festival was aimed at promoting tourism based on the diversity of communities and culture.

"It will create awareness in the world community on the existence of the Baba Nyonya identity as a platform to enrich Malaysian culture and the arts," she said in a statement.

The activities at the festival would include a cooking demonstration by chef Florence Tan as well as demonstrations on weaving flower embroidery, making the "onde-onde" traditional cake, sewing beaded shoes and wearing the "kebaya nyonya" attire.

Norpipah said the highlight of the festival would be a dinner on Sunday which would be attended by the prime minister's wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Malaysians accounted for 44,000 visitors to the United States of America (USA) for the period January to October this year, placing Malaysia as the second highest after China, said United States Embassy Consul General Timothy Scherer.

​Scherer said the number was a 20 percent increase compared with last year.

"This situation showed to the world that there is no prejudice on Malaysian tourists, especially Muslims, to visit US," he said at a talk on ''Travel USA-All You Need To Know'' at the National Press Club (NPC) here, today.

He said the application procedure for visa was not complicated even though there is a myth about it.

"One of the myth is regarding interview sessions which people believed comprised a though question session.

"It is actually a quick interview session which is short and easy, such as the purpose of visit, the place to visit and so on... it need to be answered by the applicants and convince the officer in-charge," he said.

Furthermore, there are no different procedures to apply visa and applicants from any religion will follows the same criteria.

"US Embassy does not discriminate tourists with a Muslim name because surname is very common and we have our own database to determine the profile of applicants.

"For example currently there are 20,000 students from Saudi Arabia studying in the US," he said.

He also added that the US visa validity period also resulted in an increasing number of tourist arrivals to the US who return.

"The validity period is 10 years compared with other countries that give approval for only a year," he said.

Friday, December 16, 2011


Every state with a foreign neighbour should be looking for direct connectivity. This is to ensure tourists arrive into their state first.

As an example Sarawak will be looking at air connectivity with Australia, as it is an important factor for closer economical and cultural ties with South Australia.

According to Housing and Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, air connectivity between the state and Australia is an important factor proven previously when the state had direct flights to Perth and from Sydney. The flights, which were provided by Malaysian Airlines, were withdrawn during the financial crisis.

Abang Johari said this during a dinner held to welcome Australia’s Multicultural Affairs, Police, Correctional, Emergency and Road Safety Minister Jennifer Rankine on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Rankine in her speech invited Abang Johari and in particular his ministry to visit Adelaide to promote Sarawak, its unique culture as well as its indigenous arts and craft during the AusAsia Festival to be held in 2013. The AusAsia Festival 2013 will have a theme and country focus on Malaysia.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Something we should be proud of. The World Travel Market 2011 Industry Report identified Malaysia together with Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Mexico and Argentina as tourism’s most important new emerging economies.

The five SLIMMA nations were pinpointed as the rival to the BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Sri Lanka has inbound potential as the nation invests in its infrastructure as it emerges from decades of civil strife.

Indonesia could provide a significant outbound market. The population is young and the growth of a generation with a relatively high disposable income will provide openings for outbound operators.

Malaysia is seen as a typical Asian destination with a more ‘Westernised’ feel. The government has identified tourism as an important part of its economic development, and has launched aggressive marketing campaigns.

Mexico has an established tourism industry driven by its proximity to the US. Both inbound and outbound tourism potential is helped by a generally low tax regime for investors, visitors and its population.

Argentina has the benefit of being a new destination on the global tourism map. It is one of the few major economies in the world to be seeing strong economic growth, meaning more flexibility on pricing than many destinations.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


The Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry hopes to upgrade the Mardi Cameron Highlands Station, here into an Agro-Tourism Centre to attract local and foreign tourists.

Its minister, Datuk Seri Noh Omar said, the station, located two kilometres away from Tanah Rata, spans across 40 hectares of land suitable for cultivating flowers and fruits.

"We will request help from the Tourism Ministry to obtain funds for this purpose. Most of the trees here are evergreen like those in Europe because of the weather," he told reporters after launching Mardi's Meet-The-Customer Day at the Mardi Station, here Saturday.

He said the station received about 180,000 visitors each year and generates and income of RM1.3 million through various attractions offered including a strawberry farm, vegetables, flowers, tea museum, English garden, Information Technology Centre and reasonably priced English Cottage-style accommodation.

Earlier in his speech, Noh stated that fertigation technology should be widened in order to cultivate high value crops for the local and export market.

He said Mardi was currently active in promoting the technology to create a communications network between producers of technology and its users.

"This modern technology is necessary due to insufficient land and this way planting can be done surrounding the house. The agriculture sector is facing various challenges such as disease, labour and global climate change which affects the country's food production," he said.

He added that the technology was vital as the world was expected to experience a food crisis by 2050 following population growth.

Monday, December 12, 2011



The tourism attractions of Sarawak and Sabah combined has great potential in boosting the tourism industry in not just the two states but also in the country.

“Sabah has her pristine beaches and seas, while Sarawak has dense rainforests and scenic highlands. By taking advantage of these potential we will be able to give not only both states, but also the Malaysian tourism industry a great boost,” said Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari. “Collaboration between the two states would signify a marked increase in the size of the target market and at present, both states are safe destinations and are positioned strategically to attract tourists,” he added.

“But first of all, there must be change and transformation, especially in the aviation sector if we are to welcome more visitors and tourists to Sarawak,” he said at a dinner to welcome delegates from Sabah to the 4th Sabah-Sarawak Joint Tourism Co-operation and Collaboration Meeting on board Sarawak River Cruise on Wednesday night. The meeting was held here yesterday.

Johari said Sarawak and Sabah were popular tourist destinations in the region where they shared many common resources that provided quality cultural, adventure and nature (CAN) tourism - the market niche for both states. He called for greater efforts by both states to share strategies and also improve the market for the tourism industry.

He said in keeping with Vision 2020, the country was expecting at least 36mil tourists visiting the country every year. He believed Sarawak could contribute to a majority of that number, “but only if we have the right connectivity in terms of travel and transportation between our state and other parts of Malaysia.”

Also present were Assistant Ministers of Tourism Datuk Gramong Juna and Datuk Talib Zulpilip, permanent secretary of the Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry Datuk Michael Emban and Sabah Tourism general manager Datuk Irene Charuruks. It was the first time for many of the delegates including Michael Emban and Irene to travel along the Sarawak River on board the Sarawak River Cruise.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


It is the concern of everyone in the industry to see that MAS be turned around as soon as possible so that the national flag carrier can continue to roam the skies. So there is a need to continue various options especially in the way the airline is managed.

Meanwhile MAS group chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya yesterday said the airline expects to start generating positive operating cash flow next year, but is still likely to post a net loss of RM165 million. The airline reported a loss of RM1.2 billion for the first three quarters of 2011 and does not expect to make a profit for the full year.

“We firmly believe all is not lost,” Ahmad Jauhari said in his first meeting with the media since his appointment more than three months ago. Also present was group deputy chief execuB4tive officer Mohammed Rashdan Yusof.

Ahmad Jauhari said the airline would explore all options in handling the issue of its 20,000 staff strength, adding that a separation scheme would be a last resort.

“First, we will have to spin off our businesses as separate entities, then we’ll see about relocating staff so that we operate at optimum level,” he said. MAS also has an engineering division, a pilot training and safety academy, ground handling division and a cargo arm.

According to the recovery plan, MAS is looking to generate between RM1.2 billion and RM1.5 billion in cash through a combination of a smaller network, improved revenue management and sales and marketing efforts, re-negotiation of contracts and spinning off of its subsidiaries. Ahmad Jauhari does not rule out the possibility of disposing of its other businesses such as cargo and engineering entirely if the price is right.

However, he maintained that the idea of bringing in strategic partners is to allow it to grow to its full potential and help reduce its own costs.

The national carrier plans to shrink its network by 12 per cent in 2012 by suspending routes to South Africa, Argentina and Dubai, among others. According to MAS, 40 per cent of its long-haul routes are losing money. MAS will operate only 88 aircraft in 2012, with plans to end operating leases for 36 aircraft.

Despite cuts, there are plans to increase frequencies to destinations such as Manila, Jakarta and Narita in Japan. Ahmad Jauhari said MAS was in talks with not only Australian carrier Qantas Airways but also other carriers on potential partnerships.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Singapore has only five million population and how did Malaysia received 13 million Singaporean tourist arrivals ?

On the average, at least one Singaporean goes to Malaysia 2.5 times. After two or three times, where do they go, that's why we have to expose new places for them.

"Our strategy now is to open new places and new products for them," said Zulizam, Tourism Malaysia Director in Singapore. Citing east coast states (Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang), Perak, Sabah and Sarawak as well as the rest of Malaysia are popular but were getting less visitors.

He said Tourism Malaysia Singapore was aggressively working with various state governments to woo Singaporeans to these places. Zalizam said Tourism Malaysia Singapore initiated this seminar and travel market last year by focusing on region by region.

"We started with the east coast last year and today we are organising the event to promote the central region comprising Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Putrajaya," he said recently . He said the seminar and the travel market served as a fitting platform for tourism players from Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Putrajaya to meet Singapore travel and tour agents.

"The objective of organising this session is to allow the states to update their latest tourism development happenings and to introduce these new products and packages in their future travel itineraries," he added.

Friday, December 9, 2011


A total of 143 life-sized painted bears are in town to spread the message of tolerance and international understanding through art via the United Buddy Bears World Tour exhibition.

Among them is the Malaysia Bear, painted by renowned Malaysian artist Imuda, which was unveiled at the launching of the exhibition by Kuala Lumpur Mayor Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail at the Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, here, Thursday.

He said Kuala Lumpur was proud to be the host for the eight-day exhibition under the patronage of the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, as it would bring more visitors to the city.

"Kuala Lumpur is very proud to support the United Buddy Bears, the ambassadors of international unity," he said.

The United Buddy Bears, which also aims to raise funds for needy children worldwide, was first launched in Berlin, Germany in 2002. Since then, it has travelled to more than 15 countries, and Malaysia is the first Southeast Asian country to be chosen for its tour.

With the theme, "The Art of Tolerance", the United Buddy Bears World Tour hopes to raise funds with the auctioning of the two-metre tall bears and the proceeds to be channelled to children's charities in Malaysia.

Tourism Malaysia chairman Datuk Dr Victor Wee said the exhibition would further enhance Malaysia as an outstanding tourist destination with myriad activities to suit the preferences of different visitors. He said the exhibition would also add to the vibrancy of the Bukit Bintang-Kuala Lumpur City Centre area, which has been designated as Malaysia's premier shopping precinct.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


LEGOLAND Malaysia has made public the pricing structure for tickets and annual passes to its theme park in Nusajaya, Johor, which is on schedule to open by end-2012.

Gate prices will be RM140 (US$47) for an adult and RM110 for a child, while an annual pass – offering unlimited access for a calendar year – will cost RM275 for an adult and RM210 for a child. Special pricing will be offered to groups and schools, while Malaysian nationals will receive a RM30 rebate on gate prices.

An additional feature is the pre-opening annual pass available at the discounted price of RM195 for an adult and RM 110 for a child. Valid from the park’s opening date right through to 2013, the discounted passes will go on sale within the next dew days for a limited period.

Legoland Malaysia general manager Siegfried Boerst said the discounted passes were being launched as a result of the high volume of enquiries over the past few months. He added: “Travel experts will be entitled to a commission for the day ticket. But if there is demand from them for the annual pass, we will look at it.”

With construction having passed the 40 per cent mark, Legoland Malaysia will begin to aggressively market the park globally in the new year.

“We will participate in international travel trade shows and conduct road shows in Singapore, East Asia, the Middle East and India,” said Boerst.

With a development cost of RM720 million, Legoland Malaysia will offer seven themed areas – The Beginning, Lego City, Miniland, Land of Adventure, Imagination, Lego Kingdom and Lego Technic (a roller coaster ride).

One million visitors are targeted in the park’s first year of operations.

Well folks, what are you waiting for.....??

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


By Ann Bagel Storck

Corporate travel appears poised to have a healthy year ahead, as many Millennials and Generation X professionals expect to take to the road more often in 2012, according to an online survey of 1,000 U.S. business travelers commissioned by Deloitte conducted in late September.

Specifically, 85% of business travelers surveyed expect to take more or the same number of trips next year, with 27% of 18- to 44-year-olds expecting to take more trips in 2012. Sixteen percent of business travelers 45 years old and above are planning to take more trips next year.

Hotel preferences

The majority of business travelers surveyed feel experiences at hotels operating under the same brand name differ depending on location, with 60% noting that facilities and service quality vary widely.

When considering loyalty, 46% of the 18- to 29-year-olds say they prefer to stay at their favorite hotel brand even if it is not conveniently located, whereas 37% of those 30 and older do the same.

Two-thirds of respondents say they often work in their hotel room, with younger business travelers enjoying working in more social spaces, such as executive/business lounges and the lobby or common area. Nearly two-fifths (36%) of the 18- to 44-year-olds surveyed say they often work in the lobby or common area, while only 17% of those 45 and older do the same.

When it comes to interacting with hotel staff for check-in, 36% of the 18- to 44-year-old respondents favor automated kiosks rather than checking in with a hotel employee at the front desk, whereas only 19% of the 45-and-older survey participants say they prefer automated kiosks.

Amenities continue to play a key role in the overall hotel experience, with 61% expecting more from hotels with regards to amenities and services. As a whole, 77% of business travelers surveyed indicated complimentary internet is important to them, and 63% are satisfied with the availability of free Wi-Fi in hotels.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


From a local blogger.

The budget entrusted to the tourism ministry for tourism facilities enhancement in Melaka and Penang are being poorly utilised by both states.

The frequent breakdowns of Melaka’s unreliable monorail and Penang Hill’s unsafe and poorly designed car park are signs of poor financial management.

The tourism ministry and its minister, Ng Yen Yen, have failed miserably in ensuring funds are properly managed and utilised by both governments, who have world heritage sites.

Delegating project development tasks to respective states does not mean the tourism ministry has no responsibility and accountability for the budgets.

The minister has to make sure the projects follow every statutory and engineering requirements before her ministry and the Treasury release the funds.

Ng chiding Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng for the Kancil car park failure (she selectively forgets Melaka Chief Minister, Mohd Ali Rustam, also screwed up the monorail project) is an uncalled for, low taste and immature response.

We rakyat are asking for full accountability from her ministry because the fund was allocated to her ministry. Delegating a job to others without follow-up is called abandonment, that is what has happened in the tourism ministry.

On another note, Ng banned me from posting any comments in her facebook although the facebook is paid by taxpayer’s money, legally and technically, I’m also a co-owner for her facebook!

Monday, December 5, 2011


Despite the many global upheavals, Malaysia expects 24 million foreign tourists this year,

In the past year, Japan was hit by an earthquake and tsunami, Europe saw an economic crisis, while political unrest and massive floods were the order of the day in the Middle East and Thailand, respectively.

Obsessed bu these numbers, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said the ministry was multiplying efforts to ensure the number of tourists to the country remained stable in the coming years.

The efforts included focusing on potential countries to lure tourists and discussions with foreign airlines to have direct flights into the country, in addition to the MAS service.

"If MAS stopped its direct flight service from many cities like Dubai and Tokyo, we will have problems. It (direct flight service) is important because tourists do not like changing flights.

"We have discussed with the relevant parties in Russia to set up charter flights from the country to Malaysia. We welcome all direct flights to Malaysia.

"For example, there is no direct flight from Moscow. We need more flights to the KL International Airport, Kota Kinabalu and Langkawi. That is vital," she told reporters after attending the ministry's first monthly assembly at its new building here Friday.

In 2009, Malaysia saw 23 million foreign tourists. Last year, there were 24.6 million tourists, ringing the cash register to the tune of RM56.4 billion.

Dr Ng said, despite the floods in several states, domestic tourism was unaffected and stable.

She said 36 million foreign tourists were expected to visit the country by 2020, with an estimated tourism income of RM168 billion.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


The idea of building low cost terminals is getting out of hand. So this idea was shot down in Sarawak recently.

Building a low cost carrier terminal (LCCT) in the state capital is a waste of money as the present international airport is under-utilised, says Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.

According to him, what is more important is for airline companies to improve air connectivity in Sarawak and make full use of the present facilities. “The present facility (Kuching International Airport) can be shared and if it is not enough we can extend it,” he told reporters here yesterday.

Johari who was asked to comment on AirAsia CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandez’s recent statement that Sarawak should build an LCCT instead of criticising the MAS-AirAsia swap deal that had resulted in the discontinuity of Firefly, said: “The state will not push for an LCCT to be built in Kuching because it’s a waste of money and resources. If we build one in Kuching, we’ll have to build another in Sibu and other main towns and these are very costly. So it’s not necessary. We should utilise our present resources to the maximum.”

Johari said he would try his best to bid for the World Airline Conference 2014 to be held in Sarawak as he believed this would help to improve air connectivity and further boost the tourism and hospitality industry in the state.

Earlier in his speech to officiate at the Independent Management Team appreciation cocktail reception at Sarawak Tourism Complex, the minister said he would try his best to get MASwings as a regional airline to service routes outside the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) as well.

“MASwings can’t just fly in BIMP-EAGA. We have to be connected with Bangkok, Bali, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia,” he said. “When I attend tourism conferences overseas, I can’t promote Sarawak by telling people come by swimming,” he jibed.

He said the tourism and hospitality industry in Sarawak was a key contributor to the state’s economy and therefore, it required long term plans to remain sustainable amid challenges and global crisis. The plans included revamping government policies and introducing new approaches for players in the industry, he said.

Friday, December 2, 2011


Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) is projecting a 12 per cent growth or 37 million passenger movement this year from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT). The bulk of the growth will come from the LCCT which will see about 15 per cent jump in passenger movement to 17 million as compared with KLIA, which is expecting between six and seven per cent growth or 20 million passengers this year.

“The good numbers are coming from LCCT as we see an increase in airlines frequency and demand for inbound and outbound destinations,” MAHB senior general manager Datuk Azmi Murad said yesterday. Next year, he expects to see between six and eight per cent growth from both airports collectively as the LCCT introduces new destinations and KLIA expects to sign-up at least two new airlines.

Another positive indicator to the airport operator is Emirates Airline A380’s daily transit at KLIA beginning January next year.

Murad said the decision to cease Firefly’s operations next month will inevitably see a dip in KLIA passenger movement. Since January this year, Firefly has based its jets operations at the main terminal building, KLIA.

This year, the group aims to handle more than 60 million passengers at all its 39 airports in Malaysia. Its long term plan is to hit a 72 million passengers per year by 2014. Last year, MAHB handled a total of 57.8 million passengers in all its airports. For the third quarter ended September 30, its net profit jumped 74 per cent to RM108.2 million from a year ago, boosted by a RM22 million dividend income from a joint venture and positive contribution from associates overseas. Revenue climbed 4.7 per cent to RM652.8 million on rising passenger traffic.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


MAHB’s plans to increase airport tax for international passengers at the low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) to RM32 from RM25 previously has been opposed by Air Asia.

A check on AirAsia’s Facebook fan page showed that the airline will continue to lobby for no hike in airport tax at the LCCT, with the public’s support. “Look at the queue at the immigration, space for check-in counters, quality of toilets, cleanliness of the facilities – is it really worth the increase?” AirAsia’s head of commercial Jasmine Lee asked in the post.

Not adhering to the airport tax hike at this stage, when it has been approved by the Government,would mean that AirAsia needs to apply to the Ministry of Transport to stop collecting airport tax on behalf of airport operator MAHB.

Tony Fernandes has publicly criticised both MAHB and the Ministry of Transport for the increase. Last week, AirAsia’s co-founder took to twitter to vent his frustration.