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Kuching International Airport is the main gateway to the Malaysian state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo. It is the country's third largest airport and is the secondary hub for Malaysia Airlines. The airport is operated by Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad.
Location of Kuching Airport, Malaysia
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6 total articles
AirAsia is resuming domestic expansion in the Malaysian market with a focus on connecting more dots within its network of 15 domestic destinations. The LCC is launching or resuming three domestic routes from Johor Bahru in late Apr-2017 and has lodged applications for four more new domestic point-to-point routes.
By the end of 2017 AirAsia is also aiming to take over a few domestic routes within east Malaysia that are now exclusively operated by the Malaysia Airlines Group turboprop subsidiary MASwings. The routes are part of the Malaysian government’s subsidised rural air services (RAS) programme, but are potentially big enough to support larger aircraft on a commercial basis. The Malaysia Airlines Group is preparing to reduce its ATR 72 turboprop fleet further following anticipated changes to the RAS programme, which is coming up for renewal this year.
AirAsia is the leading domestic airline in Malaysia and has 50% of its total seat capacity allocated to the domestic market. However, AirAsia’s domestic capacity has been flat the last three years as it has focused entirely on international expansion.
AirAsia is preparing to establish a hub on the Malaysian island of Langkawi following a landmark deal which has resulted in a 70% reduction in charges – an indicator of the high importance placed on charges by the AirAsia Group. Langkawi will become Malaysia AirAsia’s sixth hub as services to Guangzhou and Hong Kong are launched.
Several other new international destinations are expected including Bangkok under a plan which will see at least five A320s based in Langkawi by 2020. Langkawi currently only has regular international services to Singapore.
The new Langkawi hub is part of an overall strategy by the AirAsia Group to focus growth on secondary airports. At the group’s original Malaysian subsidiary several new domestic and international routes from secondary hubs are planned for the next year despite a significant slowdown in fleet growth.
Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is finally starting to implement a long overdue restructuring aimed at restoring profitability through capacity reductions, job cuts and efficiency improvements. A rebranding is also being considered as the flag carrier transitions to a new company and starts a new chapter.
MAS has been in need of a major overhaul for several years but its predicament became more dire in 2014 due to the MH370 and MH17 incidents, coupled with overcapacity in its home market. The Malaysian government was quick to respond by unveiling in Aug-2014 a restructuring initiative and a plan to buy out minority shareholders. MAS de-listed in late 2014 but has been extremely slow in implementing other changes, including job and capacity cuts.
With the arrival of its new CEO, Christoph Mueller, MAS is finally moving forward with job cuts ahead of the delayed transition to a new company, which is now slated to take over from the current ailing company on 1-Sep-2015. Capacity adjustments have started with the recent suspension of services to Frankfurt, Kochi, Krabi and Kunming.
Lion Air Group affiliate Malindo launched services on 22-Mar-2013 with seven daily flights spread across Malaysia’s two largest domestic routes – Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu and Kuching. With its hybrid business model and low fares, Malindo will impact both AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines (MAS), which were previously the only two carriers on domestic trunk routes within Malaysia.
Malindo is planning rapid domestic and international expansion, leveraging Lion’s huge order book for 737s. India is poised to become Malindo’s first international destination with service to Delhi starting in Jun-2013, exploiting a market which is under-served due to cuts last year at AirAsia X. Several planned destinations in India and China will allow Malindo to increase aircraft utilisation and tap into the lucrative Malaysia-India and Malaysia-China markets. It also seeks to tap the fast-growing Indonesia-India and Indonesia-China markets, which Malindo will serve by offering connections to Lion.
New oneworld member Malaysia Airlines seeks to finally turn the corner in 2013 but challenges remain
Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is starting to show some signs of progress in its latest turnaround effort, after a year of restructuring and almost constant adjustments to its new business plan. The carrier’s management team is confident the flag carrier will finally turn the corner in 2013 and that its upcoming entrance into oneworld particularly boosts its outlook. But MAS still faces several challenges and there is always a risk of Malaysian politics quickly erasing the positive aspects of the recent restructuring.
MAS should not be banking on oneworld, which it will formally enter on 01-Feb-2013, being its panacea. Only three oneworld carriers serve Kuala Lumpur and relations with MAS’ sponsor, Australia’s Qantas, cooled significantly earlier this year after talks over establishing a new joint venture carrier ended.
Project Orca, which envisioned Qantas and MAS joining forces to establish a new Malaysia-based A330 operator on routes within Asia-Pacific including Australia, was a logical solution for both carriers’ international woes. But MAS strongly disapproved of the commercial terms proposed by Qantas and now that Qantas has got into bed with Emirates it faces the prospect of the carrier which brought it into oneword emerging as a bigger competitor rather than key partner.
Cebu Pacific, which has remained in the black in 1H2011 despite soaring fuel costs, does not expect the Oct-2011 launch of AirAsia Group’s new Philippine affiliate to curtail its growth or impact its profitability. Philippine Airlines (PAL), which was back in the red for the three months ending 30-Jun-2011, should also not be significantly impacted by AirAsia’s entry into the dynamic Philippine aviation market although the flag carrier continues to struggle against some of its existing low-cost competitors including Cebu Pacific.