Thursday, April 9, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Win Cash with AirAsia’s Latest Promotion

07 April 2009

Fly from Malaysia or Singapore to any AirAsia or AirAsia X destination to stand the chance to win RM10,000 / Sin$5,000 every week. This is the latest attractive promotion from the innovative low cost airline, AirAsia.

AirAsia customers residing in Malaysia and Singapore who book seats at or before 26 April 2009 for travel between 5 May 2009 and 31 July 2010 stand a chance to win a RM10,000 or Sin$5,000 cash prize every week. The bookings must be for travel originating from any destination in Malaysia or Singapore and payments must be made in Malaysian ringgit or Singapore dollars.

One lucky winner will be randomly selected by the system every week and will receive RM10,000 or S$5,000, depending on the country of residence.

Kathleen Tan, AirAsia Regional Head of Commercial, said, “This is a special reward for our guests who have been supporting AirAsia all the way and made us the World’s Best Low Cost Airline, an award we received from Skytrax last week. This campaign, Cash and Fly, is the first of exciting promotions we have lined up as a way of thanking our guests who believe and voted for us and who have propelled AirAsia to the top of the assembly of low cost airlines in the world.”

“AirAsia’s RM10,000 / Sin$5,000 reward to weekly winners aims to shore up tourism and stimulate the economy. We expect this campaign to encourage travel in the region. Efforts to stimulate the economy are especially vital for Southeast Asia as the region finds ways to beat the economic crunch and bounce back to a healthier fiscal position. We are confident that AirAsia’s fantastic campaign will attract more guests to fly with us as we continue to expand our network of destinations. This cash incentive could not have come at a better time during this economic downturn,” she added.

AirAsia will award 3 winners from April 6 to 26. The airline will announce its first weekly winner this April 13 and the second and third winners on April 20 and 27, respectively.

AirAsia is also offering special fares for flights originating from Kuala Lumpur. Fares start from RM9 for flights to Langkawi, Penang, Terengganu and Singapore; from RM29 to Kuching, Vientiane, Ho Chi Minh, Bangkok, Phuket and Medan; from RM49 to Kota Kinabalu, Bali, Manado, Jakarta and Chiang Mai; and from RM99 to Clark, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Guilin and Shenzhen.

Long-haul low-cost affiliate AirAsia X is offering fares for as low as RM99 to Perth, RM249 to Hangzhou and Tianjin, RM299 to Melbourne, and RM399 to Gold Coast. The same booking and travel periods apply.

Contest sees AirAsia catch Grand Prix fever

07 April 2009

AirAsia GP Challenge first leg contest winners strike a pose with Kazuki Nakajima (JPN) Williams, AirAsia Group CEO Dato' Sri Tony Fernandes and Nico Rosberg (GER) Williams in front of the AT&T Williams team's garages, at the Sepang F1 circuit.

An online contest launched last month by AirAsia is set to give winners the chance to see five Formula One Grand Prix race legs in Asia and Europe.

The low-cost airline kicked off the AirAsia GP Challenge on March 13 with the tagline ‘Have You Flown AirAsia to a GP Lately?’.

Winners will be presented with two grandstand tickets for the race weekend for each Grand Prix leg and given an exclusive tour of the AT&T Williams team’s race garage.

The first group of contest winners attended the Sepang F1 circuit and got a photo-op with AT&T Williams driver Nico Rosberg, Kazuki Nakajima, AirAsia Group CEO Dato’ Sri Tony Fernandes and the team’s crew.

“We would like to congratulate the first leg winners, and hopefully they could derive positive inspirations of their own from this experience” said AirAsia Group CEO Dato’ Sri Tony Fernandes.

AirAsia flies to Grand Prix venues in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, China and Europe. It also connects to Australia’s major destinations including the Gold Coast, Perth and Melbourne which is also a venue on the F1 calendar.

To participate in the contest, visit and sign up for an AirAsia RedAlert newsletter.

A family kind of guy

06 April 2009

TO SAY that AirAsia's founder and CEO Tony Fernandes has a jet-setting lifestyle isn't to suggest that he's part of 'an international social group of wealthy people, organising and participating in social activities all around the world that are unreachable to ordinary people', to quote from Wikipedia.

For him, jetting about - OK, so it's with a low-cost carrier - is his day job, especially as he's still negotiating new routes for the seven-year-old Malaysian budget airline start-up. Just this week, for instance, he flew into town to launch AirAsia's four new Indonesian routes from Singapore.

So when he's on the ground and out of the office, it's family first for this time-stretched CEO, who declares that his children are his priority when he knocks off from work.

'That's part of the reason why I started AirAsia's long-haul flights to London,' chuckles the 45-year-old, revealing that his 15-year-old daughter just started boarding school there.

'When she first went away, I was a wreck! I'd fly up to London to visit her on a whim - sometimes straight from the office on a Friday night!' he declares, adding that he carries his Malaysian passport with him all the time.

'But I've gotten better now ... more in control,' he adds. He says that he cooks for her when he's there, or they would just stay home and watch TV together. Or he would take her out to do her hair, or go shopping. 'You never get another chance with them, do you, when they're growing up so fast?' he muses.

Proudly, he points out how she's following his same schooling path - from his primary school right up to his boarding school. 'And if she continues on to the London School of Economics...' he trails off hopefully.

Weekends at home, when he's actually in Kuala Lumpur and where he tries to be these days, is spent with his eight-year-old son. And they do stuff guys do, like play rugby, football and hockey. His wife, who used to write for television, is now a stay-at-home mother, and 'a fantastic painter' who keeps them all grounded, he declares.

'We're a very simple family. I don't have a driver, we drive smart cars, and we live in a simple house. It's important that your children don't get affected by your material success,' he says.

Where do they holiday? Langkawi and Bali. 'And my children hate my mobile phone. One time when we were on holiday, they took it and mailed it back to our home in KL! I was hopping mad!'

He confesses that he's a workaholic. 'I love my work. But I think that as I get older, I'm getting a sense of balance.'

Other than the time he spends with family, Mr Fernandes also enjoys sporty activities. Not that he looks it, he admits, gesturing to his generous waistline. 'I was very serious about sports when I was young. At one time I wanted to be a sportsman,' he says, recalling the days when he played cricket, hockey, football and rugby.

'I can still beat a lot of people in squash. They think I can't because I'm overweight, with grey hair, and then I beat them,' he declares. 'I played hockey the other day' during a visit to his boarding school, he adds. 'My first time in 10 years!'

But in recent years, he has switched to futsal on Sunday nights. 'The football pitch seems a lot bigger at this age!' So futsal is a good substitute, a five-by-five indoor football game. 'It's not as taxing as football because the pitch is much smaller, and it's easier to find nine other people to play with you,' he says.

Incidentally, he's also the chairman of Singapore Slingers, Singapore's only professional basketball outfit- even though he doesn't play basketball. He was invited to take over the chairmanship of the Australian National Basketball League franchise from Wee Siew Kim, MP for Ang Mo Kio and president of the Basketball Association of Singapore, last year.

'He came up to me one day and said: 'I want you to be chairman of my basketball team.' I said, are you nuts?' Mr Fernandes recounts. Still, he was talked into it.

As for his love-hate relationship with Singapore, it's leaning more towards love these days. 'I've not been a big fan of the Singapore government institution, right? Because they gave me a hard time,' he says, referring to the days when AirAsia couldn't get lower operating prices in Singapore and was refused its application for direct bus feeder services between Singapore and Senai.

'I used to find it a more sterile place, but I enjoy coming down here now,' he says, adding that he has also been invited to speak at Singapore Management University. 'I love meeting young minds, and I get a real kick out of a bunch of young kids asking me to be the guest of honour at their convocation.'

With AirAsia expanding its routes here now, Mr Fernandes may well become a more regular fixture in Singapore soon enough.

M'lore-Malaysia flight service in the pipeline

04 April 2009

Mangalore: Air Asia, the aviation agency of Malaysia, may start flight service between Mangalore and Kaula Lumpur in the near future, said the outgoing director of Mangalore Airport M R Vasudeva.

Speaking after receiving felicitation from Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) at the Chamber hall here on Saturday, he said the Malaysia aviation agency is seriously mulling over initiating flights which may be helpful to the Malaysian students studying in the district to a great extent.

Vasudeva said some of the senior officials of the Air Asia have discussed with him the matter, and they have been convinced regarding the necessity.

He said the airport is fully qualified to be tagged as an international airport, but there is a need to highlight its capacity and readiness to accommodate more international flights. The government departments negotiating with the foreign aviation agencies have more responsibilities in this regard," he noted.

Expressing his satisfaction and pleasure of the present status of Mangalore airport, Vasudeva said he is totally happy about the level the airport has reached in the recent years. The Airport Authority of India has provided a wonderful airport which is the need of the hour for a rapidly growing city like Mangalore. From arrival to the departure lounge, the infrastructure provided at the airport is not inferior to any of the prominent airports of the country," he explained.

The customer satisfaction index of Mangalore airport was below 70 which was also below the national average. It is really great to note that the present index is above the national average, Vasudeva informed.

The 18,200 sq ft new terminal building will soon be a reality, which will emerge fulfledged with all necessary infrastructure including seven elevators, he added.

Railway station

Emphasising on the need for making airport the centre of activities, he said providing a railway station near the airport is the need of the hour, which has been pending unrealised for the past many years.

Vasudeva noted that the revenue of the airport has slightly come down in 2008-09 due to the implementation of the sixth pay commission recommendations.

The revenue has come down to Rs 7.5 crore from the previous years Rs 8.63 crore. As per the sixth pay commission, 30 more staffs have been recruited; the total staff strength is 161 now," he informed.

KCCI President Srinivas S Kamath, office-bearers G G Mohandas Prabhu and Ahmed Bava were present on the occasion.