Wednesday, September 1, 2010

AirAsia in talks for budget hotel in Brunei

05 August 2010

AirAsia is interested to “do more” for its Brunei-based customers, including a possible third flight and a budget hotel in the Sultanate.

AirAsia CEO Dato’ Sri (Dr) Tony Fernandes, told the Borneo Bulletin in an interview, “We’d like to do freedom flights out of Brunei.”

However, he doesn’t think it’s realistic at the moment until “the Brunei government gives us more flexibility”.

He also recommended the nation’s national carrier, Royal Brunei Airlines, to concentrate more on their premium passengers as “not everyone wants to fly AirAsia” taking into consideration that some passengers prefer first class services.

“RBA should focus on that market and allow AirAsia to serve more people and bring more business to the economy,” he said and added that by allowing more flexibility would also encourage economic growth as more tourists would be able to visit the country thanks to cheaper flight fares.

He also said that the award-winning airline will try to provide more connectivity for Brunei and allow more individuals further access to other niche areas such as medical tourism. “If we can, we’ll do a third flight (to Kuala Lumpur) as it makes it more and more easy (for Bruneian customers).”

In addition to the cheap-fare airline, Dato’ Sri (Dr) Tony Fernandes is also the founder of the Tune Hotel that has been established in many countries, the latest being in London. Brunei, he added, will also have a budget hotel “real soon” as the CEO’s marketing team is currently “in discussion” with several parties here in Brunei and added “(We’ll) try to do it for BND$10,” which would be “possible, depending on the cost of the hotel”.

Commenting on Bruneian customers, he said: “I think they’re fantastic,” whilst adding that they have personally shared with him their appreciation of AirAsia and how “it’s made their lives more easier”.

“Sometimes we let them down with long delays etc but they’re very understanding and supportive.

“I’m very appreciative for the support and the genuine warmth we have received from Brunei,” he added.

By Siti Hajar

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