Thursday, March 4, 2010

Comprehensive Upgrade Of Airasia Call Centre Services

03 March 2010

KUALA LUMPUR– AirAsia announced today the comprehensive upgrade of its call centre services that, among others, now provides a 24-hour self-help option and will drastically shorten call waiting time.

The upgrades are in line with AirAsia’s efforts to quickly and vastly improve services as its passenger volume surges across its entire network.

AirAsia’s free 24-hour self-help option provides automated responses to the most common enquiries, such as those on flight schedules, booking status, flight status, refund status and baggage tracking. The self-help option employs interactive voice response technology and is available for calls made to +603 2171 9333.

Alongside this, AirAsia introduced a free web chat facility on for all guests registered online with AirAsia. The airline has assigned more service agents for the efficient handling of concurrent chats. The web chat service is available daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The self-help option and web chat service are now available.

Also in a huge step up, the airline is halving its turnaround time for email responses to pre-flight inquiries from 24 hours to within 12 hours. Guests may email AirAsia at for pre-flight inquiries. For post-flight inquiries, guests my fill in the online feedback form on

AirAsia is also rolling out a full-service phone line for guests who may opt for personalized premium services. AirAsia’s Premium Customer Service Line, which targets to engage callers within 20 seconds, is available at 600 85 9999 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Calls to this line enjoy a wide range of fast high-quality services for bookings, changes to booking, payments and many more. Calls to the Premium Customer Service Line are charged RM 1.95 per minute. A significant share of the fee goes to the telephone companies.

The Premium Customer Service Line is available only to guests calling within Malaysia and using local landline and mobile phone numbers.

Guests calling from Malaysia may also dial +603 2171 9333 for regular phone service from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. AirAsia does not charge for calls to this line, albeit the calls are handled on a first come, first served basis. Guests calling from other countries may contact AirAsia through the regular service phone numbers listed on

The Premium Customer Service Line and free 12-hour email turnaround service for pre-flight inquiries will be available starting March 8.

Bo Lingam, Chief Operating Officer, AirAsia, said, “Our increased focus on service improvement is in line with our efforts to position AirAsia as a low-fare airline with products and services at par with those of the best legacy carriers. While we offer low fares, we also offer premium quality. The upgrades are there to give our guests a pleasant experience starting from their first point of contact with AirAsia.”

“We get an average of 6,000 calls a day, and we had to find a solution for easing traffic. Thus the comprehensive upgrade of our call centre services that now include much faster responses and better self-help facilities,” he added.

AirAsia re-launched its call centre in April 2009 to streamline operations and offer world-class service to guests calling from AirAsia’s markets in Asia Pacific and Europe. AirAsia has been constantly upgrading its services and is increasingly turning to technology to ensure that guests receive fast and convenient service.

AirAsia's Big Sale Offers Good Deals For Local, Foreign Destinations

02 March 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, March 2 (Bernama) -- AirAsia is offering one-way tickets from as low as RM9 across its extensive network in conjunction with its 'Big Sale' promotion.

The sale runs for one week from March 3 to March 7 for the travel period from Sept 25, 2010 to Feb 13, 2011 via its website or, the airline said in a statement today.

Travellers, it said can get the low-fare bargains from as low as RM9 one-way to Johor Baharu, Kota Baharu, Langkawi, Penang and Kuala Terengganu.

For international routes, it is offering as low as RM29 for one-way travel, with Australian routes such as Gold Coast, Melbourne and Perth available from RM149.

In addition, other bargains include RM131 for travel to Hong Kong and RM699 to London.

The airline is also concurrently running "March Mardness" campaign online within the same booking period of March 3 to March 7 for guests to enjoy immediate travel between March 23 and May 31.


Malaysia Airlines sees shift from business to economy; considering Premium Economy A380 seating

01 March 2010

Malaysia Airlines’ Senior GM Network and Revenue Management, Ain Khan, in an interview with Bloomberg, confirmed the carrier is considering introducing Premium Economy seating in its six on-order A380s, commenting that it would "provide another option for our passengers".

He added that the seating would meet the needs of "those organisations that maintain economy-class travel policy for their employees, even after the recession." According to Mr Khan, the carrier’s passenger yields are not expected to return to pre-crisis levels "just yet", even though business demand is showing signs of recovery. Shares in the carrier surged 6.7% yesterday.

Also in Malaysia, shares in AirAsia were up 0.7% yesterday, despite OSK Research continuing to caution regarding AirAsia’s balance sheet profile, which it sees as a "concern, especially considering the number of planned new aircraft deliveries". OSK Research commented, "the huge amounts owed by its Thailand and Indonesia operations together with its significant unrecognised share of operating loss also worry us”.

Tiger Airways to establish a third Asian subsidiary

Tiger Airways CEO, Tony Davis, in an interview with The Financial Times, confirmed that the carrier is planning to establish a third Asian subsidiary, commenting, “we are now actively looking at that opportunity. The timing is as soon as we can come up with an opportunity that we like, [and] do a deal with a partner that we can work with.”

Mr Davis, while not commenting on a possible location for the subsidiary, stated it would be in a country where regulations would require Tiger to set up a JV with a local partner. Tiger's shares eased 1.3% yesterday. See related report: Tiger Airways profitable in Dec-2009 quarter, as unit revenues and passenger grow. Third "cub" soon?

Asia Pacific selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 01-Mar-2010

AirAsia increases frequency (9x weekly) to Taipei

02 March 2010

AirAsia announces today that it will increase its Kuala Lumpur � Taiwan frequency to 9 flights weekly.

AirAsia which is currently offering daily direct flights to Taipei from Kuala Lumpur is introducing the new frequency to meet the emerging demands and encouraging load factors from the ASEAN region and beyond. The additional flights will commence on 15th April 2010.

To celebrate the additional flights, AirAsia will be introducing all-in-fares from as low as RM99* (TWD990) from Kuala Lumpur to Taipei, booking starts from 1st to 5th March 2010 for the travel period from 15th April to 30th October 2010. Promotional seats are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis and made exclusively online via and

Following its successful launch of Kuala Lumpur – Taipei route last year, AirAsia continued to boost its international connectivity to Taipei by launching more new destinations from its hubs which include Kota Kinabalu (direct daily flights) as well as the Thai city of Bangkok (direct daily flights). These bring AirAsia’s total number of weekly flights to and from Taipei to 23.

The overwhelming demand from travelers to and from Taipei has grown tremendously since the launch of Taipei from the various AirAsia hubs for the past 1 year. Airasia is the preferred airline as its low-fares would enable guests to make the most of their trips; moreover AirAsia is the sole low-cost carrier to connect the two regions with its revolutionary low-fares. Recently, AirAsia was also named the winner of the award for outstanding contributions to Taiwan’s tourism industry over the year by actively publicizing Taiwan’s various attractions, launching of travel promotions and aggressive marketing campaigns including continuous low fare offerings that drove high travel demands and growth to the country.

Kathleen Tan, Regional Head of Commercial, AirAsia Group said: “The response has been extremely good for this route and we are running at an average of 80 percent load factor since its launch on 1st July 2009. The demand for the existing routes made it very clear for the need to introduce additional flights. The mounting of frequency is a testament to AirAsia’s commitment of making travel accessible and affordable to all. It will also provide both business and leisure travelers with more flexibility and greater choice to connect onto AirAsia and AirAsia X’s extensive route network across ASEAN countries.”

“Taiwan has always been a popular destination for holidaymakers due to its shopping and gastronomic paradise. Many Taiwanese are also interested to visit Malaysia and other cities in the region with low fares. Furthermore, with the great timing for our additional flights from Taipei and our vast network across South East Asia, Taiwanese can now conveniently connect to other long haul destinations by AirAsia X such as Australia, UK and India, via Kuala Lumpur as a gateway.” she added.

To add value, AirAsia, under AirAsiaGo at, has also lined up some great online hotel deals to stretch the dollar where they may choose their holiday lodgings from over 50,000 hotels. We encourage our guests to purchase food, baggage, hot seats online to enjoy more discounts and savings through

Stay tuned! Follow AirAsia on Twitter, Facebook, and AirAsia’s Blog where we will provide real time updates on our latest promotion. Photos will be available on For more details on flight times and bookings, please visit or

*All fares quoted are applicable for one-way travel only


OSK Reseach raises AirAsia to neutral

01 March 2010

KUALA LUMPUR: OSK Research Sdn Bhd has upgraded its forecast for AIRASIA BHD []'s profit before tax by 45.2% to RM454.1 million in financial year ending December 2010 (FY10) in anticipation that the aviation firm would benefit from lower fuel cost.

In a note today, OSK analyst Ng Sem Guan said the research firm had revised downwards its jet fuel price assumption to US$85 from US$90 a barrel during the year given that crude oil rates had consolidated at around US$80 per barrel.

However, the anticipation of AirAsia operating more new aircrafts in the next few years has raised concerns on the firm's balance sheet profile.

"The huge amounts owed by its Thailand and Indonesia operations together with its significant unrecognised share of operating loss also worry us, especially, the impact of introducing FRS139 effective 1 Jan 2010," Ng said.

As such, OSK has only upgraded its recommendation for AirAsia shares to Neutral despite raising its target price by 31% to RM1.48 from RM1.13.

by Chong Jin Hun

The Edge