Let's snook 'em

Friday, January 05, 2007

AirAsia X

I have greeted the New Year 2007 by reading this article, Top low-cost airline bosses to form global network in The Star newspaper. Finally, Datuk Tony Fernandes has announced his long haul plans to Australia and Europe. What a way to start the new year. He is going to form an alliance with Sir Richard Branson and Sir Stelios Haji-loannou. This alliance will be based in LCCT. Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy must be smiling from ear to ear.

So now, everyone can really fly. It definitely got everyone excited. Various people ranging from Manchester United fans, frequent air travellers and tourism organizations can't wait for this alliance to take off,
Thumbs-up for budget alliance.

As expected, AirAsia share price
went up on BSKL. Now, wait a minute. Datuk Tony Fernandes is not going to form this alliance with AirAsia. He is going to use his private company, FAX instead, FAX gets rights to non-MAS long haul routes. I am not an expert in the aviation industry. Why would the government give the low cost long haul routes to a private company? Why would Datuk Tony Fernandes used FAX instead of AirAsia? I think he will list FAX on the stock exchange as well.

Anyway, Jeff Ooi has picked up this scoop with regards to the alliance,
Did The Star big-bang itself on New Year's Day?. According to Reuters UK, both EasyJet and Virgin have denied talking to AirAsia on the alliance, EasyJet and Virgin deny AirAsia tie-up talks. So what is going on here?

Did Sir Richard Branson turned up during the press conference today? In the end, there was no mention of the long haul routes. Instead, FAX will fly the long haul routes using the name of AirAsia X, under franchise from AirAsia in July 2007,
AirAsia X London flights from RM9.99. There is no response from MAS yet. I guess there is nothing to response to since the only thing that is certain is July 2007. I am not even sure if AirAsia X can meet this deadline based on AirAsia's track record. In the mean time, let's wait for further announcements on AirAsia X.

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