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AirAsia to serve Malaysia Airlines flights

Additional 108 flights daily added by the Malaysian low-budget airline.

BY OUR AVIATION CORRESPONDENT
March 28, 2006

Malaysia's decision to allocate the flights used by the ailing Malaysia Airlines will help low budget airline AirAsia, as the budget airline expects to add 108 new domestic flights to its roster. At present, AirAsia operates 250 flights per day. "The government's decision to handover Malaysia Airlines flights to AirAsia will result in the latter getting least 108 flights daily," AirAsia Director of Corporate Affairs and Strategy Timothy Ross said in press conference.

AirAsia will be given six planes that are currently operated by Malaysia Airlines, even as the discount airline intends to hire over 800 Malaysia Airlines staff. The increase in routes and flights would result in AirAsia requiring another 10 planes. The budget airline will fly four or five key domestic destinations, mainly urban centers and tourist spots that are currently being flown by Malaysia Airlines.

Malaysia Airlines had announced ceasing of flights to seven international routes from Kuala Lumpur in June. The destinations are Ahmedabad and Kolkata in India, Xian in China, Padang in Indonesia and Manchester and Vienna in Europe.

Malaysia Airlines had recorded a $165 million loss in October-December quarter, which was blamed on higher fuel costs and higher provisions for expected future costs.

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