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TJ BT: Kemelut Nasib MAS dan KLIA
By Kapal Berita
15/10/2000 4:22 am Sun
BRITISH AIRWAYS MENINGGALKAN KLIA
Ling Liong Sik merungut
"Ia amat menyedihkan. Ekonomi kekadang zalim"
Kenyataan itu terukir bila BA mengumumkan ia akan membatalkan
laluan menerusi KLIA. Ini akan menyebabkan kerugian $A312 setahun
Kerajaan membelanjakan RM10 billion untuk KLIA. Walaupun ia
lebih murah dari lapangan terbang Chek Lap Kok airport di Hongkong,
Malaysia menghadapi saingan sengit.
Thailand sedang membina S$4.9 billion lapangan terbang manakala
Singapura akan menyudahkan terminal ketiganya yang termoden
di CHangi dengan belanja S$1.54 billion menjelang 2006.
Mengikut analis Changi lebih menarik kerana ia merupakan
lapangan terbang yang tercekap dan lebih berisi berbanding KLIA.
Tindakkan BA akan menyebabkan 100,000 penumpang terbang ke
Setakat ini hanya Northwest Airlines terbang ke KLIA. Syarikat Amerikan lain -- United Airlines, American Airlines dan Continental Airlines -- beroperasi di Changi. Begitu juga Lufthansa, Air France, Air New Zealand, Scandinavian Airlines dan SwissAir.
Jumlah penumpang yg sedikit menggunakan KLIA (yang mampu menampung
25 juta penumpang setahun itu) adalah diluar jangkaan. Menurut
MAHB, KLIA kini mengurus 5 juta penumpang antarabangsa dan 3 juta
domestik dlm 6 bulan pertama tahun ini. Namun kurang 200,000 penumpang
menggunakan KLIA sebagai transit.
Selain itu harapan KLIA untuk menjadi pusat terbang amat
bergantung kepada MAS juga. Malangnya MAS setakat ini gagal
untuk berantai dengan Oneworld atau Qualiflyer, Selain itu
Naluri Berhad kepunyaan Tahuddin Ramli pula sedang kepingin
menjual 29% sahamnya di dalam MAS kpd pihak asing. Cakap-cakep
dengan pihak Qantas dan Swissair kelihatan menemui jalan buntu...
BRITISH AIRWAYS: A KLIA BLOW
13 Oct 2000
BA move to scrap route seen hitting KL air hub ambitions
S'pore to gain from diversion of flights come April: analysts
From Eddie Toh in Kuala Lumpur and Neil Behrmann in London
The British carrier's decision will also set back the Malaysian
government's plan to boost the current low utilisation of the Malaysian
"It's very sad. Economics is cruel sometimes," lamented Malaysian Transport
Minister Ling Liong Sik following BA's announcement on Wednesday to cancel
the route, citing estimated losses of $A312 million (S$30.7 million) per
The Malaysian government had spent almost RM10 billion (S$4.6 billion) to
build the ultra-modern airport 50 km south of KL in a bid to turn the
country into the main gateway to the rest of the region.
Though substantially cheaper than the US$20 billion (S$35 billion) Chek Lap
Kok airport in Hongkong, Malaysia's air-hub ambitions face increasing
challenge from neighbouring countries.
Thailand is set to build a 120 billion baht (S$4.9 billion) airport
south-east of Bangkok, while Singapore will complete its third and most
modern terminal at a cost of S$1.54 billion by 2006.
Analysts said Singapore's Changi Airport may just emerge the winner in the
hotly contested regional race. "Landing in Changi is the same as landing in
KL. By route analysis, flights to Changi are better filled compared with
KL. It is more feasible to perhaps increase flights to Singapore," said Yee
Yang Chien, head of research at HLG Securities.
For instance, BA will divert about 100,000 passengers a year to Singapore
when it scraps the KL route.
BA said: "From Heathrow, British Airways will suspend all services to Kuala
Lumpur from the start of next summer season, because of the poor commercial
performance of the route. It will offer customers connections to Malaysia
over Singapore and maintain a sales presence in the country."
The BA blow is untimely as Malaysia is still struggling to convince many
major airlines to land at KLIA three years after its opening. So far, KLIA
has attracted 33 airlines. In contrast, Changi Airport's two terminals
handle almost 60 carriers.
More significantly, many big-time carriers have not chosen KLIA as the main
point of connectivity to the rest of the region.
Only one American carrier, Northwest Airlines, flies to KLIA. Other
American carriers -- United Airlines, American Airlines and Continental
Airlines -- operate out of Changi. Other big names conspicuously absent at
KLIA include Lufthansa, Air France, Air New Zealand, Scandinavian Airlines
The number of travellers using KLIA -- designed to handle 25 million
passengers a year and up to 60 million travellers by 2020 -- has been below
According to Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, the manager of KLIA, the
airport handled five million international passengers and three million
domestic travellers in the first six months of this year. However, less
than 200,000 passengers used KLIA as a transit point during the same
But MAB chairman Basir Ismail was unperturbed. He told BT yesterday: "It's
no big deal. They (British Airways) only come four times a week."
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who just returned from a 10-day
working trip to Britain, declined to comment on BA's decision. He said he
wanted to get further details on the matter first.
It is unclear at this juncture if Malaysia Airlines (MAS) will benefit from
MAS's most profitable: "This route is MAS's most profitable but whether MAS
is able to put more flights on this route to take advantage of the
situation will depend on landing rights," said CIMB Securities.
KLIA's plan to become the aviation heart of the region also hinges on MAS's
ability to join one of the global alliances.
MAS, controlled by Tajudin Ramli, is still mulling over the option of
joining either Oneworld, of which BA is a member, or Qualiflyer, which is
led by SwissAir. Mr Tajudin's Naluri Bhd is in the midst of selling some of
its 29 per cent stake in MAS to a foreign party. But talks with Oneworld's
Qantas Airways and SwissAir seemed to have fizzled out.
Replying to BT queries, Jemma Moore said: "We have taken every appropriate
action, including changing aircraft type and altering our frequencies, to
see if we can maintain the route. However, these have been without success
and we therefore have had to make the difficult decision to suspend the
On whether BA will raise the number of flights to Singapore, she said: "At
the moment we have no plans to extend our services to Singapore. We operate
24 services a week (including joint services with Qantas) and offer a wide
number of connections on to Australia."
Cost pressures and a move to concentrate on profitable routes are behind
British Airway's decision, officials in London say.
The KL route cut is part of an overall plan to slash unprofitable passenger
capacity, a BA official said. BA route capacity will fall by 10 per cent in
the next twelve months, affecting various routes including European, she
In the meantime, BA is raising the proportion of business-class passengers
by selling the huge Boeing 747 jumbos -- which offer more seats for
economy-class passengers, and replacing them with the smaller 777 aircraft.
Officials said the 747s that fly the KL route will be sold.
BA's woes: Despite a marginal improvement in results during the quarter
ended June this year, BA is suffering from the huge increase in fuel prices
and competition from carriers such as Virgin.
It also wants to merge with another airline (there have been rumours that
SwissAir is a candidate) following the late September collapse of its
merger with KLM, analysts say.
BA's shares are languishing at 290 pence but are up from February's low of
"We must address poorly performing routes and assets that are not adding
value," said BA chief executive Rod Eddington.