AirAsia X jumps on bandwagon to fly Malaysians abroad home for Elections

Written by William Ng

AirAsia X, the international arm of AirAsia has jumped on the bandwagon to shuttle Malaysians abroad back en-masse in what is seen to encourage Malaysians to vote in the upcoming 13th Malaysia General Elections.

The Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia X, Mr. Azran Osman-Rani in a comment to “JomBalikUndi” (literally translated as “Let’s Go Home and Vote”) Facebook page stated that “AirAsia X will make available some seats on our flights at low-fares (even if last minute booking) for registered Malaysian voters in our destinations to fly back to KL to vote.”

Malaysia is currently gearing towards its 13th General Elections where it has been said by international media that it will be a nail-biting battle between Prime Minister Najib Razak’s ruling coalition government, Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat being led by Mr. Anwar Ibrahim, the Opposition Leader who was once the former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia under Mr. Mahathir Mohamad’s administration.

MORE LUXURY HOTELS in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia will see a few more new addition to its hotel brands with the opening of Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur late 2012. This year, aloft™ Kuala Lumpur will debut in Malaysia early March 2013.

The Artist Impression of the Harrods Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Image 1)

WORLD’s FIRST HARRODS HOTEL to open in 2018

In my previous post dated 4th July 2012, I have noted that the World’s so-called 7-star hotel, Harrods Hotel will debut in Kuala Lumpur and this has been firm.

Tradewinds Corp Bhd and Qatar Holding LLC will jointly develop the world’s first Harrods Hotel in Malaysia, which is estimated to cost around RM1 billion.

Qatar Holding, which owns Harrods Group, also has on the drawing board to build Harrods Hotels in London and Italy.

The Artist Impression of the Harrods Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Image 2)

The seven-star Harrods Hotel Kuala Lumpur, which will have more than 30 floors, will feature 250 to 300 hotel rooms and several floors for serviced apartments and retail space.

Two other luxury hotels under construction in Kuala Lumpur are St. Regis at KL Sentral by the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and the 65-storey Four Seasons Place near the Kuala Lumpur City Centre which many of us have heard of its rumours few year back has become a reality now.

It is understood that the cost to build each Harrods Hotel room is RM2.5 million to RM4 million, depending on the size and finishing.

A six-star hotel room costs an average RM2.5 million to build and for five-star hotel rooms, it will cost about RM1.5 million to RM2 million each.

The World’s First Harrods Hotel To Open In Kuala Lumpur

YES, you see it right. While we all know Harrods is a huge British luxury retailer from London, now the brand has another huge dream which is to turn the Harrods brand into a global brand.

What’s more of having a store like Harrods within the hotel itself? The experience can never be the same when the British luxury brand wholly owned by Qatar Holding and Malaysian-based company Jerantas Sdn Bhd will invest RM2 billion (approximately USD$ 635 million). Construction will start next year on the world’s first Harrod’s hotel in Kuala Lumpur, in the Bukit Bintang shopping district, says Bloomberg.

The building will house 300 hotel rooms, apartments, and, of course, retail outlets—most likely full of stuff we couldn’t afford back in London and probably still won’t be able to afford. But it’s still fun to look!

Qatar Holding has long-term plans to open Harrod’s hotels in London, New York, Paris, and Sardinia. And if that last one has you scratching your head, it’s because Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda in fact belongs to the company. And for now, the idea is to develop hotels only on land they already own.

P.S. I just miss my shopping in Harrods in Knightsbridge district in summer last year. Now, I can even shop in Kuala Lumpur itself.

Chatime takes off into the skies

Craving for Chatime? Flying AirAsia lately? Now crave no more as you can now skip all the long queues to wait for your cuppa Chatime.

Imagine sipping your Chatime 30,000 ft up in the air and choose from Roasted Milk Tea with Red Bean or Mango Green Tea with Rainbow Jelly at only RM8!

I know it is a wee bit expensive than your normal ones in the store but nothing beats enjoying your favourite Chatime brand up in the skies.

Skip the usual Chatime queue and have it on board instead from 1st July 2012!

*Available on Malaysia AirAsia (AK) flights only.

Aireen Omar names AirAsia Berhad Malaysia new CEO

Photo: A new chapter for our new CEO, Aireen Omar! :-D

AirAsia Berhad Malaysia, on Monday (18th June 2012) appoints its new chief executive officer (CEO) and executive director for the Malaysian based office. She will assume the role effective 1st July reporting directly to AirAsia Group CEO, Tony Fernandes.

“I am delighted with the appointment of Aireen, who has consistently demonstrated her capabilities and commitment in propelling AirAsia to new heights. She has long been an invaluable part of the senior management team of AirAsia and possesses the vision and leadership qualities crucial for the company’s growth in its second decade,” Fernandes said in a press statement sent to “Of Travel and Food” media team on Tuesday.

Aireen, was Regional Head of Corporate Finance, Treasury and Investor Relations. She joined AirAsia in January 2006 as Director of Corporate Finance. Aireen was, among others, instrumental in securing the financing for AirAsia’s fleet expansion, a vital component of AirAsia’s success. Her role included handling the negotiations with Airbus for the record purchase of 200 Airbus A320neo aircraft that was announced at the Paris Airshow in 2011.

AirAsia X flying to the City of Churches

Low-cost carrier AirAsia X will soon have a newly-added route in Australia – the City of Churches, Adelaide. The route has been mooted as the next logical AirAsia X destination in Australia, as the airline already flies to the Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

In an email to the “Of Travel and Food” blog, the spokeswoman for AirAsia X said that “this will be in line with the demand of more flights to Kuala Lumpur especially it is one of the gateway to Asia.”

LATEST UPDATE from AirAsia via Facebook (3rd June 2012):

Watch out for Tune Hotels, a “limited service” hotel chain owned by Tony Fernandes, founder and Group CEO of low-cost airline AirAsia as it plans to expand its wings Down Under especially Carlton (possibly on Swanston St.) in Melbourne CBD and also in the vicinity of Sydney Airport.

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Malaysia Airlines joins A380 club

What an honour to begin this blog with my maiden post on the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) takes delivery of its first out of 6 fleets of the Airbus 380. The flight left Toulouse, France on 29th May 2012 after Airbus Chief Operating Officer Fabrice Brégier hands over Mike November Alpha (9M-MNA) to Malaysia Airlines’ Group Chief Executive Officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya.

The ‘big bird’ landed in Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia at approximately 3:45 p.m. (local time) in the afternoon on 30th May 2012. Its maiden commercial flight out of Kuala Lumpur will be to Heathrow International Airport in London (non-stop) on 1st July 2012 on MH002 and from London back to Kuala Lumpur (non-stop) on MH003.

Powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines, the aircraft feature a three-class layout, with accommodation for a total of 494 passengers. The A380 includes fully flat beds in First and Business Class, plus new wider seats in Economy. Seats in all classes are equipped with the latest individual in-flight entertainment systems, USB ports and satellite telephone facilities.

“The A380 showcases our latest premium offering in products and services. This will be our flagship aircraft, offering new levels of comfort, luxury and convenience for long haul travel,” said Ahmad Jauhari. “With the A380 in our fleet, MAS will reinforce its position as one of the world’s preferred premium carriers, bringing great Malaysian hospitality to our customers.”

Something very interesting that Malaysia Airlines has came up with last year is that there will be “KID-FREE-ZONE” or strictly no infants in the First Class and the Economy (Upper Deck) class. All children under the age of 12 – including infants – will be banned from this cabin unless the downstairs economy section is completely full. The move is aimed at ensuring a more restful and enjoyable trip for business travellers who have to fly in economy.

Malaysia Airlines is the eight airline to join the A380 club after Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Emirates, Korean Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Air France, Lufthansa. Welcome to the club, Malaysia Airlines.


Courtesy of Malaysia Airlines
First Class
  • Located in main deck with 1‐2‐1 seat formation.
  • Total of 8 seats with enclosed monument (4 individual seats and 2 double seats).
  • Seat pitch of 89 inches and bed width of 40 inches.
  • Full flat bed length of 87 inches.
  • Individual 23-inch IFE screen, shell mounted, largest in Malaysia Airlines fleet with wide-screen aspect ratio of 16:9.
  • Each seat comes with its personal closet and stowage for coat, luggage, laptop and personal belongings.
  • Equipped with 115VAC PED power supply and USB port.
  • Upholstered with fabric and leather trimming, suite lining made of suede and fabric.
  • Granite cocktail table.

Business Class
  • Located in upper deck with 2‐2‐2 seat formation.
  • Total of 66 seats (33 double assembly), with seat pitch of 74 inches.
  • Full flat-bed length of about 72 inches.
  • Equipped with 115VAC PED power supply and USB port.
  • Individual 17-inch IFE screen, seatback mounted, largest in Malaysia Airlines Business Class with wide-screen aspect ratio of 16:9.
  • Personal items stowage available on each seat.
  • Upholstered with fabric and leather trimming on headrest and armrest.
  • Suite lining made of suede and fabric.

Economy Class
  • Lightweight and slim design.
  • Total of 420 seats with individual 10.6-in IFE wide screen seatback mounted.
  • Seat formation of 2‐4‐2 on Upper Deck and 3‐4‐3 on Main Deck.
  • Recline of 6 inches, with 32-inch pitch and 18-inch in‐seat width.
  • Equipped with 115VAC PED power supply and USB port.
  • Upholstered with fabric and leather trimming in 3 colours.
  • Seat features forward articulation recline, 4‐way headrest and composite seatback.
  • Seat overall made of Botany fabric in 3 colour range – red, maroon and purple, with dotted accents, leather trimming on headrest and armrest.