Air Asia has been trying to get into the good books of the powers-that-may-be post PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah Ahmad Badawi era. Since their initial exponential growth is partly attributable to PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah’s patronage.
The effort now include appointment of legendary former MITI Minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz as Chairman not too long ago. Being a tough economic minister and negotiator, it is expected that Rafidah’s role include to secure more landing rights and probably code share or other partnership programs with other carriers.
Recently, Executive Director Dato’ Kamaruddin Meranun managed to impress Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to visit their training centre in KLIA. For the first time since nine years ago, the much valued Tun Dr. Mahathir’s patronage is able to be achieved.
Air Asia’s sights are locked on getting the lucrative Kuala Lumpur-Jedda and Kuala Lumpur-Sydney route from the Malaysian Government. The success of Air Asia X as an intercontinental low cost carrier rests on routes such as this. The Sydney route would complement the existing Melbourne and Perth routes and the additional destination would make Air Asia very attractive to the British market.
This growth would definitely impair Malaysia Airline’s important Australia-Malaysia-Britain route. Especially Air Asia X is offering their Premium Class, which technically should disqualify them as a ‘low cost carrier’. Then again, Air Asia so call ‘low cost fares’ are of fancy marketing gimmick rather than serving its consumers’ expectations. It was raised two days ago in Dewan Rakyatthat Air Asia charges an equivalent of a five star tier fare.
In ensuring that, Ethos Consulting Supremo Omar Ong has recently be appointed as a BOD member. Tony is hoping that Ong who is very close to PM Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak would do wonders, as former MOT Chief Secretary Dato’ Pahamin Rejab had amazingly achieved when they first started and Kalimullah “Riong Kali” Hassan during PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah’s time. One of Air Asia’s key success was the ‘Airline Rationalisation Plan’ which the notorious ‘Level Four Boys’ managed to shoot down then Idris Jala’s route restructuring plan in mid 2006.
Now, the ‘Thirteen Million Plus Ringgit’ question is, would PM Najib honour Air Asia’s request via Ong, and at the expense of the national carrier Malaysia Airlines?
Probably Omar Ong would bring the ‘ong’ that Tony expect to gain, this round.
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