Tuesday May 6, 2008 THE STAR
KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia has hit out at Malaysia Airlines for competing directly with its business model but at the same time not allowing the budget carrier to compete against the national airline.
AirAsia group chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes said that while he welcomes competition, he urged that his company be allowed to compete against MAS.
“The first thing they should do is to allow us to fly more flights to Singapore instead of asking the Government not to allow us to do so. They should also allow us to stage more flights from different points in Malaysia to Singapore,” said Fernandes.
He was responding to a statement by MAS managing director Datuk Seri Idris Jala who said the national carrier was creating new demand from low fares, just like AirAsia.
He said MAS should work together with AirAsia instead of competing and accused the full service airline of “surrendering” to Singapore Airlines (SIA).
“MAS and AirAsia will go to war and the only beneficiary will be SIA,” said Fernandes.
“AirAsia and AirAsia X are doing more to bring in foreign tourists than MAS. Although we have only a flight a day to Australia (Gold Coast), we are spending A$350,000 in advertising compared to SIA’s A$1.2mil (RM3.6mil). I know MAS is spending a lot less.
“Our two airlines are dedicated to turn KLIA into a major Asian hub again. MAS should join us in this mission,” he added.