Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Cut-Price? AirAsia Online More Expensive than Qantas, British Airways and Singapore Airlines ..


Malaysia Airlines SGD $630.40
Qantas SGD $748.10
Tiger Airways SGD $766.62
British Airways SGD $802.20
Singapore Airlines SGD $854.20
AirAsia SGD $932.00


Holiday Airfare Survey was conducted on Wednesday 23rd of November, with all Singapore-Perth return flight searches being made online 10am - 5PM. In each instance, the lowest economy fare offered by each airline was the one selected and featured in the survey - all fare data was taken from each airline's own website, not from airfare aggregators such as For all holidays there was a standard departure date of 05/12/2001 and return of 31/12/2011, though the actual arrival and departure times obviously differ among the various operators, kept within 24hours. Screen captures at the base of this article will evidence each fare.

The Holiday Airfares Survey has revealed opportunistic low-cost operators are frequently more expensive than full-service airlines like Qantas and Singapore Airlines. We conducted our study and discovered that AirAsia hiked their holiday airfares so high, the no-frills operator is now more expensive than the top-shelf full-service carriers.

What's most amazing about AirAsia slugging families with this artificially inflated holiday fare is that it doesn't even offer a direct flight to our first sample holiday survey destination - Singapore to Perth. The unfortunate AirAsia passengers are held captive in transit for a good part of a day in KL. Regardless of this less than ideal schedule and cattle-class transfer, the fare is SGD $300 more than reputable full-service airline, Malaysia Airlines.

As explained by a guest on Tripadvisor: "If you check, most of the airlines are full-service - and among the most awarded airlines in the world. They don't demand extra fees in addition to the booking for seat allocation, stowed luggage, food and drink, et al. The MOST expensive holiday fare on the sample routes by a considerable margin was the 'cut-price' - AirAsia - boasting fares that include none of the comforts/necessities of the full-service outfits. So, why are they so much more darned expensive?"

The respected full-service carriers - but not MAS - all offer direct flights. As AirAsia is not able to offer a direct flight, could that perhaps explain why it is more expensive than other airines? Well, another 'cut-price' airline in the survey is Tiger Airways, which also has its own stopover on the Singapore to Perth route, yet its fare is one of the lowest in our pre-holiday survey.

Currently, there is an AirAsia Singapore campaign touting new year flights to Melbourne
and Perth from SGD $189, as opposed to their current holiday gift to you, where you pay SGD $932 for no legroom and crap service. How many $189 flights do they actually release for sale to the public, hmm?

Malaysia Airlines are offering the lowest fare of ALL the carriers, albeit with a short stopover under an hour and a half. Should we applaud MAS? Well, let's just say fares like this wouldn't have occurred before the recent takeover of Malaysia Airlines by the politician-laden board of AirAsia. Rest assured, 'Teflon Tony Fernandes' and Malaysia's bent politicians are already showing telltale signs of what they have in store for the two former Malaysian competitors. Stay tuned for our new expose in the next issue - our special Christmas follow-up to our original AirAsia scam report HERE.

Finally, we priced flights Singapore to Melbourne. Incredibly, before we factor in the typical extraneous 'cut-price' costs, versus none on full-service carriers, AirAsia was already over $200 more expensive than Qantas. What the heck? Isn't AirAsia supposed to be a cut-price operator? Again, let's not forget that we haven't included any of the add-ons that you will incur with AirAsia, such as food & drink, check-in luggage, seating allocation, et al. Let's add $50 for that. Take a good look at yourself, AirAsia?? We are going to be onto you like Sea Shepherd blitz around Japanese whaling boats.

The moral is do not blindly rely on cut-price carriers to offer cheaper flights - they frequently do not. They are polished conmen marketeers and they are clearly relying on people blindly assuming that 'cut-price' will be significantly cheaper than full-service carriers. Further, shop around - in advance. Last minute deals are for hotels, not airlines - AirAsia push the prices way up when they know we most desperately need to travel, during holidays plus when it's unexpected and on short notice. Do not use aggregators such as for anything but research - they are significantly more expensive than going directly to the airline's website. Do not believe their lowest price guarantees - as that is a marketing scam. Use the aggregator to shop online for the cheaper alternatives, then go to the airline website and be nicely surprised by the 10-30% you will save.


1.  Singapore to Perth - terms as above
Malaysia Airlines


 British Airways


Singapore Airlines


2. Singapore to Melbourne - terms as above



Sunday, 7 August 2011

Government allows AirAsia and MAS 'merger' ..

Tony Fernandes has contrived  to become the single biggest shareholder of arch rival Malaysia Airlines - and all with the blessings of the Malaysian Government.  

Yes, it's too silly - and fishy - to be true, but it's a done deal. According to 'The Star Online": "Sources said the deal, which was struck last week after negotiations over the past year, became urgent after MAS' poor showing in the last two quarters." It would appear that now AirAsia, which has been known to have the special “abilities” to owe airport taxes to the tune of more than RM125 million since it inception until 2010, has been made out to look like a white knight for MAS. Please wake up, Malaysia!

This is eerily similar to how Fernandes and ex-political allies of Dr Maharthir came to own AirAsia, paying just a Dollar for the privilege.  Is this history repeating? A perfectly good airline allowed to fall into disarray, or made to appear as if it is in trouble, and snapped up for nix courtesy of the same incumbent players. As we pointed out once before, most of AirAsia's Board of Directors are retired politicians, all allies of one Dr Maharthir. The rule of thumb must be, get out of politics and get into a dirty airline. 

AirAsia's original dirty deal  HERE

And what are those same politicians cooking up this time? Only time will tell. You certainly wouldn't see an anticompetitive deal like this approved in any civilised country, then this is Malaysia. Even the one-eyed news portal and Government mouthpiece, The Star Online, wrote: "Industry players expressed surprise at the deal because of past animosity between the management of the two airlines. Those who were aware of the negotiations were also surprised at the speed at which it was concluded. Fernandes declined to comment when asked about the deal."  Surprise, surprise.

As one blogger wrote: " This 'share swap deal' is a joke. THE PERTINENT QUESTION NOW: IS AIRASIA BAILING OUT MAS OR MAS HAS BEEN USED AS A VEHICLE TO BAIL OUT AIRASIA? AirAsia buys MAS’ RM1.60/share using their own money but Khazanah buys AA’s RM3.95/share thru taxpayers’ money? In quantum, we pay more to get some part of AA while AA pay less to get ownership in national carrier?" And AirAsia laugh all the way to the bank.

Meet AirAsia's Politicians!


Independent Non Executive Director
*Retired '08

Non Executive Director

Independent Non Executive Director

Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad
Adviser & Mentor - Honorary

Fernandes said, "I had this desire to start an airline and I thought a low-fare airline would work very well in Malaysia. So I went around and started putting the plans together. I roped in three partners — Datuk Pahamin, Aziz and Kamarudin, for starters. Datuk Pahamin helped arrange a meeting with then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad.
"Fernandes pilots AirAsia to greater heights." Kang Siew Li, New Straits Times, Saturday, December 20, 2003

He said it was easy for people to criticise the Government and say they were not given equal opportunities. "Let me tell you that I am living proof of someone who had no political backing. Through sheer hard work and determination, which every one of us is capable of, we can succeed.
Faridah Begum - The Star, March 07, 2008

Air Asia seems to be blessed with what could only be described as a divine almost heavenly relationship with politicians. Why??

After brokering the introduction between Mahathir and Tony Fernandes, political heavyweight Pahamin beat a hasty retreat from official politics. He immediately reemerged as the Non-Executive Chairman of Air Asia - which also happened to be the airline Malaysia's PM sold them for $1.

Amazing. An honest Malaysian Member of Parliament 

Before you make your next AirAsia online booking, please be sure to read the article HERE and HERE by Wee Choo Keong, one of the very, very few Malaysian Members of Parliament to question the AirAsia deals over the years - actually he goes them boots and all. It is an eye opener and you owe it to yourself to read this blog post. It's almost as good as or Not AirAsia online booking website.

AirAsia's dirty deal  HERE 

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

AirAsia Racist Slurs Backfire ...

"We're Asians, not a bunch of white 
guys running the airlines"

In a classic piece of chutzpah, AirAsia's CEO attacked Asian carrier Tiger Airways in a Bangkok Post interview over a senior hire, saying he was skeptical over Westerners running any Asia-based businesses. Tony Fernandes criticised Tiger, and parent Singapore Airlines, as a result of their employing a Caucasian, saying: "We're Asians, not a bunch of white guys running the airlines." Fernandes skipped one important point ...

But ... a white guy created AirAsia 

Tony is forgetting that an Irishman, Connor McCarthy, ex-head of Ryanair, is the undisputed brains behind AirAsia. Indeed, this article here credits Connor McCarthy as being AirAsia's "co-founder' .  Yes, it was Connor whom hatched the scheme of AirAsia's short-haul model and accordingly the birth of the cut-price industry, wait for it, across Asia:  "After all, the long-haul operation was his [Fernandes'] original plan until former Ryanair executive Conor McCarthy, who became an AirAsia investor, persuaded him that the short-haul market had better prospects."

All this from a white man completely unfamiliar with Asia, is it possible? Indeed another article here continues: "AirAsia co-founder and former Ryanair executive Conor McCarthy "tore it to pieces", says Fernandes, and instead they drafted the short-haul no-frills business plan that McCarthy ended up investing in." For once, it appears as if Tony is being honest. It wasn't Fernandes, with zero experience in running an airline, but the ex-Ryanair boss, McCarthy, who truly launched AirAsia.

Most recently, Fernandes followed this white faces idiocy with more puerile stirring: "Funny how SIA keeps putting foreigners in charge at their LCC (low cost carrier). Don't they have faith in Singaporeans. I do. My Commercial Head is a Singapore. Odd company. If I were a Singaporean, I would really be upset with SIA." People in glass houses, Tony, they shouldn't throw stones. Tiger Airways, headed by British Tony Davis, has naturally expressed disappointment over Fernandes' racist remarks in recent times. Maybe he can call Connor McCarthy for some colonial sympathy. Meanwhile, Fernandes is still basking in the false glory of having created AirAsia.

Tony, we'd imagine that the Singaporeans would be less affronted by their hugely successful national carrier employing a white face, than the outrageous scam that was perpetrated upon the Malaysian taxpayer when you and Connor McCarthy - and a gaggle of senior government ministers - inherited AirAsia for the princely sum of sixty cents. Tsk tsk, Tony - up to your old tricks again, hey?  Yes, in case you missed the 'Sedition Edition' expose, Dr Mahathir was very good to his political allies. Think about this before making your next AirAsia online booking.

Read the infamous AirAsia 
Malaysian Government rort report HERE