Airasia X Should Be Allowed To Fill Up Frequencies, Says Dr Mahathir

>> Friday, March 4, 2011

SEPANG, March 3 (Bernama) -- AirAsia X should be allowed to fill up frequencies at whichever routes that Malaysia Airlines (MAS) could not do so, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

"In many cases, though the demand is there, MAS is not being able to provide more frequencies. So, when they cannot provide more frequencies, I think it's fair to allow AirAsia X to pick up the frequencies," the former prime minister said.

"There will be a competition of course but it is up to AirAsia X and MAS to find ways of making a success of the routes," he told reporters after visiting AirAsia's office and academy here.

Dr Mahathir was asked to comment on AirAsia X which was competing for the same routes that MAS already had presence, such as to destinations in Australia and the United States.

Present was AirAsia X non-executive independent chairman Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, AirAsia chairman Datuk Aziz Bakar, AirAsia chief executive Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes and AirAsia deputy group chief executive Datuk Kamarudin Meranun.

During the question and answer session with AirAsia staff, Dr Mahathir said AirAsia was capable of helping Malaysia to achieve its targeted ratio of one tourist per head of population.

He said AirAsia contributed a lot towards the growth of Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and increasing the number of tourists and visitors to Malaysia.

"Our target has always been one tourist per head of population.

"The population now is between 27 million and 28 million. We have now reached about 22 million tourists a year. We are doing quite well.

"AirAsia will help us to achieve this target in a short time," he said.

He said the country's target was to build a second satellite building for KLIA when it reaches more than 35 million passengers a year "but now it has more than that because of AirAsia".


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