AirAsia captures market leadership award
AirAsia captured the prestigious Market Leadership Award
at the recent 2005 Airline Achievement Awards given out by Air Transport
World (ATW) Magazine. The awards ceremony held in Washington, DC, is a
coveted annual event to recognize excellence in the airline industry. Other
notable winners this year were Air France – KLM Group (ATW Airline of The
Year), and Virgin Atlantic Airways (Passenger Service Award.
was named Asia Pacific Low Cost Airline of the Year 2004 by Centre for Asia
Pacific Aviation (CAPA). AirAsia also received the Euromoney award for Asia
Best Managed Company in the Airlines and Aviation Sector
AirAsia’s award lets it join an alumnus of luminaries
such as Virgin (1998), Ryan Air (2000), and Jet Blue (2002), all previous
winners of the ATW Market Leadership Award.
One of the only two Asian based airlines to be recognized
in the history of the Awards, Jet Airways being the other, AirAsia has come
a long way from its humble beginnings three years ago as a start up low cost
carrier in Malaysia operating with just 2 Boeing 737-300s.
Today, AirAsia commands a fleet of 28 Boeing 737-300s, and operates over
100 daily flights from its hubs in Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Bangkok, and
Jakarta. In its bid to offer low fares to the people and to integrate ASEAN,
AirAsia spread its wings to neighboring Thailand and Indonesia through the
strategic formation of Thai AirAsia (Thailand), and AWAIR (Indonesia), both
of which are joint ventures with local entities.
Skålleagues unite in Thailand
Jeremy Colson, TTG
SKAL International has made a plea for members throughout
the world to attend the 34th Asia Area Assembly of Skål in Thailand from
May 20 to 23.
Skålleagues met earlier this year here in Chiang Mai.
The event has special significance this year because it
is being held in Phuket, the media communications center, from which so much
of the early coverage of the December 26 tsunami was broadcast.
Event organizer, Martin van der Reijden, said he hoped
the assembly would serve as a rallying point. “We urge members from around
the world to come to the assembly and then, when they return home they will
be able to tell their colleagues that Phuket really is ready for
visitors,” he said.
“I believe the assembly will help kick start the revival we are all
praying for,” he added. Skålleagues wanting more details about the event
can consult the Skål Phuket website: www.skalphuket.org
“Nok Hunt 2005 – The New Generation” staff recruitment
Nok Air, embarked on an innovative recruitment activity
with the launch of “Nok Hunt 2005 – The New Generation”, a further
search for Nok Air’s flight attendants.
Air’s CEO Patee Sarasin, wearing his appropriate bird outfit, in full
Patee Sarasin, CEO of Nok Air said, “Nok Hunt 2005 –
The New Generation enables us to find air hostesses who have all the
attributes and the special personalities we are looking for, and in a
totally different way from what has been done before.”
Flight attendant hopefuls had to be assessed at four
different checkpoints with various scenarios testing their service
mindedness, ability to work under pressure physically and emotionally, their
ability to solve problems, and their teamwork and leadership skills. There
were hidden cameras and mystery judges at all checkpoints. Their scores were
based not only on how well they perform but also on how they interacted with
one another. At the end of the day, 40 candidates were selected to become
Nok Air hostesses.
Nok Air has two daily flights to Phuket, as well as five daily flights to
Chiang Mai, three daily flights to Udon Thani and Hat Yai, and one daily
flight to Phitsanulok, with further Thai and regional destinations to be
added later in the year.
International Dive Expo looking for virgin divers
Organisers of Asia Dive Expo (ADEX) 2005 and Virgin Radio
Thailand have teamed up in a search for up to 1,000 “Virgin Divers” who
are willing to take their first scuba plunge during the international dive
show at the Bangkok Convention Center, from March 31 – April 3.
The “My Virgin Dive with the Asia Scuba Tour” will be
held in conjunction with ADEX 2005, where first-time divers are invited to
suit up and become part of the fast-growing and exciting dive community.
scuba gear, including a wet suit, BCD vest, air tank, mask and snorkel, will
be loaned to each virgin diver for the dive. This tryout is free, and the
international dive association, PADI, will be on hand to officially certify
After a thorough instructional briefing and safety review
from a professionally certified dive instructor, the virgin diver and
instructor will submerge in a pool located next to the main exhibition hall.
Virgin Radio is planning to have some thrill-seeking
celebrities on hand to enjoy their first dive experience and help promote
ADEX sponsor, Sony will capture each virgin diver in
action, and present them with a color photo of their first dive experience.
The first 100 divers will also receive a special package of goodies from
Virgin Radio, and Swatch will be giving out a free Swatch SCUBA watch for
every 50th diver.
Roel van Leeuwen, director of Suntec Integrated Media,
ADEX 2005’s organizer, said, “We’re hoping to have more than 1,000
virgin divers participate, which would be a record number for Asia scuba
For more information, visit www.asiadiveexpo.com or call
+65 6825 2289 or +65 6825 2258.
ADEX 2005 will be open on March 31 to trade visitors only, and April 1-3
to the public from 11am-7pm.
China Airlines takes over
Taipei–Chiang Mai connection
Jeffrey Studebaker, TTG
China Airlines will inaugurate its third direct service
to a destination in Thailand when it takes over a Taipei–Chiang Mai route
from subsidiary, Mandarin Airlines, on March 29.
The service will be operated with a Boeing B737-800
thrice weekly on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Bangkok assistant general
manager marketing, Teerasak Saejeng, said while the route was not profitable
under Mandarin Airlines, China Airline’s industry clout would make a
difference. “China Airlines has a long history and solid reputation in the
Taiwan market and this will give us an advantage in negotiating for special
rate agreements with other airlines,” he said.
To inaugurate the service, China Airlines will offer four
package tours to Chiang Mai and northern Thailand with prices starting at
Space travel for US$12,000
Space tourism has officially landed in China, Hong Kong
Space Tours Corporation CEO, Jiang Fang, announced at a recent press
conference in Shenzhen. The Hong Kong-based company and US firm, Space
Adventures, signed a contract to recruit Chinese tourists for adventures in
Four programs are being offered: zero-gravity training,
fighter-plane training, sub-orbit flight, and space orbit tour. Prices for
the different packages range from RMB 100,000 (US$12,048) to US$20 million.
A Space Adventures spokesman told Chinese newspapers a man surnamed Jiang
from Shenzhen had already paid a deposit of RMB 1 million for a sub-orbital
flight. He is expected to embark on his zero-gravity joyride to the edge of
outer space for a bird’s eye view of the earth in 2006 “if all goes
Besides having deep pockets, those interested in signing
up must be above 18 and in good health. Trips last about seven days and
tourists will only be launched into space after receiving several months of
training. (TTG Asia)