Thursday, October 07, 2004

More air links between Malaysia and Singapore? 

After the visit by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to Malaysia and his discussions with Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, there is now a possibility of expanded air links between Malaysia and Singapore.

Golden route for all?
LONG accepted by the aviation industry as a no-fly zone for airlines other than national carriers Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Malaysia Airlines (MAS), the lucrative, high-volume Singapore to Kuala Lumpur (KL) route is now within the sights of budget airlines.

On Tuesday, during a visit to KL, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke candidly about enhancing ties and exploring new opportunities with Malaysia. The aviation sector was cited as one area that would benefit from increased cooperation between the two countries. Said Mr Lee: "There is opportunity for the industry and for the two countries, because the more linkages between the two countries, the greater the benefits for tourism and business."... Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi added that his government would allow the countries' airlines to talk to each other and find ways and means to collaborate.

And by pledging to expand aviation ties, a new optimism, albeit a cautious one, is resurfacing in the fledgling low-cost carrier (LCC) market. It is no secret that Singapore-based LCCs have been eyeing Malaysia as a destination, with KL being one of the most sought after spots... Indeed, the KL to Singapore route is the fourth busiest in the region with 1.9 million passengers.
This is good news for travellers, especially if the low-cost carriers get part of the pie. The latter would not be good news, though, for the two national carriers, Malaysian Airline System (MAS) and Singapore Airlines (SIA), who would have to give up their duopoly on the route.

Anyway, MAS has other problems on its hands.

Malaysia Airlines plane grounded after wires found tampered with
A Bangkok-bound Malaysia Airlines plane was grounded Tuesday after maintenance staff found some electrical wires in the cockpit were tampered with, The Star newspaper reported Thursday. It marks the third such incident reported by the national air carrier since October last year.

The Airbus A330 plane...was due to fly to Bangkok...when the maintenance crew found the tampered wires while carrying out preflight tests just two hours before the flight time. According to the daily, the airline engineers going through the flight system found "a serious malfunction" in the flight instruments in the cockpit. A check revealed that wires under the instrument panel located under the captain's seat had been cut...

The first incident happened on Oct. 2 last year involving another A330 plane that was bound for Perth. On Nov. 26, a Boeing 777 headed for Mumbai was the second plane to be grounded.
Makes you really want to think twice before flying MAS.


well come to think of it, the wires are checked before the flight takes off. So, to think it the other way, it makes you feel safe to fly on MAS.

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