Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Malaysia Airlines VS Air Asia

From 5th May, Malaysia Airlines has been introducing a zero (0) Ringgit fare (passenger only needs to pay for airport tax and surcharges) for its domestic flight tickets. According to the letter from its Managing Director/CEO, Dato' Sri Idris Jala, his airlines has put aside up to 30% of the seats for the these Special Everyday Low Fares.

This is an important move by Malaysia Airlines to be able to compete with Air Asia, which has been giving away zero Ringgit tickets on any special occasions, such as its birthday, since long long time ago.

So now everyone traveling within Malaysia is able to enjoy Malaysia Airlines 5-star service on board of a world's 5-star airlines. They just need to purchase the ticket online at, at least 30 days before the flight departure, and cannot change their mind.

With a ticket price a lot cheaper compared to the normal price, passenger is allocated 20kg check-in baggage allowance, free meal on board, and an allocated seat with seat number (you don't have to fight for your preferred seat).

Air Asia fired back this campaign by offering to pay the difference to any of its passengers if they can find any MAS airfare that is lower than the cheapest offered by Air Asia. This airlines is going to even lower the price of its ticket by introducing sub-zero Fare campaign that will be launched soon.

I personally find this battle very amusing. It's funny to see how Malaysia Airlines reacts to the hard competition given by Air Asia.
It should not feel threatened and compete with Air Asia because these two airlines are in a different class/group which supposed to serve different group of people with different tastes of traveling by air.
Why don't MAS try to focus on giving hard competition to Singapore Airlines (SIA) instead? Try to see any opportunities beyond what SIA can see.
But looks like MAS chooses to abandon the fight with SIA and admitted that SIA is a better airlines. So it shifted its focus to go head-on with Air Asia instead knowing exactly that Air Asia has to go to the battle with its own limited force.

This battle will leave SIA smiling because then SIA will be alone in its class. When there is no competition in the market, passengers will have limited option and this can't be good for them.

I personally has been an Air Asia fanatic because so far I have been able to save a lot and still enjoy traveling to my favorite destinations.
Now, I will have to consider MAS because I would love to enjoy the 5 star service with a cheap ticket.

If I fly with Air Asia, I'll get cheap ticket with budget-style service.
I have to pay more to get any services such as: my check-in baggage (15 kg luggage allowance), priority boarding, and for my meal on board) but then I will fly with new planes (safe, fast, and comfortable).

If I fly with MAS, I'll get a little bit more expensive ticket but with 5-star service.
I don't have to pay for anything extra. My luggage allowance is 20kg. I'll get to board first when traveling with my children (free of charge) and I don't have to fight for my seat.
On top of that, there's free meal on board. sounds a better option than Air Asia.
But then, I will fly with old aircrafts.

Let me calculate again everything and see if at the end MAS will win my choice... : )

Malaysia Airlines is starting its Everyday Low Fares for ASEAN routes today, 21st May 2008 until 3rd June 2008 for travel period: 1st July - 14th December 2008. HURRY!! HURRY!! It's a very good deal not to be missed!


Anonymous said...

Interesting calculation found here -

coffeeliqueur said...

Hi there,
Thanks for the link. I've checked it out. It's a very interesting calculation indeed.
But then, what to expect from Air Asia when in the beginning we already know that AA IS a budget airlines so of course you won't even dare to expect a customer service to pick up your call.
I know what MAS is offering is really a very good deal but my question is how long MAS will be able to sustain this. There must be something to be sacrificed.

Anonymous said...

well according to reports it's going to be a permanent product category along with their normal full fares. mas is merely putting up normally unsold seats for cheap. something like up to 30% of seats on their planes are actually not sold on regualr basis. so they have been making huge losses under the previous management. now they're basically putting a very low price tag on these seats to sell off and fill up the planes. it makes good sense from their biz pov. and for us, yea! cheap and good! the condition is that we need to book online at least 30 days ahead to take advantage of them. which is okay. you ought to look out for the ASEAN tickets. they should be selling them in a couple of days. now i have less and less reasons to fly airasia

Asia'h Epperson said...

I love your site, and your pictures are adorable!

Here in the States, several airlines have done something like this to help increase their passengers. They usually end up filing for bankruptcy within a couple of years or stopping it due to lost income.

With the high gas prices, many airlines here are increasing fees on fuel just to help make ends meet.

Thanks for the great site!