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MyAir planning student, civil servant fares
Published on: Thursday, April 27, 2023
By: David Thien
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MyAir planning student, civil servant fares
MYAirline CEO Rayner Teo, who was with Air Asia for 15 years, said: “We are looking at launching our student’s fares soon as requested by many universities.”
Kota Kinabalu: With air fares between from Kuala Lumpur to Sabah and Sarawak being the bane of travellers, MYAirline’s RM249 KL-Tawau flight is making the newest low-cost airline popular among Sabahans in the Klang Valley.

 Debuting on Dec. 1, last year, MYAirline Sdn Bhd operates eight routes from KLIA2, namely Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Langkawi, Kota Bharu, Penang, Tawau, Sibu, and Miri.

This month saw the ninth route being the intra-Sabah Kota Kinabalu-Tawau route from RM89, said its chief executive officer Rayner Teo.

Such low fares is what attracted the attention of Transport Minister Anthony Loke of DAP to say “I extend an open invitation to Wee (Kah Siong, MCA President) to join me on April 20 at 10.15pm to send off travellers to Sabah on a RM249 per ticket flight.”

Wee is Loke’s predecessor and both are now in the Unity Federal Government. It is deemed that more competition among airlines bodes well for the travelling public.

MYAirline CEO Rayner Teo, who was with Air Asia for 15 years, said: “We are looking at launching our student’s fares soon as requested by many universities.”

Teo is also looking at special fares for civil servants as well as the media. He also said MyAir is open to discussing promoting Sabah’s  “Feel Sabah, North Borneo” livery on its aircraft, although Sabah Tourism representatives were believed unable to attend its recent breaking of fast event.

Teo said Sabah, especially BKI (Kota Kinabalu), has much to offer in tourism in terms of location. “I see a lot of opportunities for inbound into Sabah.

“At the same time there are a lot of opportunities to work on connectivity. Support is required from all parties as airlines need more capacity, good infrastructure ahead of time and more tourist attractions.

“We are operating five aircraft today but we have signed a deal for 17 Airbus A320-200 aircraft on a lease basis, and aim to lease a total of 20 narrow-body aircraft by end-2023.”

 He said MYAirline should have 80 Airbus aircraft by 2025, with new planes.

 Teo foresees strong demand for air travel post Covid-19, after planning the business model for 25 months before being operationalised.

 “We will be exploring other domestic sectors as well, and the team has been busy doing market studies for Sandakan and Bintulu,” he said.

 Teo said MyAir is content with narrow-body operations while focusing on short hauls. We are keeping to a range of four hours and we also keep to the Airbus type aircraft. We will consider models within the A320 family, such as longer and fuel-efficient planes, in the future.”

 He admitted that joining the already competitive low-cost sector was a gamble but is confident of overcoming the clouds because unlike the rivals, it does not have to worry with banks and rising interest rates, apart from relying on leased aircraft.

  “We were called crazy for wanting to start an airline during Covid-19, when all the planes were basically grounded.

 “The timing was very critical and, at the same time, I was able to get assets with attractive deals hoping that demand will come back strongly, with many experienced laid off staff available.

“Every single one of my friends whom I spoke to thought I was crazy,” Teo said, including his wife. “You have to be very sure that demand will come back, and come back very strong and can be sustained.  “We are privately funded, no loans out there, or that kind of instruments.” MYAirline’s aim to be listed on the Bursa by 2025-2026.

 MYAirline currently has almost 600 employees, including about 100 pilots. It is also constantly updating its latest offerings via its website and mobile app. “We should end 2023 with approximately 1,000 employees,” said Teo.

 On the profitability turnaround time, Teo said it should be three years or faster, if accelerated. “We want to evolve as we progress.”

 As the new kid on the block, MYAirline’s risk appetite gusto has surprised many aviation industry watchers who witnessed the massive setbacks in profitability of the Malaysia Aviation Group (MAS, MASWings, & Firefly), Air Asia and Batik Air/Malindo from the pandemic restrictions on global travel.

 Teo said his four-month-old start-up aims to be a significant commercial aviation player in this region, being customer centric would not compromise on safety, while promising punctual reliability and prompt refund for flight disruptions as one of its value propositions to customers.

 “When we started, we were very small, a skinny team. A lot of things were on our plate. We have got a firm footing on our identity.

“We have to take care of our customers first and foremost. We have the best team as far as safety is concerned.”

 On sustainability efforts, he said being green is one of the main agendas in operating the airline, with the setting up of a document management system as the first move to go paperless, followed by bringing in the first eco-friendly and ergonomic aircraft seats in the country.

 “On replacing fuel with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), it may not be the right timing because of the cost, but we do believe very strongly that SAF would be the future, and we will be one of the first ones to look at that and deploy it when the time is right,” he said.

 On the recently proposed Subang Airport Regeneration Plan, Teo said it is a critical step to establish city airport operations which might take time for the redevelopment to complete.

 “We have already submitted a letter to the Ministry to state our intent to be part of the plan, and our target passengers would be small and medium enterprises as well as corporates based on the market positioning for the regeneration plan,” he said.

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