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7th Sep 2001, 06:55
From todays Malaysian Star Newspaper

Music personality takes over Air Asia

THE country’s second national carrier, Air Asia, is being taken over by prominent music personality Tony Fernandes and renamed Tune Air.

Fernandes, former vice-president, Asean, Warner Music International, who left the company last month to set up the Tune Group is set to emulate Richard Branson whose business empire stemmed from the setting up of Virgin Records and which now includes the successful Virgin Airlines.

A chartered accountant, Fernandes revolutionised ethnic music, nasyid and dangdut, bringing them into the mainstream of contemporary music.

Others who have been roped into the board of Tune Air include Datuk Pahamin Rejab, Aziz Bakar and Kamaruddin Meranun.

In a filing with the KLSE, Hicom Holdings Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of DRB-Hicom Bhd, said it proposed to dispose of its entire shareholding of 99.25% in AirAsia Sdn Bhd to Tune Air Sdn Bhd for RM1 cash.

Alliance Merchant Bank Bhd said on behalf of DRB-Hicom that Hicom and Tune Air had entered into a sale and purchase agreement on Wednesday for the proposed disposal of Hicom’s 51.68 million shares of RM1 each in AirAsia and the assumption of 50% of the net liabilities of AirAsia.

The new airline is scheduled to start operations on Dec 1 from the Subang airport. It is learnt that fashion designer Bernard Chandran has been assigned to create the uniforms for the cabin crew, flight stewardesses and ground personnel.

As a new player in the aviation industry, Tune Air will concentrate on the domestic routes first.

“We hope to complement services provided by the existing airline and handle the distribution of local tourists first,” an airline official said.

“We will work on the integration of air services within all the major towns in Malaysia and increase frequency on existing routes.”

As to how Tune Air would be restructured, the official said: “It’s a long process. Right now, we want to open opportunities for growth and improvement. There is no plan to lay off the existing staff of 250.”

Can anyone confirm whether Subang Airport in Malaysia will continue to operate domestic flights, it was previously reported that once the rail line linking Kuala Lumpur and the airport opened that the Subang airport would close.

8th Sep 2001, 06:41
Our odd charters to K.L. use Subang. A couple of MAS guys I met on an overnight told me the airport will remain open whatever anyone says because the politicians like to use it for domestic travel. They arent keen to drive 1 hour to the new K.L. airport when Subang is 20 minutes away from Kuala Lumpur city. And I think the Malaysian AF have a VIP aircraft base there too for Dr M and his mates?