In its aggressive pursuit of overseas expansion, Malaysian no-frills carrier AirAsia has set its sights on China for a new low-cost service, officials said. \nAirAsia chairman Pahamin Razab said the carrier's plan was to spread its wings across Asia, and that included regional giants China and India. \n"Our mission is that we want to be a major low-cost carrier in the region. We want to spread our wings beyond the shores of Malaysia and the region -- and in the case of China, India and Southeast Asian countries -- all these are for the taking," he said. \nHe stressed the pioneer Asian budget carrier was eager to seize any opportunities that arose in China, although he did not set a time-frame. \n"We may even start our own airline in China," he said. \n"We do not want to go beyond ASEAN for the next couple of years, but if opportunities strike us, we might just go to China first, then India. \n"China ... is more regulated. They do not have low-cost carriers, unlike India," he said. \nPahamin said AirAsia could operate either out of Thailand or Malaysia. \nThe carrier launched daily flights to Macau from Bangkok last week. Macau is AirAsia's third international destination out of Thailand, after Singapore and Malaysia. Direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Macau will begin by the end of this month, the first direct flights to link the two cities. \nPahamin said the public response to the new destinations had been good so far. \nAn industry source close to AirAsia suggested that after flying to Macau, it would make good business sense to offer a service to the China. \n"AirAsia could be flexible on how they start their airline in China. They can go alone or form a joint-venture or fly out of Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur," the source said. \nLast month, AirAsia chief executive Tony Fernandes said the carrier was confident its low fares would boost tourism and bring a brand new travel experience to the people of Macau and the neighboring region. \nKamarudin Meranum, AirAsia's executive director, also said the carrier was "looking at China," but declined to reveal whether it was already in talks with Chinese authorities over beginning a service. \n"It is a huge country with lots of potential. It has a big population. If we are allowed, we will begin our operation," he said. \nCompetition in the region for low-cost flights is set to heat up after Qantas said it would join Singapore's government in a budget airline to begin operations by the year's end. \nValuAir, a low-fare carrier set up by a former Singapore Airlines executive, is due to take flight next month. \nAirAsia, meanwhile, plans to invest 228 million ringgit (US$60 million) as it builds up its fleet to 30 aircraft by the end of the year from the current 17. The two-year-old Malaysian company has become Southeast Asia's version of European budget carrier Ryanair. It has carried more than 4 million passengers since it was launched in December 2001. \nPahamin added that AirAsia's planned initial public offering (IPO) was on track for September.
The Central Weather Bureau could issue a sea alert for Super Typhoon Mawar, as it is forecast to turn north and come closest to Taiwan from Tuesday to Wednesday next week. Mawar was downgraded from a super typhoon to a typhoon after sweeping across Guam on Wednesday night, knocking down trees and leaving much of the US territory without power. Many residents of Guam yesterday remained without power and utilities after Mawar tore through the remote US Pacific territory the previous night, ripping roofs off homes, flipping vehicles and shredding trees. There were no immediate reports of deaths and injuries, but the
ADJUSTMENTS: Over the next five years, every year except 2026 would have only one makeup workday to compensate for national holidays, the government said The Executive Yuan (EY) yesterday announced the official workday calendar for next year, which includes one makeup day and four holidays with more than three days off. It also announced new standards for makeup days in the event of consecutive holidays. The Directorate-General of Personnel Administration cited the importance of the Lunar New Year and Tomb Sweeping holidays to the public as its reason to mandate flexible off-days. The 115 total off-days dovetail with dates that international financial markets are closed, minimizing the effects of state holidays on stock and currency exchange trading, it said. Over the next five years, only the calendar for
Police on Sunday said they are on alert after the China Unification Promotion Party (CUPP) invited an alleged top leader of a Japanese criminal organization to visit Taiwan. The party and a branch of the Hongmen society reportedly invited Joji Uezu from the Kyokuryu-kai, the only yakuza group in Okinawa designated by Japanese police, to visit Taiwan along with six other people. Members of Taiwan’s Bamboo Union (竹聯幫) have reportedly participated in events hosted by the Kyokuryu-kai as early as 2015. The Okinawa Times in 2018 reported that Chang Wei (張瑋), son of former Bamboo Union leader and CUPP founder Chang An-le (張安樂),
INVASION UNPOPULAR: Chinese would likely accept their government having a softer stance toward cross-strait relations, one of the coauthors of the article said Interest among the Chinese public in the issue of China’s unification with Taiwan is low, researchers said, citing the results of a poll. An article titled “Assessing Public Support for (Non-)Peaceful Unification with Taiwan: Evidence from a Nationwide Survey in China,” published in the Journal of Contemporary China on May 14, showed that only 55 percent of those surveyed in China would support the use of military force to achieve unification with Taiwan. In the survey, which polled 1,824 people on the question of how they would like to see the issue of Taiwan’s unification with China resolved, “only one out of