Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Macho talk, woman CEO and big headache

When Tony F said he is 'glad' after Malaysia Airlines deal failed, it was a face saving remark. Off late, he has been talking too much and creating fanfare to save face and detour attention on his problems.

At least he did not say thing like being maligned and vilified in the blogosphere and ask the Board of Directors to affirm he is not a skunk. That is for pampered cry baby Gen Y CEO wannabees who claimed himself as an aviation specialist and expert. Tony F is made of harder stuff.

When he said he is moving to Jakarta, there will be no engineering business for MAS. Now we know how sincere he is to collaborate. [Read in Bigdogdotcom here or The Star here of the interview].

Let Tony F pass the business to Jakarta. See whether he will get the kind of service he gets with MAS and MAB. If he doesn't pay up, pray the Indonesian don't cut his ears off.

He was reported by Reuter here saying, "I'm just trying to make more money. There is no hidden agenda."

What a greedy pig he is. There should not be any sympathy if he goes around like Van Gogh.

Fell for his fanfare

Tony F is just being himself.

The stupid thing is why did some fell for his tricks and treachery to sacrifice the national airline. It is really stupid to attempt the CCF deal with a known low life character. How could anyone missed that?

Before looking at the numbers and all, an important step in dealmaking is knowing the personality. Can you trust the person? Do they have any sense of honour?

Even thieves have honour and code.

More foolish is the revelation that all the Air Asia people that joined MAS have and will return back to Air Asia.

From Idris Jala to AJ, can't they see that?

Why would they leave an Airline they are convince is where the growth is to go to a highly debted, losing profitability and lost its premium shine, MAS?

Tony F have been talking of Jakarta for many years. Indonesian market is the growth of tomorrow.

Yet when in MAS, Danny gave the Bandung route to Tony F. Is the Board of Directors so sure of his honesty and integrity?

Moving or not to Jakarta

Again, don't fall for Tony F's Jakarta talk.

It is obvious he tries to replicate Malaysian operational success abroad. At the moment, he dare not say he moved his headquarter. He still depend on the Malaysian market and would jump should it be open up soon.

But he is talking big as though he could grow profit by five-fold abroad. Can he get the same preferential treatment and political clout in Malaysia as he gets abroad partnering with former political despots? [Read The Star today here]

So he claimed Air Asia will only establish an AirAsia Asean office. Its role will be similar to the Dublin office of RyanAir as strategic planning office for Europe. Sure, is Ryan Air headquarter in Dublin too?

They made a big fanfare out of the announcement of Air Asia's new young lady CEO, Aireen Omar for Malaysian Operations.

But it's too soon to say hurrah for women's liberation, Kak Ena.

Not from a man who used his stewardess as sex object like Sir Richard Branson used his Virgin ladies. See You Tube above of Air Asia advert.

It is only a fanfare. Just like the move to Jakarta. Read The Edge report below:


AirAsia Malaysia's HQ not moving to Jakarta, says Fernandes

Written by Surin Murugiah
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 13:32

KUALA LUMPUR (June 13): AIRASIA BHD []’s group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes reiterated that AirAsia Malaysia's headquarters was not moving to Jakarta.

He said the low cost carrier (LCC) was committed to upholding its “Now Everyone Can Fly” pledge to Malaysians that.

In a statement Wednesday, Fernandes said the establishment of the AirAsia Asean office in Jakarta as the LCC’s regional base was to help to more fully deliver on that pledge to all the people of Asean and beyond.

He said that shifting AirAsia's emphasis to a regional strategy was not just good business, but also a move that will keep the LCC ahead of the inevitable competition that is heading its way.

“But while others focus largely on trying to gain market share in domestic markets, we seek to expand our footprint throughout the region.

“After all, no single domestic market in Asean, not even Indonesia, can match the potential of a regional Asean market of 600 million people and a combined East Asian market of 2 billion,” he said.

He said AirAsia Asean would serve as the "nerve centre" of the LCC’s regional expansion.

He said it would operate very much like how the Ryanair office in Dublin, Ireland, serves as the strategic planning centre of Europe's largest LCC.

“AirAsia Asean will also help us to ensure that our voice, our concerns and our appeals are heard much more clearly in the corridors of power within ASEAN,” he said.

Fernandes said that one of the reasons for locating the office in Jakarta was to help AirAsia engage more closely with the Asean Secretariat, which was headquartered in Indonesia's capital city.

“Locating our regional base in Jakarta is also likely to have the beneficial effect of helping raise the profile and branding of AirAsia Indonesia, which is heading for a listing on the Jakarta Stock Exchange by the end of the year,” he said.


Indons ain't stupid

Ignore all the cock and bull story of Jakarta as Asean Secretariat for Tony to ready for Open Sky 2015 and the potential of Asean.

There are about 20 LCCs competing in Indonesia. The Indonesians are spoilt with choices and not to be easily bullied as the Malaysian customers by it's one and only LCC.

Even that is not for long with a law allowing Airline not on time to be sued.

The only way way AirAsia Indonesia can increase passenger load is to stop the long list of hidden costs and surcharges which totals up to the same price as Garuda ticket but without the inconvenience and long wait.

Associate company, PT Indonesia AirAsia was founded in 1999 as Awair and was then 40% owned by former President Abdul Rahman Wahid before he relinquished it.

It became an associate when Air Asia took over 49% in 2004. It changed name to Air Asia Indonesia on December 1, 2005. Air Asia Indonesia has currently a fleet of 17 A320s and by the look, it is struggling to get listed.

Initially, it was planned for fourth quarter 2011. The company had appointed CIMB Securities Indonesia and Credit Suisse Securities Indonesia as joint-lead underwriters for the 20 percent IPO.

Tony F announced for third and fourth quarter 2012. The Reuters Monday here reported Tony have moved it again to first quarter 2013. He claimed time was slotted for listing of Air Asia-X but he has been on a wait and see. Many scheduled IPO have been shelved.

There is a big headache for Tony F. Air Asia started operations in 2001 and get listed in 2007.

Only Gus Dur is known. The other Indonesian partner is not but could be powerful too. They may have waited long enough on Tony F's promise to list.

On March 23rd here, ABITW wrote of the potential problem of Air Asia and the Air Asia Thai listing delay. That problem look solved. Thanks to Thaksin's sister, Yingluck being Prime Minister.

Air Asia Thai was listed on May 31st. Read The Sundaily news report here.

According to The Edge report here, Air Asia need to list off both it's Thai and Indonesian associate in order to bring its gearing to below 1 from 1.4. Still, the transfer of aircraft funding to the associate will only be gradual.

AirAsia placed a then record order with 75 Airbus advanced A320-200 planes worth USD18 billion for delivery 2016. Tony F boasted of ordering another USD4 billion deal to buy another 50 Airbus A320s. In addition, Tony was reported to have ordered 200 Airbus 320 Neo and the option of another 100 more.

He's plan to sign five more joint-venture agreements with regional airlines within the next two years. Read Business Times here.

To IPO or not?

Tony is telling the Malaysian media as though the Indonesiaan are sitting still.

No ... Government backed, Garuda Indonesia did their IPO in February 2011, although undersubscribed of the RM1 billion target which is still held by underwriters. They control 24% of domestic market and have tie-up with 3% market share LCC, Citilinks.

Indonesia's leading LCC, Lion Air has a USD21.5 billion deal for 230 Boeings 737 to add to their existing fleet of 92. Their order book is 400 airplanes. Lion Air has 51% market share of Indonesiaan domestic market and ambitous target of 60% market share, which some see as implausible.

Lion Air had to announce delay of their USD1 billion IPO flotation plan due to poor market condition and safety ban by EU.

Aside from Garuda and Lion, there is also Singapore Tiger Airways's Mandala and Pacific Royale to contend with.

One can see how edgy he is but he can't show that in Malaysia. He carries an image of being on the ball and like Ferguson of Manchester United or Branson of Virgin have the upper-hand in the war of words.

Two major IPO for Singapore and Hong Kong has been recalled due to market volatility stemming from the European debt crisis. He can't play acting on this.

Women CEO distraction

With Tony F and Din leaving for Jakarta, flagbearer Air Asia Malaysia will be under 38 year old Aireen Omar. The announcement of a young woman as CEO seems to distract media from the headache Tony is facing.

She joined AirAsia in January 2006 as Director of Corporate Finance and is now Regional Head of Corporate Finance and Treasury.

Before that, she studied Economics and Political Science from the London School of Economics (LSE) and holds a Masters in Economics from New York University (NYU).

Started out as an Associate with Deutsche Bank Securities Inc, New York in September 1997 till August 2000.

Returned to join Maybank Investment Bank as Assistant Vice-President from March 2001 to November 2003. In December 2003 she joined Bumiwerks Capital Management as Director until December 2005.

Maybank Investment Bank and Bumiwerk; birds of the same feather flocks together. The link to Tan Sri Nor Mohamad Yakcop and Dato Kalimullah Masyerullah Hassan remains.

More management change in MAS as CFO Rozman Omar is set to leave. So too is Head of Engineering, Azhari Mohd Dahlan. Both are likely to return to Air Asia.

It seems former MAS Datuk Bernard Francis is rejoining as Head of Commercial for Air Asia Indonesia. Make your own conclusion.

All Tony F need to do is take in Danny.

Opened card

Now that Tony F's cards are opened, he has a game playing with MAHB. Will he continue with it or leave it to Aireen to handle.

With his move to Jakarta and his big plans known, Malaysia Airport can't afford to blink in the eyeball-to-eyeball head-on between Tan Sri Bashir and Tony F.

His move to Jakarta is not about getting away from the tense of operations at the headquarter and a relax environment to plan and monitor the competition with 20 other staff.

It's about making Air Asia Indonesia grab the Indonesian market share. This time they do not have a Khairy and Zaki Zahid. Neither a Tun Abdullah.

Even if they do, the market is the determinant. They can't yelll unfaoir and at the same time, get all the preferential treatments.

MAB know that with the failure of his Air Asia-X long haul model, tough global economy, rising competition, and made worse by his bad boy image within industry, they can call his bluff.

If only, there is no politicians and Khazanah interference.

But Tony F knows that Khazanah only extend Bashir's contract by a year and looks likely, Khazanah is looking for someone to put there.

Tony F will want to put his man. Hope they are not talking of Danny still.

With respect to another Khazanah company, Malaysia Airlines, they should look at Indonesia too. For that matter, MAS must be able to see beyond the obvious before they go.

Does Khazanah roar have MAS interest at heart? And what is in their heart for Penerbangan Malaysia Berhad?


Robert Widoyo said...

A smart move by Tony and Kamaruddin.Not many people know that Tony and Kamaruddin have an Indonesian wife.

In Indonesia,the tax regime is not so strict like Malaysia.You stoll can hide a lot of expenditure?he will save millions of dollar.

Anonymous said...

Good article again 'A Voice'. almost lost my voice reading it what with all those whoops for your bull's eye take....heheheheh

Fat Boy is actually aware that noose is tightening around his neck. He desperately needs to grow income 5 fold or otherwise we are looking at corporate Greece here. But the big question is:

a. will the Indons play ball? Garuda is their baby which they proudly nurtured back to health but are they going to sabotage the domestic cord that feeds their golden child:

"Analysts attributed the increase in net profit at the nation's largest airline by assets to an increase in load factor, mostly from its domestic services."

2. Are both LION and Garuda gonna be left in lurch just because the NKOTB wannabe is hankering for a piece of the action. As far as I know,the Indons are on the lookout for their own kind as this illustrates:http://www.menafn.com/menafn/1093522313/Indonesias-economic-stunt

3. Fat Boy must be on something kinky when he gobs about 5 fold increases when in actual fact the debt-laden pie in the sky has never managed that feat in all its years of existence in Indonesia. Oh I am sorry, it DID manage to better that 5 fold revenue dream - by increasing its debt burden 7 times from 1.05b in 2006 to 7.7billion in 2010 and still counting. (In fact Q1 2012 was a horror show in Indonesia)

4. are Indonesia's version of MAB gonna sit back and watch their revenue crimped by verbal gymnastics and mental somersaults. I doubt they would be as murah hati as MAB.

Everything is looking hunky dory now, this has been shoved under:


Firefly has fallen off the radar and MAS is now under the kosher:

AmResearch foresaw yield improvement in financial year 2012 forecast (FY12F) driven primarily by the exit of Firefly’s jet operations from November 2011. As a yardstick, AirAsia’s yields grew eight per cent y-o-y in 4Q11, reversing a two per cent-21 per cent y-o-y yield contraction in the past 2 years.

Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/05/16/airasia-registers-robust-performance-defying-industry-trends/#ixzz1yCyJosDA


(very informative piece, this above one)

But then again, there is always a calm before a storm as karma bides its time to bite a chunk of someone's arse.

Or could it be all just shadow-play, a quid-pro-quo for Lions eventual foray into the Malaysian market? But I think it would be better if MAS sees daylight and resurrects Firefly.....

Warrior 231

Jebat said...

Dear Warrior 231,

I strongly agree with you especially on "it would be better if MAS sees daylight and resurrects Firefly.....".

It will make my day to see the brand of MAS as Malaysia premium airline and Firefly as Malaysia low cost airline on the sky and both are successful.

Thank you ABITW for another great article.

Anonymous said...

Tony is a Busineesman so what else he should of think off ----other than money and money it is just because of more money at least he gamble and maybe it will turn ok and much better. At least it is much better to invest in this line rather than politic.....

Anonymous said...

At least in Indonesia Union leaders are graduates......and their thought are strategically symbiotic with the industries they served and never play blackmailing game....

Gelora Aidit DN

People Power said...

To correct you, there was no blackmailing.

The unions were not happy and staff have had enough with air asia leaching on mas, even under financial stress.

One after another management team brought in by khazanah the shareholder failed to operationally turnaround the company turnaround despite govt help.

Yet it is the lower end staff that end up suffering.

Executive unions and managers association simply suckup to management to cover own butt and victimise staff.

Anonymous said...

people power
on the contrary, when the battle was on to rid MAS of the red leeches, which Union sold out and signed the CA so that its Secretary-General could get his extention? This played right into AJ's hands where AJ conveniently told a white lie to MPs saying that the staff are all behind him because "the Collective agreements have been signed". Shame on MASEU. And after the cancellation of the Share Swap, the Executive, Managerial and Pilots Associations jointly shared their thoughts with the Board of Directors on 5th May n some of the ways that could aid MAS's recovery.The message was very clear that the Joint Unions and associations will support any effort to turnaround MAS.This is a matter of record. Stating that the Unions are against change is a lame and "convenient" excuse to explain away the failures on the part of top management post 9th August 2011.

Anonymous said...

Well articulated, Voice.

But, MAS problem is not Tony but MAS staff themselves.

Proof here;


Anonymous said...

Haji Shamsul

How many billion is your affected pension? Has any retiree had their epf unclaimable due to losses in.epf investment?

So shut the duck n dont make mountain out ofplain.

Anonymous said...

Finally, after 10 years, TF grab the chance to show the world that he is able to stand on his own feet ( minus the political link )

All the best Fat Boy.

ikram omar said...

i think my sister rocks. you may say there are ties with tan sri nor or kalimullah, but her stints there were short. before you judge her ability based on her 'social circle', you should check what she has accomplished at AirAsia which she never could at Maybank or Bumiwerks. Their lost. Not hers. Don't be quick to say she is just a 'smokescreen' to whats coming. Its nice to say there is a grand scheme going on but you gotta give credit when credit is due man.

As for MAS, tony or no tony, MAS is already a sinking ship, but no one seems to understand that. they blame tony. they blame 25 year catering contract. they blame the unions. has anyone ever thought of just shutting the damn airline, sell off the assets, and reboot? so sentimental meh? is MAS truly a national asset? We close the airport, we're doomed? i bet if singapore closes Changi guarantee doomed.

Now, 2billion sukuk bonds? are these people for real ah? GLC's to the rescue again?

This is like the 4th turnaroud plan in what, 6 years? 7? Is like going to ICU for 4 times straight and miraculously still surviving.

and i dont think so having firefly is a good idea. i mean, AA has grown so big, you cant easily take away marketshare from that giant. i may be biased, but why do i need to start a business, when i am against a behemoth who has already been spending millions in ad campaigns, flying about 25 million people a year and have hundreds of jets and i have ATR jets only? and flying less routes? if the goal is to bring people from this routes to fly MAS, then perhaps its a good idea as long as they don't lose money.

and you guys gotta be real with MAS bonds and stuff. its the nation's pension money, 1 billion spent. with no guarantee on repayment on the principal right? o.m.g

but something needs to be done. hopefully, i dont know, maybe by the grace of god, this will work out.

Anonymous said...

haha "make mountain out of plain."

who else then? Pembangkang la....

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:29 AM,

I guessed you got infected by "BAPA" FELDA Jengka Folks idiosyncracy syndrome...Maintain the Status Quo despite your creaky boat is already sprang a leak

Hj Shamsul
Pencen 2013

Anonymous said...

Ikram Omar

The worse thing for you to do was to promote your sister by rubbishing MAS.

She's not be around the blog. Have never seen a real down cycle.

You are so Tony Fernandez. Anyway she's cute. Married?

Anonymous said...

All kopitiam talk full of prejudices and no substance.

Blind nationalism without taking off those blinkered glasses will make you blind.

Teh Tarik satu lagi.

ikram omar said...

hahahah i did not rubbish MAS to promote her.

and I don't need to rubbish MAS. you guys see the annual reports. the figures itself is just, *nuffsaid*.

its time to be real with MAS and fix it once and for all. 4 turnover plans weh.

and married or not, get to know her la :D

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