Thursday, 9 October 2008

The Air Asia Sale


Fly Air Asia? Not Me
1st Anniversary Sedition Edition.

The Story So Far ...

After brokering the introduction between Mahathir and Tony Fernandes, political heavyweight Pahamin beat a hasty retreat from official politics. He immediately reemerged as the Non-Executive Chairman of Air Asia - which also happened to be the airline Malaysia's PM sold them for $1.

The sale of a company for a nominal amount of less than a dollar implies that it has a zero or negative net present value. Air Asia BF [before friends] was making US$25 million per annum. The value of those contracts were only revealed in the Prospectus of Air Asia's initial public offering years later. Each aircraft the consortium was gifted could be valued at $30-50 million a piece. They weren't.

The Air Asia Company’s evolution as a carrier is best described as existing in two distinct periods, first as a Malaysian Government owned national carrier, and then in its present incarnation under retired political allies of Mahathir.

As the scholarly politicians and corporate elite on the Air Asia board are undeniably experts when it comes to running their hugely profitable operation, then perhaps they could have stepped up to the plate with Air Asia MK1 and worked together to rescue it. No, of course. It wasn't theirs yet, was it?

The PM's friends ended up at the controls of what became an overnight success of such epic proportions you could well argue that if Air Asia 'BF' wasn't groomed to fail, it certainly wasn't assisted to succeed.

Air Asia MKII on the other hand, was afforded such astounding assistance that in comparing the two you must question the intelligence and/or integrity of every public servant in Malaysia. Maybe there was so little cash left in the treasury that nobody could afford a whistle to blow.

Don't let's mistake what Mahathir, Pahamin, Fernandes & Co. pulled-off as a rescue or masterful reincarnation. This swindle has taken hundreds of millions of dollars from everyday Malaysians and made injustice the beneficiary. Oh! And the Board of Air Asia. Illegal? Immoral? You judge!

Meet Air Asia's Politicians!

Chairman, Air Asia


Independent Non Executive Director

*Retired '08

Non Executive Director

Independent Non Executive Director

Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad
Adviser & Mentor - Honorary

Fernandes said, "I had this desire to start an airline and I thought a low-fare airline would work very well in Malaysia. So I went around and started putting the plans together. I roped in three partners — Datuk Pahamin, Aziz and Kamarudin, for starters. Datuk Pahamin helped arrange a meeting with then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad.

"Fernandes pilots AirAsia to greater heights." Kang Siew Li, New Straits Times, Saturday, December 20, 2003

He said it was easy for people to criticise the Government and say they were not given equal opportunities. "Let me tell you that I am living proof of someone who had no political backing. Through sheer hard work and determination, which every one of us is capable of, we can succeed.

Faridah Begum - The Star, March 07, 2008

Air Asia seems to be blessed with what could only be described as a divine almost heavenly relationship with politicians. Why??

Why don't you drop Tony a note and ask him directly We'd be fascinated to hear what he has to say for himself and the AirAsia Board. If you get a reply, please send it to us and we'll happily publish it in full ....


[right here]

That Fernandes is a disingenuous con and a low-life is a given. Regular readers know that we have evidenced it again and again on this website. Frankly, we have bigger fish to fry. Until now, this blog focused entirely on non-political issues and chose not to publicise this story from Ganesh's excellent investigative journalism in his blog. That changes today. Public servants need to be reminded that they are public servants. We reveal a sweetheart deal that is nothing less than scandalous and so morally corrupt as to make you feel like you've just eaten from Air Asia's menu. Today Pahamin and a handful of former politicians sit on the Board of Air Asia and rule the roost of one of Malaysia's most profitable corporations.

The reason why Malaysia was cash strapped post-Mahathir might just become a weeny bit clearer today. Gifting an airline beats the traditional gold watch hands down and so it goes, the Air Asia Myth was born. Courtesy of improper dealing of the highest order, Malaysians were taken for a huge ride. Notice we didn’t say illegal. No, this was done with a brazen degree of in your face transparency. Who would question Dr Mahathir? Who would dare to question him? We'd all be thrown in jail!!

We have Air Asia ‘BT’ [Before Tony] - a lame duck airline with millions in debts in December of 2001 when the meeting with Dr Mahathir happened and the deal was done. It was in the black and turning a profit in less than a year. Well, that’s what we’ve been led to believe. It was turning a profit, but it wasn’t paying a good many bills. Obviously Air Asia were robbing Peter to pay Paul.

DRB-HICOM - the government conglomerate established the airline in 1993 and like most businesses of that magnitude, it took a few years to set up and to ramp up. Air Asia ‘BT’ operated for nine years, amassing what we're told was $US11 million in debt. As we now know it was making US$25 million each year. Was it instead CLEARING debts, say, money owed on those two Boeing 737s that were later written off in the boys' KL fire sale? Again, before anyone should assert that we are politically motivated, please consider this blog has been operating for a year - and with the single exception here of lamenting Malaysia's pathetic contribution to the tsunami relief - there has been no bias whatsoever. Now the gloves are off.

Each of the two Boeing 737-300 aircraft Mahathir gifted his friends were valued by our technical consultant at anywhere between US$30-50 million each. That is the tip of the financial ice berg. This was an out-of-the-box airline. Like a Harvey Norman computer it came bundled with an operating system boasting administrative and booking teams, ground staff and catering, pilots and flight crew; systems, hardware, licenses and much more.

But why take our word for it?

Tony Fernandes: "I think Dr Mahathir's vision was all about turning companies around as opposed to starting new ones. And it was the greatest thing that could ever have happened because one, AirAsia has a strong brand. Two, it was a good airline that DRB-HICOM had started. Operationally, the airline is a safe airline, with good pilots and good staff. "So, we didn't have to go through the painful process of recruiting and training people. We had a working model from day one. We just had to change the strategy a bit."

What sort of strategy? We'd call it a questionable one. Anyhow, what a steal, hey? Magically, new routes suddenly appeared out of thin air on both the domestic and international scene. Dr Mahathir was like an American Presidential nominee [Ouch!] and off negotiating open skies agreements for Pahamin's new outfit. Of course there were unbelievable tax breaks - literally and metaphorically - and rather a few other benefits one might think. Who can forget the deal with Thailand's fugitive former PM. History shows what disaster resulted from that deal. Emerging through a fog of smoke and mirrors and PR rhetoric was Fernandes. Again, our friend Ganesh's own sedition edition digs up the dirt in his NEW tax expose here.

The laissez fair libertine has a lend of the government, the taxpayer, the customer and laughs all the way to the bank

Fernandes and the politicians have been siphoning off huge profits while making a ludicrously half-baked attempt to repay their creditors. The big question would be, was this incredible deal illegal? You'd surmise that in any other civilized country they'd all be in jail. But not in Malaysia. Of course, Mahathir will say that it was for the good of the country and friend Pahamin was free to enjoy his 'retirement' any which way he pleased.

It wasn't for the good of Malaysia. Just look at how much money is owed by Air Asia, the laughable escalation of debts that to all intents and purposes never get repaid. Air Asia employ less staff than most airlines in the world. Those staff earn less than the majority of companies pay their people. The group walk all over people with no fear of repercussions. They test the law at every turn. Frankly it is unconscionable that Fernandes and his merry bunch of former politicians charge a disabled passenger 12RM for a wheelchair; when they are worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

With no disrespect to Air Asia's passengers who are not even remotely affluent - has tourism benefited significantly because Air Asia exists? Nope. What about KLIA? Surely the airports have prospered? Quite the contrary! So, what good has Air Asia brought anybody other than those people running a privately owned, government gifted airline?

Fernandes has bulletproof shield that verges on Diplomatic Immunity. A quick look at who is sitting on the Air Asia Board goes a long way in explaining it. Grave safety incidents go mostly unreported – which we will expose in part three. The US$30 million debt only came to light after Air Asia's blow up with Malaysian Airlines stopped just shy of a dogfight.

CNN: When you purchased the airline, it was millions of dollars in debt. Were you that rich?

Fernandes: No, I wasn't, and everyone thinks there was some invincible man behind this. We purchased the airline for a ringgit. In fact we took over a lot of debt with three major suppliers that were owed money: Petronas, Malaysian Airlines, and Malaysian Airports. We did not ask for haircuts, because we wanted to respect the creditors. We thought we had a long relationship with them so we asked for time to pay them off, which they gave us because I think they thought they didn't have a lot to lose. We restructured the business model and we were cash positive from day one and that was able to pay the debt off -- we paid it off in full. July 26th 2004

There you go telling lies again, Tony. Do we need to chat to MAS and Malaysian Airports and see what they have to say on the matter? And to say there wasn't an invincible man behind it is bullshizzle, isn't it? Credit where credit's due. You have to ask yourself why the debt remained a secret for so long. Take the example of the Air Asa jet that crashed in Malaysia - Malaysia's press miraculously failed to notice. We have irrefutable evidence that Bedawi's private jet literally had to pass within yards of the stricken wreck. How is it that the only group or journalist who mentioned the story was a blogger? Reporting facts in Malaysia is hazardous. We at Fly Air Asia? Not Me have taken precautions with our lawyers and Smith & Wesson on this one. As we have a couple of dozen contributors and 200,000 subscribers - and growing - we think they'll need to build a new jail just to hold us.

We digress. To say that airline had been grossly undervalued by Mahathir is as laughable as it is despicable. The Malaysian people – the taxpayers - were hardly going to be consulted. From the very beginning the protectionist policies and advantages flowed like wine. Oh, but didn't Fernandes put on a good show about how unfair life was for their little airline. Mahathir's political friends were discovering that private enterprise beats public service.

This is the same aircraft as the Boeing 737's that Mahathir gifted his friends, only with Lufthansa's livery. If we were to believe our forgetful friend Fernandes' assertions, he inherited two 'aging' aircraft. For the record, it remains one of the most widely used LCC aircraft on the planet today.

Fernandes clearly boasts an economy with the truth and integrity that many would conclude are prerequisite hallmarks of a politician in Malaysia, a country infamous for nepotism and abuses of privilege. His being an 'independent' and perceived as a jolly battler ostensibly kept this political sweetheart deal under the radar for the most part.

This is the same Tony Fernandes who today says that he's, 'living proof of someone who had no political backing'. Incredible as it may seem, Two Faced Tony Fernandes is notorious for shooting his mouth off and not following the script provided by the Air Asia Board. His role has been hugely exaggerated and was improbable from the beginning. Yes, Fernandes' story is great PR fodder. He's like a retarded moth in a kerosene lamp. He frequently trots out that old story that he knew absolutely "0" about running an airline. Consider this ! Did Fernandes' lack of experience matter to the Prime Minister and the Government cronies who brokered the deal in an official capacity?

Imagine you're the PM. You've just written down the value of an asset worth a hundreds million to less than a dollar. Presumably you have been assured that this reincarnated Air Asia MKII will provide employment and increase tourism. [Of course, this move has the added benefit of seeing you hold favour with your political support system - and future Air Asia Board members. Say you need to get someone put away for re-sodomy.]

You surely wouldn't, however, take a risk with the taxpayers money and accept the pitch of a record company executive with no airline experience, would you? We'll grant you that the ownership was being transferred by Mahathir to the 'private sector'. But he was tasking a rookie with paying off the airline's reputed debt of $11 million that was owed to the taxpayer. It seems more than just a little cavalier risking stuffing up a second time, doesn't it?

Image Hosted by

Consider Mahathir's personal blog and his utter disgust over MV Augusta:

Click to enlarge!

No - we will not give him link love.

Mahathir being Prime Minister between 1981-2003 you'd think he might have set Air Asia 'BT' [Before Tony] – or perhaps that should be 'BF' [Before Friends] - on the runway to recovery. That is, rather than divesting Malaysia and her taxpayers of it for less than a buck. Who ultimately has to take responsibility for its demise? The Head of State.

It would be Anwar, but he was wallowing in jail. History shows us that Tony & Pahamin achieved better results in months than MKI had in years! It makes you think. The early incarnation of the airline was let go. Nobody intervened. It didn't rise from the ashes like some rusty Phoenix. It was in perfectly good shape. The pressing question is how this white elephant could be reverse engineered to turn a titanic profit in the time it takes a stockbroker to act on a hot tip. Remarkably, while his friends' airline skyrocketed, it was MAS that was now on the slide:

"In the two decades of Mahathir’s rule, one financial scandal after another beset the country ... "Malaysia’s state-owned airline was driven to near bankruptcy with RM9.5 billion (US$2.94 billion) in debt under a Mahathir appointee, Tajuddin Ramli. The government bailed out Tajuddin by buying his 29 percent stake in 2001 for RM1.79 billion at RM8 per share when the market price was just RM3.62. When Badawi brought in Idris Jala as chief executive officer in 2005, the airline had booked a loss of RM1.3 billion in that year alone." [The Asia Sentinel]

The stench is indeed very bad! While Fernandes has always been the TV front man, the huge Government involvement in pushing a private enterprise barrow to the benefit of a group of politicians is undeniable. What is despicable is the unpatriotic motivation of the players and their complicity in arguably the greatest scam in Malaysian history. And not a law was broken. It goes down hill from there. One character is conspicuous by his absence in our story to date. Where was Bad Boy Bedawi throughout this whole episode? Notwithstanding his bitch slap sissy fighting with Mahathir these days, he was the Prime Minister's golden boy back then. Was he privy to the wheeler dealing of Malaysia's greatest scam? Bet your bottom dollar.

Bedawi applies a little bit of Aer Lingus to Tony's Alitalia as US$30 Million in government debt is finally revealed.

Forbes Asia valued Fernandes' personal wealth at $300+ million, so he and the ludicrisly rich politicians could be forgiven for losing track of loose change. “AirAsia did not agree with the outstanding balance and had asked for a lower rate, so the matter has been forwarded to the Finance Ministry,” said Transport Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat. He said, "AirAsia owes Malaysia Airport Holdings Berhad (MAHB) more than RM100mil for all the airports it has utilised in the country."

- reported by Malaysia's Star newspaper.

An argument broke out between Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin and Wee Choo Keong over the RM100mil owed by AirAsia to Malaysia Airport Holdings Bhd (MAHB) for use of its airports in the country. Wee questioned why MAHB did not initiate legal action against AirAsia to recover the money owed since 2002. Among finger pointing and Yes Minister demarcation issues, Wee said the figures claimed by AirAsia are different than those stated by the airport, and here's the kicker ...

"The AirAsia rates also included discounts which it had requested, but were not agreed to by MAHB,”

The Air Asia Board of Directors aren't simply visionaries and airline entrepreneurs, these former politicians have pioneered a whole new approach to finance. Rack up huge debts ... and then negotiate with the creditor. Isn't that what bankrupt company's in Alitalia 's position do as a last resort? All that expertise at the table and that's the best they can come up with? The question must be, why has this been allowed to continue unabated? Tune in next week to find out how fabulously the Government under Bedawi handled the situation.


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[PG-18 Coarse Language & Coarse Politics]

Shocking AirAsia Safety Admissions


Is AirAsia safe? We reveal their directors' candid reasons NOT to feel safe with their cavalier cut-price practices. Supported by their own words, we expose ludicrous cost cutting from hazardous directives to tight fisted maintenance; advantages gained by lax Malaysian regulations, exploited pilots who the CEO disrespects and flagrant corporate greed. You be the judge as you sit back and listen to AirAsia talk safety!


"One rule that hasn't changed, says Bo Lingam, AirAsia's director of operations, is "Cost is the enemy." The statistic that the airline's management obsesses over is its cost per available seat mile, an industry metric of how much an airline spends -- including everything from maintenance to marketing -- to fly one passenger one mile. AirAsia's C.A.S.M. is just 5 cents, lower than that of any other airline in the world, including Ryanair, which spends 7.6 cents."

Jeff Chu - Washington Post/ Business Travel, Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bo, we'd rather like the statistic that Management obsesses about to be SAFETY. When doors start falling off Qantas planes there's something wrong in the industry. Yours is a cut-price no-frills cheapo outfit who think nothing about charging the disabled for a chair. While your CEO gets fatter on his US$300+ million fortune and McCarthy - down below - boasts lower wages, longer hours and less staff by the power of 4, then we'd suggest Air Asia have a particularly unhealthy obsession with cutting costs. Air Asia's Director of Operations doesn't instill confidence when he literally uses 'maintenance' as a parameter that Air Asia spend less money on than any other airline in the world ... followed by 'marketing' because we all know, we've all been misled by the cheap flight that isn't, or the flight cancellations that put your airline to shame.

In the comparative sampling from independent, Air Asia are flying less than half the flights than Jetstar with its exemplary 99% record. Jetstar manages 4 cancellations and 3 excessively late flights. Wow - Air Asia 67 canceled flights! And 112 flights that span from 'late' to 'excessively late'. And you're operating 1/2 the flights, Bo! Is there something wrong with Air Asia's aircraft? Are they unable to find spare parts? Are their crew overworked and sleeping through their wake-up calls?

Air Asia .... Tiger ... Jetstar Asia

Historical Ontime Performance Ratings Jan 15, 2008 through Mar 15, 2008

Good ol' Connor McCarthy gives us a huge wake up on that front next. Is the booking system malfunctioning? What's coming next? Charge passengers for Oxygen masks? Life jackets? Wheelchairs? No, YOU are the enemy with an attitude like you have. It isn't COST, not when KIDS climb aboard. If you don't have something intelligent to say, you shouldn't be in that job. What's worse, you are in that job.

A quick last note about Bo and indeed an absolutely startling swathe of Air Asia's logistics and admin staff - people who make you safe and comfortable - they are all former Warner Music employees. They are now charged with YOUR safety. Bo himself was a Promotions Manager. Indeed, if you check out pages 17-21 on the Air Asia annual report here, you will discover exactly what level of airline experience all the people behind the scenes actually have. We are putting our lives in the hands of ... a recording company??

"When you stuff equal parts kerosene and cargo into an aluminum tube and fly almost the speed of sound and navigate marginal weather and crowded airport areas for a living, smiling hostesses should be kept in perspective. Whats more important yet invisible to the traveler in 14B is the preparation and logistics involved in this complicated dance we call air travel.One should care more about how well are they taking care of the airplane than the passengers."

Brian Gonzalez , Conde Nast, Air Asia - The $3 Flight, Nov '07


"Connor McCarthy says AirAsia's operating secrets aren't so secret: a lot of small cuts on the cost side and a lot of incremental increases on the revenue side. A no-frills airline requires fewer staffers -- Singapore Airlines flies nearly the same number of passengers but has four times as many employees -- and Southeast Asia's labor costs are low. Regulations are more lax too; a Ryanair pilot can only fly 900 hours a year under European Union law, but AirAsia's crew can log 1,000."

Jeff Chu - Washington Post/ Business Travel, Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What sort of person are you, talking so condescendingly about Asia and being flippant about MY safety? You pay pilots less than every other airline in the region and you brazenly admit to pushing them beyond internationally accepted limits in a region where regulations are already lax. Thanks for backing up our previous feature article about Air Asia safety and treating its pilots like indentured prostitutes here.

And Fernandes again caught in a lie [with leaked excerpts from the Air Asia pilots handbook beside his hollow words of Air Asia building a better tomorrow], when the fact is your pilots spend 15 years repaying you for their training. Just listen to your inconsiderate attitude. You were talking to a reporter when you were quoted here. You do understand that? What must your attitude be when the press aren't about?

Let's analyze your Public Relations skills in summing up Air Asia ... cheap labour costs ... 4-times less employees than Singapore Airlines [undoubtedly not as well educated and able to read hard stuff like log books and technical diagrams too, hey?] ... regulations being more lax [which Air Asia recognises and capitalise on without any regard to pilot or passenger]. Our safety is in the hands of those people you are relentlessly squeezing more hours out of - MORE than EVERY civilized aviation body deem ENOUGH.

Presumably they set that limit for a reason, no? Air Asia ground crew conduct 'pit-stop' turnarounds with 1/4 the manpower of an airline like Singapore Airlines or Qantas [both which devote due diligence to our safety and are ten times more thorough - and yet look at Qantas recently. Perhaps you contend Air Asia's maintenance standards are superior to Qantas and Singapore Airlines??]. Connor, you sat atop the most hated airline on earth in Ryanair, and YOU created that 'culture' The Economist wrote about:

Safety Report - Part #2 HERE

Pahamin and Fernandes brought your schlock mean spirited ass here to Asia and didn't you do stupendously well on the share allocation, hey? And you've done a good job of migrating all of those deplorable traits from the UK to Malaysia, with its lax legislation and bent politicial system. Thanks for sharing your attitude to our safety and that of your own staff. We've got a whole feature devoted to you, coming very soon.


Tony Fernandes: ""I know Malaysians very well," said Fernandes, a native of Malaysia. "If you put a fare low enough, they'll risk their lives," he said, as the crowd laughed."

Tony Fernandes - World Low Cost Airline Convention,, 2009


Tony Fernandes: "My engineers talk to my pilots about how to fly the plane more efficiently, "We went from 80 landings per set of tyres to 180. We showed them how to brake on the runway, how to use the reverse thrust, how they should descend. We burn just 770 US gallons per hour of fuel. MAS, using a similar plane burns 1100 US gallons.

Vikram Khanna - Business Times Singapore - The no-frills CEO, 5th July 2003

Cost cutting is an obsession for Mr. Fernandes, who often oversees operations from AirAsia's tiny headquarters at Kuala Lumpur International Airport . He once suggested that pilots avoid using their brakes as long as possible upon landing. "Friction usually does the trick, so our brake pads and tires last a damn sight longer than most," he says.

Discount Airlines Proliferate - 20 July 2004 Source: The Wall Street Journal


Please read the following web mail. You will see the original posted at the bottom of this thread. By clicking the author's name you will be taken to the AirAsia blog - an IMPOSSIBILITY had the email not genuinely been from AirAsia. Finally, we have an official statement - and we thank you. While we find it amusing that their spokesperson has chosen to ignore the bulk of the charges we have leveled at AirAsia - they have discussed 'safety'. And also confirmed a good many of our assertions into the bargain. That said, it was a polite letter and we intend to publish it way up here, rather than way down there - as a courtesy. Of course, we will now make a posting on the AirAsia blog - and we will surely be afforded the same hospitality.

"You can approach us anytime for facts. Safety is our utmost priority when it comes to operating an aircraft. Sure, some pilots manage to do some crazy stuff on our flights, but they get their just punishments just as any other offender would when they do crazy stuff that affects others. We have systems up and running on the ground that is akin to a speed ticket. Of course, we can't apprehend pilots as they bash a plane, but we sure as heck will do that right afterwards. Plus, we will never release a plane until it's really safe to fly. Some planes had to be grounded for almost a year because of an incident, costing us millions of dollars in revenue. This is quite unfortunate, but I swear to god, as long as that plane is not fit to carry passengers, it won't. EVER. We make absolutely certain that the only damage inflicted on our flights come from incidents, not accidents. For each incident, we get to its root cause and get to work on killing it. For instance, a lot of Airbus320 hard landings around the world are caused by keeping power up at touchdown. Now, we keep tabs on anyone who does this, and as a result, we haven't had a hard landing since October last year. A lot more can be covered here, but I guess I can post on my own blog about more stuff on safety. Do pay us a visit to learn more!" 

Mero, AirAsia Spokesman via AirAsia Blog

That article goes on to say AirAsia turn planes around in 22 minutes at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, keeping them in the air 10 hours per day. Well, looking at a JUNE 21 leaked Air Asia report - here - where you have two planes out of commission because of DISASTROUS landings, is it any wonder? According to the Air Asia internal memo, "they [Pilot + Co] were both performing 4 sectors in the afternoon comprising of an international and domestic destination". "On the last landing at KUL, the weather was fine and the PIC was the PF. With consideration of the weather and fuel conservation, he elected to ..." The pilot smashed the arse of a huge jet into the ground so hard that it has grounded your plane. And how patronizing to your pilots, who you'd be nowhere without, purporting that your engineers virtually have to teach them how to fly a plane.

This video is an example of a TAILSTRIKE - a minor one from another airline. The Air Asia aircraft hit the ground so hard it was 'grounded' for months, by all accounts. Your other incident was a HARDLANDING. We probably needn't explain to the readers what that one means. Rumour has it that everything from the chassis to the fuselage are a buckled wreck. Consider the numerous discussions going on, a COMMERCIAL AIRLINE PILOTS' WEB PORTAL - they don't see how the aircraft isn't in pieces.

One pilot remarks:
"With a landing of over 4.25g I am pretty concerned as to how they manage the maintenance/repair of that plane. Anyone has the registration? If the maintenance guys didn't get it right, it's gonna come back and bite some unfortunate souls very badly in time to come."

For the benefit of our readers, that is video to example the hazards of a hard landing. 4.25 of G-force is for rollercoasters and wrecking balls, ok!!! Not a your shiny new Boeing which is SUPPOSED to descend with's cargo in mind - PEOPLE! PASSENGERS! Get it? Slipped another one under the press' radar Fernandes. Stop your damned penny pinching - YOU ARE RICH. Next time people may die.

We think you are a sheister, so we will not accept your apology after the fact. What did your memo say up above that had your pilot and engineer distracted ... "FUEL CONSERVATION". What are you pushing them to do? CONSERVE TIME! CONSERVE FUEL! CONSERVE TIRES! MORE HOURS!

While you screw them financially, compared to legitimate airlines [yes, you are illigitimate and we'd love to debate it on TV or in court], have them running FOUR sectors, dog tired and stressed about not using the bloody breaks so you can save money - what do you expect? Look at the three Air Asia directors gathered here, two of whom are disgustingly rich. Give a little back. And stop with the 'I don't play the politics' BS. You're half the company Air Asia MKI was, in spite of your partners; your debts are three times as big [maybe more, considering how forthcoming and honest you are]. You'll literally be lynched if a plane crashes.

We know quite a few pilots and that includes the poor bastards that you squeeze the life out of and then disrespect in a self aggrandizing interview, again promoting yourself as a 'roll up the sleeves' team player. It's clear what team you play for. As this is our sedition edition, let's see how you go without your pilots. You are sailing dangerously close to the wind bodoh boy. A word to the wise - your pilots are pretty damned fed up - maybe en masse they'd rather 'walk' than fly. You've had tail strikes. How about a pilots' strike? You better reach into that US$350+ million personal fortune afforded you by Malaysia's taxpayer and start to compensate each pilot in line with internationally accepted standards.

This is the story of Air Asia Flight FD3024 illustrated with the help of

Air Asia's ugly yet ironic FREE desktop design!!

From the Phuket Gazette:

“If we are not 100% ready, we will not take off,” said the Air Asia spokesperson. But they did!
After the initial takeoff, the plane landed back on the runway. After a short delay, the pilot attempted a second takeoff, only to be forced to land the aircraft again. AirAsia’s duty executive at PIA, told the Gazette, “The 6:15 pm flight from Phuket to Bangkok was forced to land twice yesterday.

"There was a technical problem, but the pilot was trying to get the passengers [to Bangkok] on time as our next flight was at 9:50 pm.” A passenger on the flight told a Gazette source, “I heard the sound of wind rushing and then the engines roar [shortly after takeoff] and thought something had happened, but the crew didn’t tell the passengers exactly what was happening.."

"There was a technical problem, but the pilot was trying to get the passengers [to Bangkok] on time as our next flight was at 9:50 pm.”

“We transferred some passengers to our next flight at 9:50 pm, but some of them did not want to fly that late, so we transferred their tickets to fly with another airline,” the spokesperson said. We rather think we would have switched airlines too! Flight FD3024 did eventually make it to Bangkok. Considering that there was obviously a problem, Fernandes' brow beating his crew had them scrambling to take off, whether the aircraft was willing to cooperate or not. What pressure he brings to bare is anyone's guess?

How's this for a ridiculous - and somewhat suspicious - turn of events. Just a few short weeks after revealing Air Asia's huge debt we mention in the article above, Transport Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat wasn't serving them with a court order, he was awarding the ex-politicos with the entirely vacuous KLIAs 10th Anniversary 'Low-Cost Carrier of the Year'.

Wait one second! Don't Air Asia owe KLIA a hell of a lot of money? Remember, since 2002! Of course it had to go Malaysian - in spite of the more obvious choice being any other airline, anywhere. Transport Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat must not have read this posting plainly showing that Air Asia is quite possibly one of the most inefficient airlines on the face of the planet. Hello? Indeed, should Air Asia actually be eligible to qualify? There is the matter of Air Asia not being a member of IATA - representing 93 percent of scheduled international air traffic. Safety is IATA’s number one priority, and IATA’s goal is to continually improve safety standards, notably through IATA’s Operational Safety Audit (IOSA). Are regularly unscheduled delays and inexcusably frequent abortions indeed connected to safety? Fortunately, expectation & legislation is 'lax' compared to ... you know ... civilization.